The Cat Quest franchise is a mix of a casual game about kittens and a serious RPG, which brought its developer The Gentlebros 1.3 million downloads and $3.8 million in profit. The founder of the studio shared the story of falls and success in an interview with Tech in Asia.
The Gentlebros was founded in 2015 by three people from Japan’s Koei Tecmo. Its creators Desmond Wong (Desmond Wong), Leon Ho (Leon Ho) and Nursiazana Zainal (Nursyazana Zainal) dreamed of developing creative games that would go beyond industry stereotypes.
Quickly enough, they came up with the idea to combine two popular genres: casual games and RPG. It seemed an extraordinary decision and the players should have liked it. Moreover, the founders of the studio were avid gamers themselves: Zainal spent many hours playing casual games, and Wong and Ho played more hardcore things.
“Most often, casual games lack depth, and they are not liked by the main gaming audience. And hardcore games seem too intimidating for a casual audience. We wanted to solve this problem,” Wong said.
But the first title in this format failed.
The experimental Slashy Hero brought practically nothing to its developers. As The Gentlebros admitted, the main mistake was the free distribution of the game.
However, the company did not want to let go of the idea of combining the simplicity of casual games and the depth of the open world of role-playing games so easily. The Gentlebros hoped to get a second chance when they release a new game – Cat Quest.
According to the idea, the action of Cat Quest unfolded in Felingard – a world inhabited by kittens. The player in the image of a heroic cat got into a story with adventures, rescue of a princess, battles with monsters and treasure hunts.
The Gentlebros really liked this project, but there was no money for it. After the unsuccessful launch of Slashy Hero, the studio was left with empty pockets and could not find investors for a new title.
Perhaps the world would not have seen the original game if not for the sudden help from the state. The developers won a government grant, which allowed them to move Cat Quest off the ground. The Gentlebros never received additional investments from third-party companies, but the money from the grant launched the process of creating a famous franchise.
In 2017, the first part of Cat Quest was released, and in 2019 – the second. The games were distributed on a paid basis and immediately on six platforms Google Play, Apple App Store, Steam, PlayStation 4, Switch and Xbox One (a little later Cat Quest II became available on the Apple Arcade service). Both titles have been downloaded 1.3 million times, brought The Gentlebros $3.8 million and the devotion of fans around the world.
The Gentlebros are not going to stop there and intend to continue looking for unusual ideas that will surprise the gaming community.
“We are thinking about making nine Cat Quest games, because cats have nine lives! In addition, we want to create a second team that will focus on a completely new product,” Wong shared.
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