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With backing from Supercell, Papukaya is building mobile games targeted at folks who do not take into consideration themselves to be gamers. And in performing so, Papukaya hopes to redefine the which means of games for “mainstream audiences.”
Last year, Helsinki-based Papukaya raised $3.1 million from its fellow Finnish game maker Supercell, which generates billions of dollars in revenues from games such as Clash of Clans and Clash Royale.
The studio was began by Drussila Hollanda (who previously worked at Digital Chocolate, Rovio, Wooga, and Supercell) and Johannes Ahvenniemi (Rovio, Seriously). They have been joined by lead artist Saara Mäkinen (previously Rovio).
Hollanda is one of the uncommon folks who have worked at Supercell and moved on to do anything else. A veteran of 17 years in games, she is from Brazil initially. But she made her way to Finland to enable Supercell create casual games, at initial to work on the casual farming game Hay Day.
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Some of the later games Hollanda worked on didn’t make it out the door, as Supercell usually kills games that do not work out. And as Supercell’s focus stayed on core gaming, Hollanda decided to leave to start off her personal enterprise.
“I really love Supercell and the people in there,” Hollanda stated. “But because my passion has always been casual gaming and seeing the potential of these newer audiences, I wanted to focus on it. Even from 10 years ago, you could already see how mobile gaming was bringing so many new audiences into the fold.”
As she was leaving, Hollanda pitched the startup concept to Supercell, and they decided to fund it.
“I liked to see the kind of games played by people who don’t consider themselves gamers, and I decided the way to tackle it is not from within Supercell but actually starting a company from scratch,” Hollanda stated. “I pitched this to Supercell, and they agreed to give me funding.”
With Supercell’s backing, the studio is developing games for “a largely unserved market,” or these who do not determine as gamers. Hollanda stated in an interview that the possible for games is nevertheless large, as only 10% of time spent on smartphones is committed to gaming.
To create games that appeal to broader audiences, the studio draws inspiration from other types of entertainment such as books, motion pictures, social media apps, or actual-life hobbies. For their initial game, the studio is focusing on engaging players with positive feelings and exploring universal subjects and themes like relationships and wellbeing.
“Our industry often views the games market as made up of people who identify as gamers,” stated Jaakko Harlas, investment lead at Supercell. “In doing so, we’re turning a blind eye to the massive population of non-gamers who would play games — if only there were a company developing the right kind of games for them. Papukaya has set out to be that company and to redefine what people do for fun on their mobile devices. We can’t think of anyone better suited to pursue this opportunity than the uniquely qualified founding team of Papukaya.”
Papukaya is at the moment focused on market place investigation, narrowing down its target audience and developing its initial intellectual home. To energy its development, the studio is searching to employ a lead game designer and seasoned developers.
The which means of Papukaya
The name Papukaya is based on a Finnish word for parrot. And considering that Hollanda loved the various colors of parrots and the diversity that represented, she decided to name the enterprise following the word.
“For us, it has been very important for us to try something new,” she stated.
The funding will give the enterprise lots of time to prototype and understand and refine its games. And even though she is not providing away the concept for the game, she stated it will tackle universal feelings and positive subjects to enable folks escape and loosen up. The group has been searching at points such as interactive stories and sim games like The Sims and Animal Crossing.
The enterprise hopes to employ 12 to 15 folks.