Game Theory: Q&A with Mike Mika of Other Ocean

May 7, 2010
Games

Company name: Scrabble Tile Rack application. What factors go into how you ultimately price your games? Seriously, as fun as it is to make games, we’re still a business with a lot of people who have families which turns into a massive amount of mouths to feed. The number of people and resources needed to produce […]

Company name: Scrabble Tile Rack application.

What factors go into how you ultimately price your games?

Seriously, as fun as it is to make games, we’re still a business with a lot of people who have families which turns into a massive amount of mouths to feed. The number of people and resources needed to produce any game needs to recover the costs we put into it, and ideally we get some profit after that. If we go out to build a game like, say, a first person shooter with up to 16 players and a gigantic server infrastructure, with a team of say 15 people and we build it over ten months, we’re talking about a game that costs us about $1m – $1.5m to make and that doesn’t count the monthly fees for servers, etc. if we sell that game for $4.99, we have to sell about 430,000 units to recover those costs. That’s a tough number to hit right now, but with that budget, you’d think you’re paying for a stand-out project. Reality is, very few people are spending that kind of money right now without it also being on several other platforms to increase its chance of success. When you get our size, we need to pay for rent, electricity, equipment. It’s a lot of stuff that can keep you up at night. 

Describe what your dream game for the iPhone would look like. 

I’m a bit of a quirky gamer, so I want my new iPhone to recognize and track my face and map it onto my in-game character as I play, expressions and all, and I want to explore an alternate reality of my real world in the game, with hidden passages and creatures, and I’m playing with my friends. All the data is coming in from the real-world, somewhat augmenting the game world, while the AI and other events in the game are fueled by trends and data from the web. The iPad is something I set on the table at the bar and my friends and I play while the iPad tracks all of our whereabouts and provides a war-room view of the action. The moment to moment is something that crosses Diablo with Second Life, but not quite World of Warcraft. Now I’m just talking crazy talk. Maybe I just want a good Robotron 2084 game.

Search for more

Brad Spirrison

Brad Spirrison is the managing editor of appoLearning and Appolicious Inc. In this capacity, he has sampled and evaluated thousands of iOS and Android applications. He also holds an M.A. in Education and Media Ecology from New York University.

Spirrison worked in concert with appoLearning Expert and Instructional Technology Specialist Leslie Morris while curating and evaluating educational applications.

A longtime media and technology commentator and executive, Spirrison is also a regular contributor to ABC News, The Huffington Post, TechCrunch, Bloomberg West and The Christopher Gabriel Program.

Spirrison is married and lives with his wife and young son in Chicago. As his son was born just weeks before the debut of the iPad, Spirrison takes his work home with him and regularly samples and enjoys a variety of educational applications for young children.

    Home Apps Games