Karimogi Interview – PSN 2011 Preview

January 31, 2011Written by Corey Schwanz

A game aimed directly at the pick-up-and-play generation, Karimogi sets you in a frantic world of dropping bricks, with them falling off the cranes above you. Push them around and put them in order, to get Karimogi back to his spaceship, put the bricks into rows and they will then disappear.

To learn about Karimogi, developing on mobile platforms and the benefits of PS+, PlayStation LifeStyle talked to Pilar Pino, Marketing Head at StormBASIC Games.

Hi Pilar, could you start off by telling us about StormBASIC Games and your role at the company?

StormBASIC is a video game & mobile application development firm founded in 2004 by professionals with more than fifteen years experience in the area, developing until now a wide range of high quality titles & apps for smart portable devices and advanced OS.

We have been in PC environment, all type of advanced mobile OS (iPhone, Symbian, Windows Mobile, Android…), and now, also in pure gaming platforms, starting from PSP.

During 2009 we started to publish our own titles in digital format for iPhone, BADA, PSP & other gaming platforms, under the brand StormBASIC games, obtaining a huge repercussion in all the media, and the recognition of both the specialized press and the users as a developer of top quality games.

In parallel to the gaming activities we are deploying two independent business lines, related to, in one hand mobile marketing & in other business licensing of its proprietary development engine to the developer’s community, that its core is StormBASIC Platform, we regularly have invested a lot from our revenues on R&D, to deploy our engine, or integrating specific mobile technologies in the game play to make the experience unique.

My contribution to StormBASIC is focused in all the activities related to marketing, especially on-line. We understand that the generation of new e-stores consumers require information through the internet media: social media, blogs, web magazines…

You’ve been developing games for smartphones for quite some time. What made you want to branch out into the PS minis Platform?

When we heard about PS minis last year we found it very attractive, for different reasons: it was going to be one of the first gaming e-stores managed directly by one of the players in the videogame market like Sony, a clear step forward to digital distribution, a lot of support to independent developers, clear synergies in terms of product development, certification processes & sales/marketing operations with other platforms & e-stores that we had pretty high experience like the Appstore from iPhone/iPod Touch & potential consumer targeted 100% in videogames, where we are specialist in.

How does the cost of minis development compare to smartphone development?

Well, from a cost perspective it´s very similar. For us the cost would be almost the same as we are using our proprietary development engine, StormBASIC Plaform, we have optimized the engine for PSP, PS3, iOS, Symbian, and Bada. If it’s a smartphone using another OS, it would be for us more expensive.

Over all your previous titles, from 3,2,1…SuperCrash!! to Tehra Dark Warrior, what inspired you to start working on Karimogi, a cute puzzle game?

Analyzing the sales that we have done with the minis portfolio that we have in PSN, we realized with DynoGems, that there were a lot of people downloading the game to play it with PS3, on the top of PSP, the reasoning is very basic and easy that at the beginning we didn’t see it, those easy, casual, cheap titles doesnt exist for PS3, but that doesn’t mean that there are consumers that wouldn’t like to play it,  that’s the reason why we first released 3,2,1 Supercrash, Dr. Minigames and now Karimogi.

Karimogi looks like a title that is easy to pick up, but difficult to master. Are there different kinds of strategies to play the game as you get deeper and deeper in?

Well,  its more simple like that, and there is not a real trick or strategy, it´s all about spending a lot of hours playing…;-)

Have you at StormBasic considered work on a full console PlayStation Network title?

Yes, that’s one of our goals. We love games and we believe that for a company like ours it’s a necessary step. We have a project in mind, which we are starting to work on, but it’s still in its early stages.

Do you believe there is a brand future in Karimogi or rather that it will stay in it’s current form in the future?

Depends on the sales, based in other experiences, we had great sales with a title called Crash, the most stupid race, and 3,2,1 SuperCrash is an evolution, also, we had pretty good sales with Alien Invaders and after we released Alien Invaders 2, and currently we are working with future projects based on the success of Tehra Dark Warrior and Zombie Hunter, titles that did great in the past, so, yes if we have a positive acceptance by the consumers, it will for sure have another part.

Karimogi will be available for free to US PS+ subscribers in February, what benefits does such a promotion bring to StormBASIC?

What we expect from this promotion is that PS+ users get to  know Karimogi, have fun with the game and then get to know the rest of StormBASIC games. As we will have more tiltes for this year at the PSN Store.