Dave Cox resigned from Konami last year after 17 years and just announced his move to mobile game development. He has joined the UK-based studio, Fish in a Bottle, which has worked with Activision, Nickelodeon, and Disney in the past.
Cox will reportedly be leading development of companion apps for AAA titles. “It’s all about adding value to existing AAA properties by extending them into new areas such as companion apps. Basically helping publishers and developers maximize the spread of their brands.” No specific projects were named.
In regards to the value of companion apps in today’s games industry, Cox explained, “The lines that have divided gaming are really blurred now and players aren’t tied to just one device anymore. Also, the assumption that core gamers just want core game experiences is wrong. It’s not that exclusive, gamers want different kinds of experiences at different times. They can be casual gamers too, and they want to play at home, on the go, wherever they happen to be really. The team here sees that as the big opportunity to extend core game brands.”
Cox pointed to Hitman Go and Fallout Shelter as examples of strong companion apps to core games. “This type of content is no longer an afterthought but a great way to extend your brand and create compelling content. I’m also interested in looking at bringing traditional toys and games to digital where I think you can reach audiences you could never reach with physical games alone. I’m impressed by the success of digital collectible trading card games like Hearthstone right now,” Cox noted.
It’s unclear exactly what type of apps we could be seeing from Fish in a Bottle. We see examples of developers taking advantage of an IP, but not directly relating the experience to the AAA title as with Fallout Shelter. We also see directly interacting apps as with the announced Pip-Boy app that players can directly integrate with their Fallout 4 experience, which I find a much more interesting use of multiple devices. Let us know in the comments what types of companion apps you are hoping for!