A Thinking Ape Entertainment Ltd. is a Vancouver company that builds mobile games with amazing online communities. We spoke with Kenshi Arasaki, CEO, to find out more about them.
What is your business called and what does it do?
A Thinking Ape Entertainment Ltd.
We build mobile games with amazing online communities. We like to design games that promote emergent behaviour: relatively simple game mechanics on their own but when paired with chat and other people form complex social interactions. Folks in our games have gotten married. Whole groups have gone to Disneyland together. They’ve even rallied to donate to disaster relief. Our communities are strong and vibrant; our flagship game Party In My Dorm is over 10yrs old and still growing.
What made you want to do this work?
Because we design our games to have strong communities within them, you get an incredible experience that we couldn’t have predicted in our games. There are alliances, strong rivalries, subterfuge, love, laughter, and importantly, a place to hang out with your friends. For us it’s not just about making games – building communities is a very human thing.
What problem did you want to solve with the business?
It turns out that games are the perfect vehicle for connecting people online. It gives them a reason to interact with each other. When people are logging in to hang out with their friends (and not just to play the game) then you get really great long-term retention and monetization, which makes for a wonderful long-term business.
Who are your clientele/demographics?
We cater to several different audiences. Our audience for games such as Kingdoms of Heckfire identify as midcore/strategy gamers, while the audience for Party In My Dorm is quite diverse. In fact, the Apple App Store celebrated the game for its efforts on promoting Diversity and Inclusion. We’ve had many events celebrating LBGTQ+ and non-binary players.
How does your business make money? How does it work?
We primarily monetize through in-app purchases.
Where in the city can we find your profession?
We are a remote-first company, with our head office located in Vancouver, BC. Our games are downloadable in any app store and are accessible to millions of players all over the world.
What is the best question a prospective customer could ask a member of your profession when comparing services? Give the answer as well.
Why would I want to play your game? Well, you would want to play our games if you’re looking for a community to join that you’ll have fun playing with. You’ll make friends and enemies, and our games have real strategy.
What is the best part about what you do? What is the worst part?
The best part is seeing these new player communities grow and thrive, especially when they do unexpected things, such as forming a new strategy we didn’t think of.
The worst part is also when they do unexpected things, such as trying to use bots in one of our old games to gain an advantage (it didn’t work because we have relatively sophisticated anti-bot systems in place).
Where can we follow you?
Feel free to connect with me via LinkedIn!
PAY IT FORWARD: What is another local business that you love?
Our friends at IUGO and East Side Games!