Besides iOS, what other mobile platforms has Digital Legends developed for? How do you feel about iOS’ overall position in the mobile games market – do you sense it’s either gained or lost a lot of ground since Digital Legends first started focusing on this industry? What do you like about iOS versus competing platforms, and in what ways could Apple improve it to maintain a competitive edge five or ten years down the road?
We try to develop for any OS where there is a business opportunity or that we believe can play a strategic role in the future. So far we have developed titles for Symbian, Maemo, Linux, Limo, Bada, iOS, Windows Mobile and several flavours of Android.
We believe that iOS has a very strong position in the market, and continues to remain stronger than ever. What we see happening is that all non iOS devices (we are talking several billions of phones) have started to become interested in developing apps for their platforms and creating their own digital stores. Many phone manufacturers have chosen Android as their OS for their latest generation of mobile devices.
We think that the market is still growing in general and that all of the industry players are taking a bigger piece of the untapped part of the cake (rather than considering that the cake has already been fully allocated). iOS has proven to have a consistent store with gamers educated and excited to buy games from it. Android has arrived relatively recently and is still maturing in terms of sales and store.
The best way for the users of phones and games in general to develop is to have a strong ecosystem with several key industry players (Apple, Google, Nokia, Samsung, Intel, etc.) competing to deliver the best hardware, the best games and stores. This will ensure that games will continue to be developed on the cutting edge of technology and gameplay.
When we talk about “language” in the videogame industry, perhaps the first things to come to mind are C++, Java, etc. But what role have the human languages played in Digital Legends’ evolution over the years? Has having a multi-lingual staff given you an advantage when it comes to translation, marketing, or any other facet of game design and development?
To simplify things in our company we have decided to all speak C++…
Seriously, it is true that we have people from all around the world (we reached a peak in the past of 9 nationalities). Our main working languages are English or Spanish (depending on who is attending to the meeting) but the members of the team also speak Catalan, German, Chinese, Taiwanese, Bulgar, French… It of course helps with reviewing some translations (they are done by professional translators) or with local Marketing and PR in certain markets and of course when doing business with those countries. But the most important aspect is that diversity brings you different perspectives, sensibilities and points of views and therefore contributes to the richness of the team and to a better quality for the products.
What’s next for Digital Legends after your collaboration with EA on Battlefield: Bad Company 2?
We just announced that our next game Icebreaker, which is being developed in partnership with NaturalMotion, is going to be live on iPhone very soon. We have four games currently under development that are set to be released by the end of 2011 and we are also allocating more resources internally to develop additional new IP titles, and we will also be seeing some of our games released on new platforms.
We keep growing and are working tirelessly so that the name of Digital Legends becomes equated in the mind of the industry and of players with fun, cutting-edge games and high quality.
And that’s a wrap! iFanzine’s thanks goes to Xavier for taking the time out to complete this interview at length. You can find out more about the company’s product line at its website. Fortuitously, a whole fifteen minutes’ worth of footage from the aforementioned Icebreaker just became available as we were prepping the interview for publication. Looks like just the thing to leave you with!
Icebreaker, Digital Legends’ latest collaboration with NaturalMotion, released just today, retailing at an App Store price of $2.99 USD.