PocketGamer, UK a leading portal covering the business of gaming talks to Shilpa Bhat, Senior Producer at 99Games. Shilpa spoke at length about StarChef and what it took to make StarChef a global success.Excerpts:
Pocket Gamer: What was the inspiration for Star Chef?
Shilpa Bhat: Star Chef is a lovingly-crafted cooking and restaurant management game. We wanted to build a high quality social freemium game catering to the global audience, especially targeting women in the 25-60 year age group.
Being cooking enthusiasts and followers of Chef TV series, our team felt there was a huge void for quality chef and restaurant management games on mobile. There are slow-paced farming games and fast-paced time management cooking games like the Diner Dash series, but nothing like Star Chef.
Yet the success of farming games like Hay Day demonstrates the monetisation potential of a well-made social freemium game.That is very different to your previous game Dhoom:3, though.
Yes, Star Chef is very different to our earlier success Dhoom:3 and belongs to a totally different genre and caters to an entirely new audience. Dhoom:3 was targeted towards Indian audience and Dhoom movie fans. At 99Games, we have two business models running in parallel. One caters to Indian market with licensed IP (e.g. Dhoom:3) and other targets the global audience with our own IP (e.g. Star Chef).
What platforms have you released the game on and in which countries has it been most popular?
The game is made for iOS-only. We followed an iPad-first strategy during pilot run and released the game worldwide on 21 Aug 2014 with iPhone support. The game is getting great response in the US, UK, Australia, Germany, Canada, Russia, France, Italy. The game is localised in English, French, German, Italian, Spanish and Russian, with plans for Chinese localisation to coincide with Chinese New Year.
Read the full interview here.