State of Survival maker FunPlus is now a crossplatform business, and is set to launch a new flagship transmedia IP next year designed to become its own MCU or Star Wars universe.
FunPlus’ chief business officer Chris Petrovic told us that he sees FunPlus as entering its ‘third act’ – shifting its focus from being mobile-only out onto other platforms and media types.
He also explained why so many mobile game-makers are taking their business to other platforms: because Apple and Google aren’t doing enough to justify their 30% cut.
“To be pretty just blunt and straightforward I think a lot of the industry would embrace Google and Apple if they just reduced their fees,” he tells us. “I think it’s as simple and transactional as that. If they were able to reduce it to something that is more commensurate with the perceived and the actual value that they’re providing to the ecosystem that would be a great start.”
Of course, marketing is more difficult and more expensive now too – another problem entirely driven by platform policy. “And that’s not going to change anytime soon because of the IDFA issue,” Petrovic continues. “I think we’re a long way away from Google and Apple providing near equivalent replacements.”
“We’re kind of looking into tea leaves of the industry and seeing all of the existential headwinds and challenges that we’ve been facing and then also reflecting back on where we want to go as a company. It made sense for us to complete the virtuous loop and come back to PC and web.”
Petrovic says FunPlus has seen some “pretty material success” on PC already. “That has resulted in making a much more formalised edict for ourselves about no longer being a mobile only company,” he says. “We now think of ourselves as ‘mobile plus’.”
All projects going through the greenlight process now must have a PC or web component, and all of FunPlus’ existing mobile games will now be optimised for PC with a single sign-on system so players can take their progress to any platform.
State of Survival is also now on Steam, another way FunPlus is experimenting and gathering data outside of direct PC downloads.
FunPlus’ new Barcelona studio, led by King veteran Felipe Mata, is also relatively new, and was set up to create hybridcasual games. But potentially bigger than all of that is a new flagship IP.
FunPlus recently hired Assassin’s Creed veteran and Reflector co-founder Alexandre Amancio as its world-building and IP strategy boss. He is working with FunPlus’ California subsidiary Imagendary Studios as the “tip of the spear” for that new IP.
While the latter studio recently went through some layoffs, FunPlus told us that a core team remains and continues to be overseen by ex-Blizzard art lead Wei Wang. The new IP should break cover in the first half of next year, says Petrovic.
“Our vision statement is to be one of the top interactive entertainment companies in the world in the next 10 years,” he adds. “And that is driven by a belief that gaming is where the next big IP universe is going to come from.”