The slogan of TeaMobi is “enjoy everywhere” and this truly mobile-first point of view has helped the company achieve great success with its online social game, Avatar World.
Based in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, TeaMobi was started five years ago by three friends and business partners (pictured below). Today, the company employs more than 40 people, and its hit app has more than 10 million registered users and averages 2.6 million users that come to play every day – the majority of those players being from Vietnam.
The founders of TeaMobi, from left to right: Minh Nguyen, General Director; Nhat Nguyen, Sale Director; and Lam Vo, Technical Director
But the company has big plans for global expansion, and it is using its Java-based games to build in roads in many more countries.
This new Nokia Developer video will give you an inside look at the team that made Avatar World a reality:
Meeting the needs of Java-hungry gamers
“The game [Avatar World] took them the better part of a year to develop,” says TeaMobi’s marketing director, Scott Brewer. They initially started with offline games, and as the technology changed and the phones continued to get better, they realized the potential of online games is where mobile gaming is going, and they developed games that fit this formula and have been very successful with it.”
At the same time, the company also recognized the role that Java could play. According to Scott, four years ago in Vietnam, 95 percent of the market was Java-based.
“The key feature that these guys had come up with, is that they had found a way to develop one platform and it would allow them to play on all of the feature phones at that time,” he said. And that trend has continued as the majority of their game players are still using the Java platform, which is compatible with feature phones like the Nokia Asha range.
Avatar World and the future of gaming
Avatar World, which was a top 10 global finalist in Nokia’s “Create 4 Millions” contest, combines elements of online gaming with social functions, such as instant messaging, so users can chat with their friends from inside the app. And unlike competing apps that may have a gateway, and require you to pay before you can even begin, Avatar World is free to join and use the service.
“Once you have your account and you come in, you can play for free, which basically allows us to reach everyone in Vietnam,” says Scott.
Avatar World uses a “Freemium” model, so you can go and enjoy most of the features with your friends at no cost. “But you will also find various shops, so if you want purple hair or if you want to have the latest stylish clothes, those will be there for you,” says Scott. “There are also lots of little games that you can play, like games of Chance, so that gives you the chance to win special or exclusive items.”
TeaMobi is taking Avatar World on tour globally
“With the Nokia Store we can now reach young people in 100 different countries, which is just incredible to think about,” says Scott. The team at TeaMobi has seen a surge with users interacting in their native language after the app was localized in English (the original app was only in Vietnamese).
The second game that TeaMobi published in Nokia Store is called “Ninja School.” It’s an offline game and the company is using it as part of their testing before launching Avatar World more widely in other markets.
And, don’t think TeaMobi is only looking at Asha phones. Both Avatar World (in Vietnamese) and Ninja School (at right) are available in the Windows Phone Store today.
Ninja School is TeaMobi’s best performing app globally, and it relies on Nokia In App Payment (NIAP) to generate new revenue streams outside of their core market. (More information about NIAP is available from Nokia Developer.)
One of their apps was recently selected as a finalist for AppCampus, and that will bring more of their work to Windows Phone users worldwide.