Indie game publisher and developer TinyBuild said that its Hello Neighbor cross-platform game has hit 30 million downloads.
The Seattle-based company has also sold two million books based on the franchise. First launched in 2017, Hello Neighbor is now available on the Windows PC, Xbox One, PS4, Nintendo Switch, Android, and iOS.
The success of the original horror video game was followed by both a prequel (Hello Neighbor: Hide and Seek) and a multiplayer spin-off (Secret Neighbor). The game’s audience consists mainly of children eight years old to 16 years old, mainly in the U.S., China, Russia, Germany, France, and South America.
TinyBuild’s book business generated $16 million of book sales. And that has helped TinyBuild grow to more than 150 employees in four locations.
Looking at game data from the Hello Neighbor franchise, TinyBuild CEO Alex Nichiporchik said in a statement that the current trend of the video game market is not in favor of publishers. To succeed, he said, a publisher needs to be more creative and focus on building long-lasting intellectual properties.
Above: TinyBuild’s Hello Neighbor hit has become a franchise.
“Indie publishing is dead,” said Nichiporchik. “It stopped being a sustainable business model the minute the number of mid-size publishers exceeded the number of good games being developed. Instead of focusing on one-off publishing deals, it’s better to build strong and entertaining brands. That means a large in-house development infrastructure that can support both internal games and external studios.”
Nichiporchik also said that it is important to keep your audience in mind. Early review impressions from critics were far from perfect, but understanding the game’s audience made the next steps forward more clear. Kids playing were enjoying the title, regardless of reviews. TinyBuild used that knowledge and launched a book series by children’s author Carly Anne West.
Dynamic Pixels created the game and TinyBuild published it. The goal of the game is to sneak into your neighbor’s house, successfully get to the basement and uncover a secret. Hello Neighbor’s gameplay features procedural artificial intelligence. A kid playing a game competes against the neighbor (operated by an AI algorithm). The AI remembers the paths which the player used in previous attempts and modifies the neighbor’s actions accordingly.
Nichiporchik and Tom Brien cofounded TinyBuild in 2011.
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