We continue our series of interviews with developers and game industry experts. We were able to talk to Abhishek Malpani, CEO at Funcell Games. He shared some interesting thoughts on the development of hypercasual games and gave good advice to aspiring developers.
Hello, Abhishek. Could you tell us about how it started, how did you get into the industry?
My Journey started with the launch of iPhone in 2009, I was always an avid gamer but when the iPhone was launched, I thought that why can’t I make games of my own.
Why did you decide to develop your own games? What game/idea has inspired you?
So in 2009 I approached a mobile games development company based in India named GAMEANAX and made my first game with them named Race Car Mania in 2010, I got inspired by Angry Birds that time and also Doodle Jump.
Let’s talk about your studio, where are you located? What is the size of the studio? What is your focus now?
In 2018 I bought Gameanax studio and although we are headquartered in Kolkata (Eastern India) since I stay there, my Studio is located in Ahmedabad (western India). My Studio is a 7000 squarefeet office based in the heart of Ahmedabad and we have a team strength of 70 and growing, we are one of the largest mobile game development studios in the world which focuses only on mobile games. Our focus now is to make games with higher LTV (Long Term Value), like Homescapes.
Could you tell us about projects of your studio?
In the past 12 years we have made around 500 mobile games with the first 450 being complete failures, but I always knew that we have the team to make a hit one day, in 2019 we hit gold when we launched our first successful title Idle World! with a partner publisher Homa Games, then there was no turning back. Then we launched one of our most successful title Idle Human with partner Ubisoft which is still getting 20k new users and has a total download of around 60 million till date, We then launched our biggest venture in 2020 9 months again with Green Panda Games and then Chores and Stairway to Heaven with Lion Studios, We have also launched other title like Idle Transformation and Real Haircut, Idle Maggots all getting millions of downloads.
What are the results in 2021 of your company? What are the key milestones?
The results of our company have been great and we are a highly profitable company, our games Idle Human and 9 months have reached the world Number 1 ranking Globally and Stairway to Heaven reached the top 3.
What key news or events in 2021 would you highlight in a gaming market. And what they were in the next year?
2021 was a year of runner games and hyper casual games, we made many of them but the market is now oversaturated with them, although hypercasual games are here to stay but are not much profitable in long term, I think, in the coming years, puzzle games and high LTV games should do well.
What 3 advice could you give to people who dream about developing their own game or opening a studio. What advice would you give to beginners?
For beginners, my first advice is to ask yourself if you really love making games and it should not feel like work, making games should be your passion and should feel like a vacation.
My second advice is to start with a small team and just make small prototypes and test your game with publishers.
My third advice is to not spend too much time on a single game and make sure your idea is unique, but don’t get attached to one game, if the test fails, just bury it and move on to the next idea.
What are your top 5 favorite games?
Clash Royale, Homescapes, PUBG, Brain Test, Aquapark.io
Abhishek, thanks for the interesting interview!
You can check out the company’s games on the official Funcell Games website.
Read the rest of the interview on our site
- Interview with Julia Zolotarenko, CEO of HitBerry Games
- Interview with Anil Yanik, game designer at Mangorama Studio