We interviewed Everton Vieira, co-founder and CEO of Izyplay. The company has been on the market for 12 years and has achieved a lot during this time. In this interview, Everton will share the successes of his team.
Firstly, please tell us a little about yourself: who are you, what do you do, what do you like?
My name is Everton Vieira, and I’m Co-founder and CEO at Izyplay Game Studio. I’m 44 years old and have loved games since my first Nintendo in 1989. My childhood was filled with great games, toys, and amazing friends. A perfect storm to form my principles and creativity. I graduated in Computer Science in 1999, the year I started my game industry journey.
Tell us about how it started and how you entered the industry.
I started in the Game industry formally in 2003. I started developing Serious Games in a company that I helped to found. We develop games to help companies train their employees. We developed more than 30 Serious games for brands like Walmart, Boticario, HP, etc.
Although Serious Games is an exciting field, my goal has always been the Entertainment market. So, in 2010 with other 2 colleagues, I founded Izyplay, a Game Studio focused on developing games for all kinds of players.
Why did you decide to develop your own games? What game/idea has inspired you?
Since we founded the company, developing our own games has always been our main goal. Although, we started offering outsourcing and the WFH model. It is the standard industry first step, I think. It helps to earn capital and experience. But, in 2015, we thought we were prepared to launch our first game on a mobile platform, SmarTest Nerd. A blend between puzzle, trivia, and troll challenges.
In 2016 we managed to launch our second game. Junk Norris Impossible Challenges – a game that makes a parody about the Chuck Norris facts.
I can say that the Game Industry itself is our main inspiration. We love games. Simple like that. But, of course, the magic moment of playing Super Mario, Zelda, Metroid, and others warms our hearts, giving us strength to bit this entrepreneur life challenges:)
Tell us more about your studio.
Our studio is located in the south of Brazil, in the state of Rio Grande do Sul. A region that has an interesting history of Game Development here in Brazil. Our team comprises 32 professionals: Producers, HR, Programmers, Engineers, 3D Artists, Game Designers, Marketers, Motion Designers, etc.
Izyplay has a very peculiar way of working. During these 11 years, we have already developed games for mobile, web, PC, and even projects focused on consoles. In 2020 we tried for the first time the hyper-casual market. This gives us a huge experience in prototyping fast and basing our decisions on data and players’ behaviour. This changed our studio completely.
Today Izyplay focuses on developing games Izy to understand, Izy to play, and bringing Izy fun. We start focusing on Mobile and web but always considering other platforms. Depending on the project potential, we can start with a hybrid-casual proto to Mobile and finish with a premium multiplatform.
Tell us about the projects of your studio.
Currently, we test around 4 casual prototypes monthly, looking for a good KPI candidate to launch as many platforms as possible. Any potential game will receive attention and can turn into a hybrid-casual hit, a casual based on IAP and Ads, or even a premium game for consoles and PC.
This new pipeline started in 2020 when we met the hyper-casual market. Our first hyper-casual hit, Defuse the Bomb 3D, was launched in March 2020 and reached 12 million downloads.
One year later, we involved our process and changed our pipeline to develop hybrid-casual. Games blend the depth of a casual with the simplicity and Izy to understand from hyper-casual. So, in September 2021, we launched Mobile and Web Adventure Miner. Our first Arcade Idle game. It has reached around 7 Million downloads so far.
Adventure Miner also was launched to other platforms, starting a new distribution team here at Izyplay. It is very popular on other platforms, such as web game portals, Crazy Games, and Chinese app stores, via Asian partners.
What are the results in 2022 for your company so far? What are the key milestones?
Izyplay has reached more than 20 Million downloads around the world so far. Our milestone for this year is to launch 3 games by the end of 2022, reaching the mark of 50 Million downloads this year.
Last July, we launched Market Boss. A SuperMarket Arcade Idle. This time we launched it to the web and Mobile simultaneously. Market Boss has been showing the potential to receive an IAP layer and even become a premium game soon. We are very excited about it. 2022: 1 done, 2 more to go 🙂
What key news or events in 2022 would you highlight in the gaming market so far? And what were they in the last year?
I think the big question mark of 2021 and 2022 keeps the Metaverse and Blockchain Games (like NFT). But, we think it is too soon to say whether it is good or bad. It is a concept such as IAP. And like other concepts, it depends on how the dev will use them. Currently, we have bad and good implementations of F2P IAP in games. We have started a small project exploring this market’s mechanics, business models, and Game Design challenges. Let’s see if we can do something good and interesting with them.
Regarding events, the big news is the on-site events in 2022. We were having been amazing seeing people in person, seeing friends, and making new ones. We have just attended 2 interesting events here in Brazil in July. The big one was BIG, Best International Game Festival. It happened in SP and counted thousands of Game Devs worldwide.
What 3 pieces of advice could you give to people who dream about developing their own game or opening a studio? What advice would you give to beginners?
I would like to give 3 important pieces of advice that I would love to hear in 2010
- Develop games for players, not for yourself: If you are in the industry, you should hear that sentence before. But, there is a pitfall hidden in it. Yes, you should develop game thinking in yourself and your team. The point here is to think about the player too. Develop a game you/your team love to play; let everything Izy.
- Get experience first: Try to gain experience with small projects or even work for wire. Your first games probably will be bad ones. So, make them fast.
- A game is a product: Remember that there is no problem with working expecting revenue. Do you love games? Do you want to make games for the rest of your life? So, study and try to make them profitable, offer your team/partners a good salary, and keep making them better and better.
What are your top 5 favourite games?
Those are games that changed my life, not in order of importance.
- Resident Evil (Ps1)
- Mario 64 (N64)
- Shadow of the Colossus (PS2)
- Zelda Ocarina of Time (N64)
- Zelda Breath of the Wild (Switch)