“Zepto” is a maths term for the very tiny number 10-21, but for fraternal twins Semyon and Efim Voinov, it would become the name of their game company.
“We were a very, very small lab – just the two of us – so the name ‘ZeptoLab’ made sense,” Efim told us.
“It also sounded cool,” said Semyon.
ZeptoLab first made waves in 2010 with the release of its game Parachute Ninja, which was met in Apple’s App Store with modest success. In an effort to continue riding that success, the brothers got to work on the game that would become a resounding hit, Cut The Rope.
“We had a physics engine for making ropes that we didn’t use for Parachute Ninja, so we knew the next project needed ropes,” said Semyon. He handled the artwork while Efim wrote the code. They hired a freelancer to create music and design some levels. Before they knew it, they were submitting Cut The Rope to Apple and it was live in the App Store.
“We checked the charts every 30 minutes,” said Efim. “We entered in the two hundreds, but two days later we had the top position in the paid charts. The lite version had the top position in the free charts and Cut The Rope was the highest grossing game in 50 different countries. It was completely unexpected.”
“It felt absolutely unreal,” added Semyon. “It was stressful. We weren’t celebrating. How long would it last? A day? A week? A month?”
In order to stay on top, they knew they needed keep investing in the game to figure out how to handle all this new opportunity. The brothers brought a CEO on board to help. They found office space, hired employees, began work on an Android version of the game, and started an update to the iOS version.
Now ZeptoLab boasts over 60 employees, a number of games based on the original Cut The Rope (Cut The Rope Experiments, Cut The Rope Time Travel), comics, boardgames, and more. It seems like their success is lasting a bit more than a day, week, or month.
The ZeptoLab team was kind enough to invite us to their Moscow offices to show us where ropes are cut and games are designed.