Developer Spotlight: Lucky Kat Studios Brings Celebrity Internet Cats to Mobile

LuckyKatStudios_DeveloperSpotlight_Leadbolt

It’s no secret that cat videos have taken over the internet, but one new app development studio has plans for feline domination across mobile. We had a chat with the guys at Lucky Kat Studios to learn how their Nom Cat game is quickly rising to the top of the app store charts and hear what fuels their passion for making every pixel puuurfect.

Pictured: Herdjie Zhou, Hernan Zhou, Jasper Boerstra

Pictured: Herdjie Zhou, Hernan Zhou, Jasper Boerstra

Where do you call home and how big is your company/team?  

We are from The Hague, the Netherlands. The team consist of 2 people at the moment: me and my brother, Hernan (game developer).

What’s the development scene like in Holland?  Is there a strong community of people and resources?

There are a few game studios in the Netherlands. The government is heavily stimulating the game development scene and takes Finland as an example.

What drives your creativity at Lucky Kat Studios?

Nothing gets us more excited seeing retro visuals taking us back to our childhood memories. We started Lucky Kat Studios from our passion to create premium pixel art games. Translating pixel per pixel into a challenging, but still, easy-to-understand and fun mobile experience. Aiming to make retro the present future.

The Lucky Kat at is both charming and odd, what was the inspiration for the cat’s unique look?

We are heavily inspired by Japanese cartoons. So, we started with some sketches:

Early character sketches from Lucky Kat Studios

Early character sketches from Lucky Kat Studios

 

In the end we decided to go for the funniest and iconic looking cat!

Lucky Kat Studios LogoCan you share a little of your professional history and background?

My brother Hernan has been creating games since he got his hands on a computer. I think he was about 10 years old. On his 18th birthday I give him an iPhone 4 saying: “this is the future, go create games for this device”. He’s been trying ever since, but, unfortunately never had any big success.

In the end of 2014 I ended up in the hospital after having a near death experience. In the hospital I began talking to Hernan about how we could work together. In the past years I have set up several businesses which have been pretty successful. It made sense to team up together now. We started brainstorming and ended up thinking to create an arcade game with cats. That’s how we came up with Nom Cat.

We are so proud to be working together and doing what we love to do, Hernan: developing games, me: running the business side. Nom Cat has been a great success with 1.5 million downloads within one month. We were featured worldwide by Apple, Amazon and soon Google.

It’s a dream come true.

Tell us more about your game, Nom Cat.  What triggered/inspired the creation of your app?

We wanted to create an arcade game based on pixel art. Open the app and you start right away, just like the old days. It needed to be simple and challenging like Flappy Bird.

Who plays Nom Cat?

It’s mostly teenagers and animal lovers. Most users come from iOS and our top 3 at this moment is: China, US, Russia.

What’s the highest score so far – the score to beat?

I think it’s around 900.

What is different or unique about Nom Cat game?

Famous cats have taken over the internet but not yet the App Store.

What has been the most effective method for getting your game, Nom Cat, discovered by users?

Nom Cat includes all celebrity internet cats like Grumpy Cat®, Nyan Cat®, Keyboard Cat® etc. The cats have a total reach of more than 15 million people spread across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Closing partnership deals and co-promotion on social media channels has been a huge boost for us.

Any major app development or marketing challenges so far?

The biggest challenge was to convince the celebrity cat owners and close partnership deals with them. We started in February 2015 as a company. No one knows about Lucky Kat. We had to prove ourselves, and the only way was to build a kick-ass product. Eventually they loved it, and came aboard.

How do you go about getting your app discovered by new users?

There’s a lot of word of mouth going on about our app, especially among cat lovers. On Instagram we see people post about the app and tagging friends to join. So it pretty much sells itself.

How does your app generate revenue?

Mainly through advertisement.

If you could offer one piece of advice or life-lesson to developers starting out, what would you tell them?

It’s never too late start a business. And when you start: never give up!

What’s next for Lucky Kat Studios?  Can you let the cat out of the bag? (Sorry, we couldn’t resist.)

We are working with several other studios to publish their games. We only concentrate on high quality pixel art games!

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MarketingDeveloper Spotlight: Lucky Kat Studios Brings Celebrity Internet Cats to Mobile