Firemint is a company that knows how to make a hit. Flight Control invented a genre. Real Racing re-invented one to prove it could work on a mobile device. And now Spy Mouse? Spy Mouse re-invents the genre they invented with Flight Control. And it’s a formula that works – Spy Mouse has been the #1 paid game on the App Store since its release 23 days ago. We recently had a chance to ask Firemint’s CEO Rob Murray about their stealthy mouse success. Here’s what he had to say;
Spy Mouse shot to the #1 spot on the App Store on its first day of release and has held that spot ever since. How does it feel to be one of the few developers to unseat Angry Birds from its perch?
We wanted SPY mouse to be our best game yet, and we’ve worked really hard to make sure it’s simple and fun but deep enough for those players that love to explore. Because of this approach, we think players have really embraced the game; there’s something in it for everyone.
Being so popular isn’t something we’re taking for granted – SPY mouse has only just started his adventures, and we look forward to seeing the sort of mischief he gets up to…
Unlike other line drawing games that have tried to copy your Flight Control formula, Spy Mouse sets out to try something decidedly new. Tell us a little of how this came about.
After we finished Flight Control, we started prototyping a lot of different ideas, some based around line-drawing. Yet, no matter what we tried, we always found ourselves coming back to this stealth game idea that eventually turned into SPY mouse.
While plenty of games have adopted line-drawing, we knew there was a lot more that could be done with it. We continued to fine-tune the mechanic, to expand on it in ways that no one had. We added stealth and cheese gathering, and slowly built up the gameplay until it was this new and fresh take on what Flight Control had done.
But we wanted more! So we hand-built all this content: levels, enemy cats, power-ups, gadgets, goals, secret areas… the list goes on. We didn’t want to just recycle the same stuff over and over again. Each level, each world delivers something new to the player. It never stops surprising or delighting, and we think players absolutely love that… mainly because we do too!
When it was first unveiled, Spy Mouse was called “Agent Squeak.” What prompted the name change?
SPY mouse was in development for over two years, and during that time we were always confident our little hero would be called “Agent Squeak”. But, we hadn’t 100% settled on what the game itself would be called come its final form. If you haven’t already played the game, then “SPY mouse” gives you a clearer idea of what the game is about than “Agent Squeak”.
Other top-selling iOS games provide players with regular free content updates. Are there similar plans for Spy Mouse?
Firemint believes in games as a service. We continue to support and update all our titles, but it’s not just about maintenance – we’re always adding whole new features and gameplay when we feel it’s right.
Take Real Racing 2 HD, with its full HD TV-out and dual screen gaming functionality that, come iOS 5, will be completely wireless thanks to AirPlay. We know it will add another dimension to playing Real Racing 2 HD, something players will get a real thrill out of.
We’re excited by the world of SPY mouse and where we can take the character and his adventures. So yes, definitely watch this space!
Firemint invented the line-drawing genre with Flight Control. How did you guys feel about seeing so many copycats in its wake?
What’s important to us is that our games are the best they can be. Our philosophy is that if we’re always pushing the boundaries and creating fun and engaging experiences that people love to play, then it doesn’t really matter what everyone else is up to!
What’s next for Firemint? Maybe a little something from the Infinite Interactive folks?
We’re always assessing what we can do, but right now we’re focused on SPY mouse and Real Racing 2.