It’s the two year anniversary of Doodle Jump hitting the iOS App Store, so we hopped on the phone with one half of the team behind the app, Igor Pusenjak.The $0.99 game has been downloaded 10 million times in 2 years on iPhone and Android, which means it’s generated around $7 million in sales after Apple and Google get their cut.
The app is seeing around 500,000 downloads per month on iPhone, which is way up on a year over year basis. As of this writing, Doodle Jump is number 11 in the paid app listings for iPhone/iPod Touch.
Pusenjak built Doodle Jump with his brother Marko for their app company Lima Sky. With just two employees, it’s safe to assume Lima Sky is a very profitable operation.
To celebrate its 2-year anniversary, Pusenjak says Doodle Jump is getting an update that adds multiplayer features. He also says we can expect Doodle Jump plush toys in addition to the Doodle Jump notepads you can already buy. Neither of those are money makers, they’re just to extend the brand further.
Here’s a lightly edited transcript of our talk with Pusenjak.
Business Insider: Angry Birds parent company Rovio just raised a fat round. Are you getting venture capitalist interest?
Igor Pusenjak: We have VCs coming in all the time. We are very profitable, we haven’t heard an offer that would make sense for us. What I mean by that is, no one has really come through with a plan that would be appealing and not require us to give up our ownership for capital that we don’t need. A lot of VCs are coming with offers like “tell me what you need” instead of, “here’s what I can offer and here’s why.” I don’t need anything.
BI: Doodle Jump is Lima Sky’s biggest hit, and really the only game you’re putting resources towards. Are you worried about being a one hit wonder?
IP: When people talk about Doodle Jump, they tend to see parallels to the film industry, but Doodle Jump is more like a TV show. Look at Friends or Lost, it’s the same show, they just keep adding content. At some point, the show ends. We’ll see if that happens with Doodle Jump. You also have things like 90210 or Charlie’s Angels. They did the original version of the show, then another take later on.
That’s the metaphor and business model. Rather than making new films, we’re adding content to a core show.
We’re working on a new Doodle Jump centered on multiplayer competition. Extending the metaphor, think about the original Doodle Jump as Cheers. This new game is Frasier. We take some parts that work well and develop them.
BI: When do we get Doodle Jump on iPad?
IP: That’s a big disadvantage of being so small. We can’t do it all. We want to do a different version. We don’t want to just make a bigger version. We’re working on it, we just started with another programmer. The idea of the game is still same, but the graphics are tailored and some new components. Made to feel for iPad and big screen. If you look at the Christmas special, it’s sort of in that direction.
BI: When you started Doodle Jump, you licensed the rights to make the game for non-iPhone platforms to Game House. Do you regret that?
A deal like we have with Game House helps us to be on all those other devices without spreading ourselves too thin. The situation is very different than two years ago, in terms of how big those devices are. Android was very small. The others were only accessible through carriers. Game House had been working with carriers for a long time.
So, at time it was a good decision, but today I’d make a different decision.
BI: Game House deals with Android mostly for you, but what do you think of Google’s store? What do you think of the payment system they have?
IP: Android payment system is very bad — And you can quote me on that for sure.
BI: What do you think of Amazon’s Android store?
IP: I’m really excited about that. One of Apple’s advantages is that it has all those people’s credit card accounts. I’m sure you’re like me, and you’ll buy things from Amazon because you don’t have to type in your info every time. Amazon could do a lot for Android with one click purchases.
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