Michael Acton Smith admits that the online game for kids was late to the party, but has big plans
UK firm Mind Candy's Moshi Monsters online game has been a huge success with its pre-teen audience, attracting more than 50 milion registered users and spawning a host of physical products. But what about mobile?
CEO Michael Acton Smith said today at the Evolve conference in Brighton that while Moshi Monsters so far as only one app - Moshi MouthOff - more will be on the way in the coming months.
"We've thought long and hard about this, as we're a bit late to the mobile side of things," he said. "We have one app, which is okay, but we would definitely like to do more. But we don't want to just replicate the online experience on a tablet or an iPhone."
Smith said Mind Candy is keen to avoid the common mistake that entertainment brands make when taking their IP into new areas, which is to simply try to replicate what they have already on other platforms.
"When we look at mobile, it's how can we take our characters and stories and what resonates with our audience, and apply a new experience to it. So on mobile, we'll maybe create multiple apps and see which ones work: maybe some educational ones, video ones, some fun games and experiment in that way."
Smith also praised mobile developer Rovio Mobile for what it has done with Angry Birds. "I think what Rovio has done with Angry Birds is very very impressive, I like the way they're trying to take that brand off the mobile and make it live elsewhere."
Like Rovio, Smith has big ambitions for his company's brand in the general scheme of things. "We've realised there's this whole enormous world outside: toys, magazines, books, films and so on. We now see ourselves as a new type of entertainment brand," he said.
"There were several in the past: I grew up with Star Wars, Harry Potter has done very well, and Disney do it well with things like Mickey Mouse and the Lion King. But with the internet, this new generation of kids expect something different from their entertainment. We're one of the first companies to understand what that might be, but we're still in the early stages."