Big Blue Bubble, a Canadian game development agency that has built titles on behalf of others for years, is finding success with one of its own. Its paid app “Burn the Rope” has seen north of 750,000 downloads since its release a little over a month ago.
The simple iOS game uses the phone’s accelerometer to let players burn through elaborate patterns of rope. The challenge is to turn and rotate the phone so the flame doesn’t burn out. As the game progresses, the flame must eat through progressively more intricate patterns on the screen. It often requires keeping multiple flames lit simultaneously.
The app is currently ranked 6th in the puzzle games category in the iOS app store and 35th among all games. The company just released an update that gives the game 16 more levels and a few bonus rounds.
“I think the key for us is to build simple and intuitive games,” said Bryan Davis, who works on business development for the company. “Realistically, you’re looking at a different crowd than the PC or console markets. They just want to jump in and be done with it.”
Big Blue Bubble charges $0.99 up front and doesn’t use a freemium strategy or any in-app purchases. The company has relied mostly on word of mouth and organic lift from being high on the charts to push the title — although it has dabbled in buying installs with Tapjoy and Flurry in the past and used Apple’s iAd to promote its work.
“Burn The Rope,” follows on another hit last year from the company called, “Thumpies.” It’s a rhythm-and-music game like Tap Tap Revenge, except with tiny, little creatures bouncing about on drums. Monsters drop from the top of the screen onto drums and players have to tap the drums to the beat of the music.
Based two hours south of Toronto in London, Ontario, Big Blue Bubble hasn’t taken outside funding. It mostly builds titles for clients like Jewel Quest on the J2ME and Brew platforms.
Big Blue Bubble has also experimented with Facebook games; it has a female-oriented decorating title called “Home Sweet Home,” although that hasn’t seen anywhere near the traction the company gets on mobile — its core expertise. It hovers around 1,000 DAU on AppData. It also has a “Home Sweet Home” title for mobile as well.
The company was founded in 2004 by Damir Slogar, a Croatian video game developer who moved to Canada. The company’s work spans from consoles to phones. They have a couple of titles on the Wii including Pub Darts and Hockey Allstar Shootout.
Davis says the company is eyeing Android, but is still a little hesitant given how far the platform has to go in proving itself as a lucrative place to build. He says the company has even caught ripoffs of its popular Burn the Rope title, offering little more than a landing screen.
“Android is picking up steam. We’ll go when there’s revenue to be made,” he said.