Tsumanga: New Studio, New License, New Market

tsumanga logoTsumanga is a brand new game studio based in Glasgow.  The company has been founded by Graeme Harvey and Elias Moubayed formerly of Huzutech.

Tsumanga is focused on the creation of social and online massively-multiplayer games aimed at a younger audience of kids, tweens and teens.

The company has signed a deal with Italy’s Rainbow to create an interactive online world for girls aged 7 – 10 based on the best-selling Winx Club intellectual property.

Winx Club Logo 3DWinx Club is one of the world’s leading brands for a younger female audience.  The original cartoon series is about to hit its fifth season has become a licensing phenomenon, with feature films, DVDs, toys, books and clothing and videogames now available.

It may seem an unusual choice for a developer to focus on an area which is so far from what’s perceived as the ‘mainstream’ games market, but for CEO Graeme Harvey, the fact that it’s an audience which doesn’t get any recognition, is a major reason for the company’s focus.

photoIn an exclusive interview with GamesIndustry.biz, he said:

It’s a market which is neglected by almost everyone in the games industry.  Thanks to the explosive growth in new platforms such as smartphones, tablets and browser-based games, it’s a lot easier to hit these different audiences and create new experiences for the sort of players who have been almost entirely ignored by the mainstream games sector.  Younger female players are very social and communicative, if they enjoy something – a toy, a brand or a game, then they’ll tell their friends and they’ll put a lot of time and effort into their activity.  You’ve only got to look at the success of Winx Club to date, with the cartoons, toys, merchandise and experiences like the theme park to see that this is an audience which is craving new experiences.

The games industry has been mainly focused on the teenage boy demographic for decades now.  Despite evidence that outside the console market, the vast majority of gamers are female and over the age of 35, the types of product hitting the market continue to focus on this increasingly niche audience.  It leaves huge gaps in the overall global audience and means that for any player who doesn’t appreciate or want the usual genres of game, there’s very little out there.
 
We’ve been working with some experts – psychologists, sociologists and so forth, to make sure we understand exactly what the younger female audience is after.  Collaboration, creativity, communication, socialising are all very important elements to the sort of female players we’re looking at.  A lot of which is a million miles from the more competitive and destructive aspects of the current console market.  
 
Gaming is getting more and more ubiquitous.  Devices which puts games into the hands of everyone, from infants through to grand parents and the most cynical games averse skeptic, yet so few companies are looking beyond games which they themselves would play.  2013 is going to be milestone for this as markets get more saturated and developers realise they’re going to have to follow the audiences which are out there.  That’s going to be an invaluable lesson for the industry as a whole and will prove a significant step forward for us all in the long term.

The first Winx Club app is due to be released in Spring 2013, with the full virtual world due in the Autumn.

Tsumanga Winx ClubWe’re delighted to welcome Tsumanga to the Scottish Games Network.  They’re currently recruiting for staff to help build their new titles.  Check the company’s website for more information.  Alternatively you can find them on Facebook, follow them on Twitter or of course, marvel at their inclusion in the compendium of righteous lore which is the Scottish Games Company Directory.

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