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Pinoy app maker plunges into int'l joint venture

Will the next hit game or killer app for smartphones and tablets come from Filipino developers?
Such a prospect looms after a Filipino gaming studio based in Makati City is partnering with a US-based counterpart to tap into the lucrative app world.
The partnership between Makati-based FunGuy Studio and Phoenix-based 2XL Games has produced 2 FunGuys Inc., which aims to capitalize on the multimillion-dollar mobile app and social gaming industry, while providing high-paying jobs for Filipino game developers.
"The joint venture is a direct response to market demand. To be competitive, we need to develop new and
compelling content for these devices," 2XL Games CEO Robert Johnson said.
Filipino co-founder Darwin Tardio added they have also seen a lot of activity in the commercial sector.
“The demand for companies wanting to develop web and mobile apps for their business is exploding and nobody knows the design and user experience of these devices better than a game studio. This gives us a clear edge to develop compelling apps in sectors such as retail, hospitality, service sectors and enterprises where timely information delivery is a key factor of success,” Tardio said.
FunGuy Studio is known in the Philippines for developing successful Massively Multiplayer Online Games and mobile and web apps for leading Filipino companies and media outlets.
It directly employs around 30 staff in its gaming division and over 100 across its other businesses at present.
The joint venture aims to generate up to 100 additional jobs over the next 24 months.
11 million downloads
So far, the developers from both camps have come up with hit PS3 and Xbox 360 games as well as mobile apps, getting 11 million app downloads and online game registrations for games such as 2XL Super Cross, Ricky Charmichael Motocross Matchup, Jeremy McGrath’s Offroad, XGames SnoCross, Baja Edge of Control, Trapezoid, SqwishLand, and ActionJetz.
With the global app market is projected to reach $25 billion by 2015 - with North Americans downloading and spending more money on apps and Asians dominateing the free app market - sales of mobile apps are projected to exceed $8.8 billion in 2011.
Extending reach
On the other hand, the joint venture will further extend the reach of the companies into the fast-growing North American and Asian markets where demand for smartphones and tablets is rapidly expanding.
“The opportunity to develop new and original content and to work with other companies to develop content is huge and the internationalization of our business will align us with global trends,” Johnson said.
Johnson said that when 2XL made the decision to expand into Asia, it looked at openings in China, Korea, Singapore and the Philippines.
He said the combination of outstanding talent and great communication skills "led us to focus on the Philippines."
"The experienced management, team, and track record of FunGuy Studio provided the perfect platform we need to invest in growth infrastructure,” he said. — TJD, GMA News