Home Articles How Halfbrick ducked tag of one-hit wonder with Jetpack Jetride

How Halfbrick ducked tag of one-hit wonder with Jetpack Jetride


Many gaming startups spend a lot of time in quest of their first hit. But what of those trying to dodge the tag of one-hit wonders?

Rovio, maker of the stupendously popular Angry Birds, spent nearly two years with little else to show, until this week, when it came up with Amazing Alex, another blockbuster hit on Apple’s app store.

Australia’s own Halfbrick Studios got over that hurdle with greater ease, and perhaps, some flair, too.

In 2010, Halfbrick came up with the instant hit Fruit Ninja — CEO Shainiel Deo claimed he knew they were on to a good thing when his wife displayed early addiction to the game in which players slice through produce as the fruit flies faster and thicker. The iPhone game crossed 300 million downloads.

Non-stop hits!

That success didn’t weigh much on the Brisbane firm. Or so it seems, as it moved on quickly. About 18 months later, in the middle of 2011, it came up with Jetride Joypack, which received Apple’s own design award at the recent Worldwide Developer Conference in San Francisco.

Jetride Joypack, which has crossed 25 million downloads, won the award as one of the best games for the iPhone last year. Apple’s citation hailed Halfbrick for setting “new standards that inspire us all.”

“It’s a huge honour, and caps off an amazing month for Halfbrick. Just weeks ago we celebrated the two-year anniversary of Fruit Ninja with a national street tour,” said Halfbrick’s Chief Marketing Officer Phil Larsen.

“Most importantly, we’re showing the world what Australian ingenuity and creativity can achieve. We’re always working on great apps and games at Halfbrick, so stay tuned for lots more from us in 2012!” added Larsen.

Jetpack Joyride was designed by Luke Muscat and his team and includes Halfbrick’s lovable hero character Barry Steakfries.

Jetpack Joyride is considered super-addictive and works on simple, one-touch controls that are ideal for quick pick-up and play. Available only on iOS, Jetpack Joyride fully uses the features of iOS graphics and audio frameworks to enable fun graphics. Its most recent update optimises the game for the latest iPad with retina display on iPad and iPhone 4S.

Halfbrick Studios, founded in 2000 by Deo, initially focused on games for the Game Boy, Xbox and PlayStation platforms. The secret to developing a series of successful games has been Deo’s adopting Google’s 80-20 method of work, allowing employees a fifth of their time (Fridays) to work on projects of their own choice. Halfbrick’s other games include Raskulls and Monster Dash.