December 4, 2012
Misha Lyalin: Pudding Monsters and and brand extensions
Misha Lyalin, Chairman & CEO, ZeptoLab & Frederic Lardinois, Writer, TechCrunch
"Everything we do starts with the game," says Misha Lyalin, which is probably the sort of thing you expect a man in a monster suit to say on stage frankly.
And their business does - but it doesn't end there. It pushes into plush toys, and cartoons. Cut The Rope is truly a multi-media brand for the early 21st century. (And perhaps my brain has been addled by having a baby daughter, but I found the cartoon quite amusing). Om Nom is a character who started life in a game, but who has a commercial life beyond it. And the company is pushing onwards - releasing their new game Pudding Monsters live at the show - and demoing it with Misha and Frederic crashing into each other in costume...
ZeptoLab is profitable, and has signed a deal with Sony to product a live action Cut The Rope game show. The brand extensions are growing, but aren't the be all and end all of the company. Pudding Monsters lacks an identifiable character like Om Nom that a brand can be built around. They don't believe that every game needs to have merchandising opportunities. The game makes more money than the merchandising - and the merchandising has an overhead in terms of organising and licensing. Their games are designed to be easy - all you need to know is how to open the app, and you can figure the rest from there. That's important to them - Misha sees it as a critical piece of their success.
Misha is comfortable in app store - but is also interested in how be technology will develop. "HTML5 is an important technology and we wanted to develop a game on this to test we could do it." He suggests that phones will inevitably end up moving towards a web model. So, the future of mobile development is the web, says a man in a monster costume.
Take that as you will. :-)
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