NDTV Gadgets, a leading online tech portal published a feature on 99Games’ Star Chef recently. Shilpa Bhat, Sr. Producer at 99Games spoke to them art length on what makes Star Chef profitable. Excerpts:
Knowing your audience..and having the team to pull it off
Speaking to Bhat, it’s immediate from the outset that she’s extremely clear about the audience that 99Games is looking to target with this game.
“We’re after women and cooking enthusiasts between the age of 25 to 60. And those with familiarity of the genre. At this point in time Chefville is Facebook only. There’s a lack of cooking games on mobile and our game fills that gap,” she says. The ratings seem to ring true with over a ten thousand of them across Apple’s App Store in various regions and has an average rating of 4.6. However, is it just a facsimile of Diner Dash or Chefville or is there more to it?
What’s interesting is that Star Chef isn’t your usual Indian-developed game. Then again, a large part of 99Games’ portfolio doesn’t fit your archetypical local developer fare, most of which are cricket games or clones of globally proven successes such as endless runners – not games that appeal to a burgeoning audience of women globally in the 25 to 60 demographic; an under-served group that is today a significant portion of the potential audience.
Of course, targeting the right demographic alone is not enough. There has to be the skill set to match. In the past, 99Games already made a slew of management games in the past such as Prison Mayhem and Dream Star, which gave them.
“Dream Star was our first transition from premium to freemium and had some good learnings on freemium monetization and analytics,” Bhat says.”Our core team was part of Robosoft services team before 99Games was formed and we had good past experience with AAA title porting to Mac and development of social games in early days of iOS as well.”
At first look Star Chef looks extremely cookie cutter. There’s very little to distinguish it from other games in the genre that are present on Facebook. Bhat tells us that it’s this look and feel that appeals with the company’s audience. There definitely is more than meets the eye.
Bhat tells us that Star Chef is targeted at those who have played management games such as Chefville, but it also opens itself up to a whole new audience. As Kim Kardashian: Hollywood has proved, there’s a vast yet silent audience who crave simple gameplay even if it means the aesthetics aren’t the greatest. The focus on usability and a steady stream of rewards make it an alternative for those who want to play video games without the learning curve brought on by more complex titles.
Read the full interview here.