Beijing based Happylatte makes a very popular mobile game, called High Noon, on iPhone. In fact, it is the second most popular iPhone game from China, by revenue.
High Noon is a shooting game, using the cowboy era as background. Players go to duel with each other, equipped with the many guns, accessories and customs the game provided. It is very popular in Hong Kong and Singapore. That is how I found out about them, as one of my Hong Kong friend ask me to check them up.
The game studio developed it, Happylatte, was formed by Bjorn Stabell in 2008. “We have been doing outsourcing work for mobile phone makers, such as Motorola, for a long time. When iPhone launched in 2008, it is completely different from the old mobile phone environment and we decided to give it a try with our own game,” said Bjorn. He also runs an outsourcing firm of 60 people, called Exoweb.
The first game they launched is called Pee Monkey. A very simple (but fun) game about training a monkey to use toilet. “It became the number 1 download game in the U.S. when it first launched,” said Bjorn. And it just took Bjorn and his team 2 months to develop it.
This experience significantly boost their confident and they tried again with something more serious. High Noon took them 9-10 months to develop, with 15 people. It has 2.4 million download so far and everyday, there are about 100,000 people playing the game.
It created quite a fuss in markets such as Singapores and Hong Kong. It has lots of fans in U.K, France, etc. But, so far, it has not picked up in North America. “Every now and then, we see our traffic shoot up in a particular market. We don’t know the reason. Our guess is a core group pick it up and soon it spread in a particular country. The game is quite contagious,” said Bjorn. He plans to introduce a version for Android soon and then Microsoft’s Window Mobile.