Industry veteran Herocraft has just celebrated its tenth anniversary of creating games for mobile phones. But what made them get started and what have they learned about mobile gaming in the last decade? We asked company spokesperson Alexey Sazonov to tell us all.
“In 2002 the concept of mobile gaming was very new, and quite revolutionary. But when the founders looked around, they couldn’t see enormous potential for growth in traditional gaming. For mobiles, on the other hand – well, we’d already seen the rise of PDA gaming and the success of sites like PocketGear. It seemed very likely to us that we’d see a similar explosion in mobile.
“And we’ve been developing for Nokia since day one, with tens of millions of downloads!”
So, after ten years in the industry, you must have a very good idea of what makes a good game?
“Hah. I wish someone would tell us!
“We try not to follow any formulas, because that would stifle innovation. Instead, we experiment a lot.
“I’d have to say that there are two secret ingredients: passion and good ideas.”
Broad and deep
Herocraft is quite unusual in the breadth of its offering. Instead of specialising in one operating system, the company supports a wide cross-section of platforms, and in more than a dozen different languages.
“We’re dedicated to being cross-platform – we’ll support any device so long as it makes money for us.
“In fact, one part of our business is to take games developed for other platforms and migrate them to new ones. An example of that is Contre Jour, which we’ve just released for Symbian.
“When it comes to choosing platforms, well, we don’t want to miss out on any big new success stories.”
What are the trends Alexey is seeing in mobile gaming?
“Well, the market is mature now, so it’s becoming necessary to find your niche and become expert in it. Herocraft always seeks to have a broad portfolio of different titles in its catalogue. But over time, we’ve come to specialise in strategy titles. Partly because they’re the sort of game we like to play ourselves. Our biggest title, Majesty, fits into that genre.”
Thank you, Alexey for your time, and here’s to ten more years in the business!
NB: HeroCraft is currently having a 10th-anniversary sale on some of its most successful titles for Symbian and Series 40 devices.