Developer Spotlight: AppXplore

At Nitro, our vision is to enable participation. Participation for game studios means enabling access to funding and connecting them with stakeholders within the ecosystem.

It is not easy to build a game company, it takes a mix of passion, focus, resources and discipline. In our Developer Spotlight Series, we’re going to be featuring studios that have demonstrated that magic mix and made a mark in their respective regions.

To start with, we thought we’d feature a company that we have close links with (Appxplore is a part of the iCandy Interactive family)

Featuring: AppXplore

AppXplore is a mobile-game company located in the capital city of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur and it was founded in 2011 by CEO Desmond Lee and CCO Jenn-Yu Lim. Starting with an initial team of 5, they produced their first game, Lightopus in 2012. The production of Lightopus took the team roughly 8 months to complete. Even though the team was young and inexperienced, they had high expectations for themselves and ensured the standard of the game was comparable to international quality. The debut effort from the small team was a hit and it created history by being the first game in the country to be listed and featured on Apple’s App Store. The incredible success of Lightopus paved the way for the company to continue their passion in producing high quality games.

AppXplore’s first game, Lightopus

In 2014, AppXplore was acquired by venture accelerator Fatfish Internet Group from Singapore, and has was the cornerstone studio behind the listing of iCandy Interactive Ltd, a mobile games group publicly traded on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX:ICI).

Today, the company has more than 20 full-time employees working on developing new titles, as well as supporting the publishing efforts of the larger iCandy group. 10 games have been developed to date, with more coming up in the pipeline!

Top Games by AppXplore

1. Crab War (2016)

Image source: http://appxplore.com/index.php/games/crab-war

2. Alien Path (2016)

Image source: http://appxplore.com/index.php/games/alien-path

3. Mobfish Hunter (2014)

Image source: http://appxplore.com/index.php/games/mobfish-hunter

4. Lightopus (2012)

Image source: http://appxplore.com/index.php/games/lightopus

Looking at the list above, it’s clear that every game developed by AppXplore is highly distinctive in its look and feel. For instance, Crab War has received positive reviews from all across the globe, quoting from Android Headlines review article, “(the game) looks good and is clearly developed to a high level of polish and runs great on the majority of hardware out there too”.

A key criteria that differentiates successful studios from their counterparts is the studio’s ability to create games that are unique in a highly saturated game market. This is normally a result of the creative team’s understanding of the audience that they are designing for, coupled with a methodical process of making sure all elements of the production (design, art, code, business) are well integrated into the development schedule. It’s part art, part science and a whole lot of discipline.

Image source: https://goo.gl/AppLZF

Vision and Strategy

Over the years, AppXplore has been trying to maintain their focus on developing game in-house. Even though there were opportunities for the team to accept outsourced projects, they turned down the offer so that they can continue to create the next big hit.

The vision of the company is to build a community of players that will enjoy all the games created by them. By having a strong and supportive fan base, AppXplore hopes that every new game released will be played by their current players and ensuring that they will enjoy the new games as much as the previous ones. A community of players will definitely help the company to stay on the right track and continue to create entertaining games. You can see this from the unique look and feel of the games made by them. (If you’re really attentive details, you may also be able to tell that the company has optimized for a consistent menu system across the different games as well)

At the same time, AppXplore is looking to move into game publishing. Being in the industry for more than 5 years, the experience that the team currently posses is very beneficial for young and budding local developers in helping them achieve the same success the company had. With the guidance of AppXplore, developers across South East Asia will be able to get their work out there in the global gaming scene and compete with the best developers around the world.

Image source: https://goo.gl/xA66M1

Challenges

We’ve talked about the successes but making games isn’t always easy. A major challenge is that of access to financing options. AppXplore has had to deal with lean periods over its history but has managed to bounce back each time through staying focused on its design and development objectives while serving their customers very well!

According to CEO Desmond, the biggest challenge of the industry is for games to generate sufficient revenue to sustain the operation cost of the company. Although there were opportunities for the team to earn extra revenue by taking up outsourced projects, AppXplore rejected these offers to concentrate on making their own games.

By staying true to themselves and their initial calling, it’s commendable to note that AppXplore will continue to build exciting games in the long run , while guiding younger developers in the industry towards achieving success by making games for the world at large.

You find about AppXplore and the great games they make here.

or UNLEASH THE SWARM with their most successful game to date, Crab War, one of Google Play’s Games of the year for 2016.

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Nitro is created to solve the challenges faced by game studios all around the world. With the vision of enabling everyone to partake in the video-game economy, we aim to be the solution for the gaming industry.

Learn more about Nitro here.