By David Russell
Adelaide game developer Mighty Kingdom has burst onto the international stage with a new no. 1 game developed for an award winning toy manufacturer. Shopkins: welcome to Shopville was developed for hugely successful toy company Moose to help promote Shopkins, a miniature collectable toy line for girls.
Moose decided they wanted other ways for Shopkins fans to be able to engage with their favourite toys beyond the physical toys themselves. Enter Mighty Kingdom. Moose asked the Myer Centre-based game and app developer to create a game that would digitise the Shopkins world.
Mighty Kingdom decided to focus on the two things kids love most about Shopkins; that they are cute and collectable. Shopkins: welcome to Shopville players enter the colourful world of Shopville, where they can interact with their favourite Shopkins on the street, visit shops to play mini games, and earn coins to collect digital Shopkins.
The game hit the Apple App Store and was an instant success. Mighty Kingdom producer Dan Thorsland told Inside South Australia the game is currently the number one kids game in Australia and had made the top 10 list in 10 countries around the world, including the US.
“We’re having 4000 installs a day without any marketing,” he said.
“Moose will soon be doing an advertising campaign, so we’re hoping we can hit 20, or even 50 million downloads.”
The retention rate the game has achieved has also exceeded the expectations of everyone involved in the project.
“Two-thirds of the kids who install our game come back and play it again within two or three days. Game developers would ordinarily be happy with 20% retention, so that’s a huge achievement.”
Dan moved to Adelaide 15 years ago from New York and joined Mighty Kingdom soon after it was founded by Director Philip Mayes in 2010. They develop apps and games for a broad range of clients, including Disney, Autism SA and Harcourts Real Estate. In just five years the business has grown to 20 staff, and Dan hopes the success of the Shopkins game will enable Mighty Kingdom to take on up to 10 more, making it one of the biggest game developers in Australia. He believes Adelaide is the perfect place for his business to achieve that growth.
“This game was wholly South Australian made… every pixel… the entire creative concept came out of this state.
“The creative and tech base in Adelaide is world class… I can achieve everything here that I could in New York.
“The talent is all here… it’s about exposure and confidence (and) shipping it out to the world.”