On Monday, June 6, 2011, Outblaze was featured in the South China Morning Post. The article may be found here (requires login). The Post looked at how Hong Kong-based Outblaze is a “pioneering IT company” that has evolved in recent years:
Founded in 1998, Outblaze in 2009 sold for an undisclosed amount its core online messaging and collaboration operations to International Business Machines Corp.
The business acquired by IBM from Outblaze offers hosted e-mail and collaboration services in 22 languages to more than 40 million users worldwide.
These assets in Cyberport have since been transformed into IBM’s first cloud-computing facility in Hong Kong.
Following the IBM deal, Outblaze has [pushed] for more projects in the online community market, including games, chats, message boards and blogs.
The Post asked us about the strategy and success of Outblaze:
Yat Siu, the founder and chief executive of privately held Outblaze, said the company had started “porting a whole bunch of our apps on the Android platform”, but remained “focused on furthering our apps business” on Apple.
“We need to maintain that focus,” Siu said. “At this point, we’re one of the biggest developers on the App Store worldwide. But if you drop the ball, you can easily be forgotten in this market.”
… Outblaze is the developer of the popular Pretty pet series of games that have been downloaded an estimated seven million times and achieved Top-10 ranking in dozens of markets on the App Store…
That mobile game franchise includes Pretty pet Salon, Pretty Pet Salon Seasons and Pretty Pet Tycoon. These are free to download and play from the App Store, with the option of buying premium upgrades through credit card transactions on the platform.
You can visit www.prettypetsalon.com for all your Pretty Pet needs. Yat Siu went on to talk about the broad spectrum of apps available:
“Our apps business has been doubling every month,” said Siu, without disclosing any figures. “We’re not just into games.”
Outblaze, for example, launched its multilingual Chinese horoscope application in January in time for the Lunar New Year. The application immediately became No 1 on the Hong Kong App Store early this year and reached either a top-five or top-10 ranking in other markets around the world.
You can read the entire article here if you have a SCMP.com membership.
We’re proud to announce the latest in our series of hit “Pretty Pet” iPhone games – Pretty Pet Tycoon!
Pretty Pet Tycoon is a strategy game that allows you to run your very own farm devoted to producing copious amounts of fruit!
Your goal is to harvest as much as you can and get your fruit shipped to market.
Pretty Pet Tycoon offers two more playable themes to spice up your farming life: Candy Factory and Juice Bar!
Fans of Pretty Pet Tycoon have already made it the Number 1 paid app in the Hong Kong iTunes app store. Pretty Pet Tycoon costs only US$1.99 and can be downloaded from iTunes stores worldwide (here’s the link for the Hong Kong store). If you loved Pretty Pet Salon and Pretty Pet Salon Seasons, we’re sure you’re gonna love this.
We’re proud to announce our fresh new app for fashion lovers: Dress to Impress lets you channel your inner fashion guru!
Recreate yourself and your friends as fun avatars that you can share via email and Facebook. Customize further by assigning your avatars to your contacts. Go on daily fashion trips using the “Impress” feature to earn Fashion Points.
Fashion Points can also be earned every time you upload to Facebook. Use these points to purchase items for your avatar.
Dress to Impress is free on the iTunes App store, and is available now for the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad! Download it now and have fun!
And be sure to check out the Facebook fan page for Dress to Impress!
We’re very excited about our latest iPhone game, Talking Zombies, and we’re not the only ones. Apple is currently featuring Talking Zombies as the #1 New and Noteworthy iPhone app in the Entertainment section of their App Store.
We released the game just a few days ago and the initial reviews have been great – all 5 star! Thanks to howiejai for his review in the iTunes store in which he writes, “A very innovative talking app!”
As you might expect from the name, the zombie will repeat whatever you say in a sinister, ghoulish voice. And the fun doesn’t stop there because you can interact with the zombie in a variety of ways. And that’s not all! Talking Zombies also includes a game mode in which you fight with the zombie, choosing from a selection of 21 different weapons.
You can gain weapons for free by amassing Zombie Points or if you’re in a hurry to do some damage, you can buy points. I can’t wait to attack the zombie with an electric guitar!
Talking Zombies is free to download and play and it’s compatible with the iPod Touch and the iPad as well as the iPhone. Check it out here (link is to the HK iTunes store) and let us know what you think!
The latest version of Pretty Pet Salon is taking the world by storm! Version 1.2 of this fun iPhone game was released just last week with a music player and an upgradeable sofa and people are loving it, giving it an average review of 4 stars. We’re thrilled that people are enjoying this free-to-play game all around the world. Right now Pretty Pet Salon is on iTunes’ top 10 grossing lists in 35 countries!
Currently, the game ranks #1 in Luxembourg, Macau, Czech Republic, Norway, Singapore, Taiwan, Malaysia, China, Vietnam, Latvia, the Philippines, Canada, Thailand, Armenia, Indonesia, United Arab Emirates, Hong Kong, Australia and Denmark.
