It looks like nine-figure numbers may soon become the benchmark by which we judge successful mobile developers.
Just a month after Finland’s Rovio passed the mark, Slovenia’s Outfit7 also crossed the 100 million downloads on the back of a series of talking character apps. We profiled the company back in January: its ambitions are big. The vision isn’t to be another mobile developer. It’s to become a toy company on the order of Mattel or Hasbro through the use of smartphones with touchscreens.
Outfit7, which hasn’t taken outside funding, is amassing a Silicon Valley-based team that can help break the company into everything from educational games to plush toys to films. The company recently picked up a new chief marketing officer, Paul Baldwin, who worked on the Lara Croft franchise as vice president of marketing at Eidos Interactive before later working at Hands-On Mobile and Gazillion Entertainment, which has licenses to Marvel and Lego content. In this sense, the company’s mission is closer to what Rovio is trying to do in creating beloved franchises unlike many of the other large, independent mobile-social gaming companies we cover.
And the quality of the company’s characters have progressively been improving. Outfit7’s best-known character to date had been Talking Tom, a gray tabby that did basic things like drink milk, scratch the phone’s glass screen and purr. But since then, the company also went after the girl’s market with Talking Lila, a fairy, and Talking Gina, a giraffe that plays pattycakes. Gina was downloaded more than 10 million times.
The company, which didn’t reveal numbers of monthly active users, says it’s growing at a roughly 15 million download a month clip. It has apps on both iOS and Android, although iOS usage outstrips the numbers the company is seeing on Google’s platform. The company does a mix of free and paid apps. The more valuable intellectual property is made free with options to add more behaviors by making an in-app purchase of about $.99.