The always insightful Inside Mobile Apps took a close look at the Outblaze app business, focusing on the blockbuster hit Pretty Pet Salon. 6 months after setting up Animoca (the app publishing business of Outblaze), the company has over 100 titles under its belt, 22 million downloads, and a profitable business that continues to produce exciting and innovative smartphone game titles. Read the feature by Inside Mobile Apps to learn more
It’s award time again! At a lavish gala dinner held at the JW Marriott last evening, Outblaze was honoured with the Outstanding Entrepreneurship Award at APEA 2011 in Hong Kong. APEA stands for the Asia Pacific Entrepreneurship Awards, an award scheme organized by Enterprise Asia to recognize companies and individuals across Asia who have shown strong performance, tenacity and success when developing businesses.
The Outstanding Entrepreneurship Award is presented to individuals who have demonstrated excellent entrepreneurial attributes, including the tenacity and perseverance to continue innovating, and who serve as role models for emerging entrepreneurs. It was presented to Yat Siu, the founder and CEO of Outblaze (and an incurable serial entrepreneur). This award scheme is a new one for us, and we are grateful to the organizers and judges for considering our humble efforts.
The evening was one of the best awards galas we’ve ever attended, with a delicious Chinese banquet, dancing girls, and entertainment that was actually entertaining – to give you an idea, the evening ended with the entire room forming a massive conga line. Of special note was the Woman Entrepreneur of the Year award, which went to the highly stylish Joyce Tsang of Modern Beauty Salon.
Here are some mobile phone photos while we wait for the professional images from the event organizers. The chaotic last two photos are the end result of the conga line that delivered us to the stage.
Outblaze was featured in TVB’s Pearl Report for an episode titled App, App and Away, which investigates the phenomenon of smartphone apps and looks at Hong Kong companies working in this field.
The episode will air again late tonight (Tuesday) and on Saturday at 12 noon. You can also watch the show online.
Outblaze world domination update:
The Outblaze companies have been busy producing apps and games for Apple’s App Store and this June we published our 100th app. We’re at 105 published apps on the App Store, to be precise (not counting Android, of course). Our experience with smartphone apps has taught us a lot about what succeeds, what users want, and how to monetize our products while ensuring they reach as wide an audience as possible. Outblaze titles are branded under various partner companies including Dream Cortex and Animoca.
To commemorate this significant milestone we would like to showcase a nifty little arcade puzzle game that’s been doing well, especially in Hong Kong.
Bubble Juggle is a free game app with optional premium upgrades. The game asks you to keep bubbles from floating to the bottom of the screen, and (be warned!) it is highly addictive. In Hong Kong, Bubble Juggle is steadily approaching dominion of the App Store with the following ranks as of June 17, 2011:
number 2 in Top Free iPhone Puzzle Apps
number 5 in Top Free iPhone Arcade Apps
number 9 in Top free iPhone Games Apps
number 15 in Top Free iPhone Apps
Below are screenshots showing current positions. Note the other Outblaze titles floating around in the top lists – for example, there are three Outblaze games in the Top 25 free like Bubble Juggle.
Do you have a significant other? Does s/he spend a lot of time alone? Does it involve a mobile/tablet device? If you’ve answered yes to all of the above, lights will go off that your partner is (gasp) cheating on you! But what if that’s not the case? No phone calls, no SMS. Instead, your partner sneaks off to play Pretty Pet Salon and secretly hides the fact that s/he is bathing his panda customer.
Pretty Pet Salon is available for both iOS and Android. Please see the game’s web site for more information.
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!