And it’s not far behind in the rest of the world:
- #2 Saudi Arabia, Lebanon
- #3 United States, United Kingdom, Finland
- #4 Sweden
- #5 Japan, Kuwait, Austria
- #6 Russian Federation
- #7 Portugal
- #8 Venezuela, New Zealand
- #9 France
- #10 Ireland, Germany
Clearly, this is a game with no cultural boundaries.
Want to know who the celebrity guests are? Pretty Pet Salon is free to download and play so grab it from iTunes and find out!
The latest hit from Dream Cortex for the iPhone is Pretty Pet Salon!
Get ready to run a Pretty Pet Salon! This cute and engaging game lets you be a pet salon owner and earn money in your shop. Get prepared to serve two celebrity guests! They will visit your pet salon with surprises. This cute and exciting mini-game is sure to be hours of fun!
Version 1.1 was released yesterday and we’re thrilled to see that people love it as much as we do. Right now it’s the Number 1 Kids Game in the Hong Kong iTunes store, as well as the highest grossing kids game there. In the US, it’s currently the Number 5 kids game and also one of the top 100 downloaded apps. It’s also in the top 5 in Singapore, Malaysia, Taiwan …. the list goes on!
The latest version of Pretty Pet Salon has an average review rating of 4-1/2 stars in the US iTunes store. ichingfungi_s writes, “It is more addicting than expected, keeps going on to yield good stuff.” Unrealize is also “addicted” while Yorgi Bearus says it is “fun and am having hours of bedtime fun with it so far … recommended download!”
Pretty Pet Salon is a free download for iPhone and iPod Touch and is compatible with the iPad, so why not download it for yourself or your kids and try it right now?
In less than 10 days, people around the world will celebrate Chinese New Year and the arrival of the Year of the Rabbit. And we have another reason to celebrate – our Chinese Horoscope app for the iPad is now the #1 app in the Hong Kong iTunes store!
Chinese Horoscope HD is an astrology app that provides users with their daily fortunes as predicted by Master Edwin Ma – a professional and experienced Feng Shui & Astrology Consultant in Hong Kong. All predictions have been made according to ancient Chinese arts of prognostication.
This fun iPad application is free so go to the iTunes store and download it today! Don’t have an iPad? Then you can download this version for your iPhone. (The links are to the U.S. iTunes store.)
On Sunday January 23, 2011, Outblaze founder and CEO Yat Siu will attend Make A Difference (MaD) 2011 to give an intriguing speech at one of Hong Kong’s leading annual youth forums. MaD provides an international creative platform in which students and young adults can meet change makers and learn how they too can make a difference.
Yat Siu’s speech will focus on the importance of failure to entrepreneurs – how it is not really possible to succeed without first learning the valuable lessons picked up from a failing business, a flawed business model, a poorly executed idea, or any other reason why a venture might not succeed. What’s important, Yat will argue, is not to dwell on failure but to adapt and learn from the experience.
See Make A Difference’s web site for more information.
On Thursday 23rd December, 2010, Outblaze’s Group Operations Director, Peter Burton, is giving a keynote speech at the IEEE Games Innovation Conference at the City University of Hong Kong. The subject is Game Analytics and why it should matter to anyone in the field of gaming.
Game Analytics is crucial to the success of any online game because it provides a near real time feedback loop for game designers, engineers, marketers and game economists, enabling a much better understanding of user behavior and allowing continuous game improvements.
Peter will present a practical approach to implementing Game Analytics and share his best practices for generating the large volumes of relevant data that are needed in the operation of MMOGs and social network games.
Peter’s analytical approach is applied to all online games, apps, and social networking products that Outblaze works on. Titles include intellectual property behemoths such as Ben 10 Omniverse: Rise of Heroes and Hello Kitty Online.
The Games Innovation Conference was set up with the goal of establishing a platform for innovative research in game design and technologies and to make this multi-disciplinary subject area more accessible to researchers and practitioners from different disciplines in academia and industry. This is the second such event organized by the IEEE and follows in the footsteps of last year’s inaugural conference held at the Imperial College Conference Centre in London.
Dream Cortex launched two new Facebook applications last week – Fii-Creator and My Social Meter.
Fii is a virtual avatar customization Facebook Application. At Fii, you can create your very own personal, unique avatar. You can make your avatar look like you, or make it entirely different. It’s totally up to you! There is plenty of customization and a wide range of hairstyles, clothes, accessories and expressions to get the look that you want. Share your creations with your friends and invite them to make their very own Fii avatar!
Want to know how many “likes” your Facebook account has? Curious as to who among your friends have the most “likes” on your posts? My Social Meter allows you to see your “Social Meter”, by putting together the amount of “likes” that your friends made on your Facebook posts, such as status messages, photos, videos and links!
Try them both out and let us know what you think!