Parallel Kingdom: 70,000 users for location-based game

Parallel Kingdom: 70,000 users for location-based game
Among the thousands of games that can be found on the Apple App Store location-based gaming is a very small part today. There are nevertheless many innovations taking place in this area and more and more boutique development companies created for that purpose. One of the active companies in this field is PerBlue Inc, a mobile development start-up which created Parallel Kingdom (PK), a location-enabled role playing game where the world - actually Google Map - is the gameboard.
GPS Business News interviewed with Justin Beck, CEO and President at PerBlue, Inc. and his vice president of marketing, Andy Gilbertson.

GPS Business News: Can you tell me a few words about your company and how you got started?
Andy Gilbertson:
We are based in Madison, WI. The company was started in January 2009 but we started developing our flagship game, Parallel Kingdom, in January 2008. The first version was released in October 2008 and we've been steadily gaining players and improving the game ever since. The game is on its second major version and currently we have over 70,000 players.

About our company, PerBlue, we have seven more or less full-time and then another eight that we use part-time. Right now, we define our type of business as mobile applications. We have developed several other applications for the iPhone and Android platforms but our most successful remains Parallel Kingdom.

Justin Beck: our vision is to build a mobile software company that can build competitive games that change up the space. Parallel Kingdom is our first cut at this.

Parallel Kingdom: 70,000 users for location-based game
GPS BN: let’s get a bit into the details, what is exactly Parallel Kingdom and how it works?
AG: Parallel Kingdom is downloaded for free through the iTunes App Store or the Android Market. In many respects it is similar to a typical role-playing game - your character walks around, slays monsters, collects gold and other resources, constructs buildings, and claims territory while also getting stronger and acquiring skills.

After you download the game, Parallel Kingdom uses your phone's GPS capabilities to find out your actual location. Your character is then placed on a Google Map gameboard at your location and that is where you start your game career. We know that most people don't want to actually walk around while playing the game though, so we give them a radius of about a 1/2 mile that their character can move around just by tapping on the screen. In this respect, we feel that we've struck a good balance between making the most of the location-based aspects of the game while also allowing the players to play in their home, at a cafe, or while sitting down waiting for the bus.

You can also send invites to your friends, so if you know someone in Japan or Spain, he or she can come and visit you with the push of a button. Then you can hunt together or attack other player's territories as a group. You can also chat globally with all the other players to organize hunting parties, trade resources, or just socialize. We've seen some really strong, enduring friendships form in Parallel Kingdom, and we think that's a great sign of the commitment and enthusiasm of our players.

JB: Parallel Kingdom is a combination, persistent RPG + strategy game, all with a very cool location twist and accessible from the palm of your hand. It can be played multi-player or single player. It is a casual game with a good deal of depth, enough to entertain players for months of continual game development.


Friday, September 25th 2009

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