Storm8, the studio best known for its mobile titles Dragon Story, Bakery Story, Bubble Mania and Kingdoms Live announced today that it is venturing into the publishing business with Storm8 Publishing.
Speaking to Polygon, Storm8 CEO Perry Tam said the studio has spent the past four and a half years making its own games. During this time, it amassed a player base of 50 million monthly active users, with at least five games consistently in 2013's top-grossing apps list. The studio intends to continue doing this. The move into publishing is a "strategic and important step for the company."
"Going into publishing is a very logical next step and also a very strategic next step for us."
"Going into publishing is a very logical next step and also a very strategic next step for us," Tam said. "By doing this, we can continue the exponential growth we've seen and, through this program, we're looking to work with promising developers worldwide and handpick the best games."
According to Tam, the core of the publishing program is based around discovering high-quality games and bringing them to Storm8's network. Tam explained that Storm8's approach to game development is quite different to other studios — it identifies a genre and tries to develop multiple hits for it. This is best illustrated by the studio's "Live" games like Racing Live and Pets Live, which are all role-playing games with different themes, or the "Story" series, which offer different takes on the management sim genre.
As Tam puts it, the studio doesn't try to make one-hit-wonders. It is quite methodical in its approach. The publishing program thus allows for greater diversity in the company's portfolio.
The first title Storm8 is helping launch under its publishing arm is War of Dragons, a game developed by Hong Kong-based studio Mad Head Limited and was originally released in Asia as Tower of Saviors. Tam said the appeal of the game was in its art style and in the way it leveraged the technology of its platform to create special effects. He said that Storm8's role as a publisher is to help developers polish their games and, in the case of War of Dragons, make them culturally appropriate for Western audiences.
"We believe that a lot of Eastern developers do not account for the cultural differences in different markets, so we think on that front we can help other developers understand the Western market," he said.
War of Dragons is available today.