Last week, Cookie Run, one of the most popular mobile games in Korea, celebrated its first anniversary. The game has seen four consecutive quarters of outstanding revenue. Two months ago, the game was also released on LINE. Since this global release, Cookie Run had over 10 million downloads in Thailand alone, and the game continues to dominate in Asia, including Thailand, Japan, and Hong Kong. The game was developed by DEVSISTERS, a Korean studio founded in 2007 by Jihoon Lee, a Korean serial entrepreneur.
Living in the World of Cookie AWWWESOMEness Roberto Padilla is a concept artist from the USA with degrees in Communication and Communication Management from USC. Padilla has been a Concept Artist with DEVSISTERS since before the development of Cookie Run.
He recalls being thrilled to see people playing the game when Cookie Run first started getting recognition in Korea, and now he finds it commonplace, but it’s still exciting. When he was younger, this was something he could only dream about and many artists will never get to see this happen with their creations.
One day while waiting for bubble tea, he saw two characters he designed drawn onto post-it notes and posted to a post-it note filled wall. He said, “Wow, some kid out there really likes those two characters that I designed. It’s so rewarding to see that. Not only is this game a game (that) kids are carrying (these characters) outside the game and into their play life.” (Sic)
For him, working with the art team has been quite an experience. Padilla occasionally searches Twitter and news feeds for buzz about the game.
“The Cookie Run Facebook page (Thailand) is being constantly updated with user created content (i.e.) videos, drawings (and even) celebrities talking about Cookie Run…..Cookie is fitting well in to Thai Culture… maybe because social media and cute characters are really big in their culture,” said Padilla.
Before entering the art team’s office , the first thing you will notice the fan art on the wall from their fan festival.
It is clear that part of key to Cookie Run‘s 20 million downloads (10 million in Thailand) in two months on LINE and its global appeal is its characters. The characters create an experience for users and pre-users to engage in. Korean children are engaging with the characters through the toy 딱지, while young adults can battle it out during their weekend competitions.
Inside the art team’s office you’ll see this wall.
It’s a memento to the designers’ favourite characters. This wall reminds them that they want to create memorable and personal characters that Cookie Runplayers can relate to. Just liked they related to the characters on the wall. The artists aren’t just creating useless characters but they are crafting a unique experience for each user. They have created a world where anyone is free to interact and engage in.
The Cookie Run team plays on each other’s strengths and unique differences. Each gives equally heard feedback and suggestions. The input of each person has attributed to the success of the characters global reception. Once the producer tells them qualities to develop for, the artist in a way are developing an extension of their personalities. Working together, they are creating a world where anyone can have fun.
Leaving the World of Cookie AWWWESOMEness It is clear that the DEVSISTERS team is full of talent and never ending surprises. In the future it will be awesome to see where the Cookie Run game goes. The dream of the Co-CEO Jongheun Kim’s for this year is simple: “Achieve 100M happy global users by the end of the year.”
Cookie Run is well on its way to making that happen. I believe that the team is working toward becoming a historic name in the mobile gaming industry. But beyond numbers, I am anticipating the experience that the DEVSISTERS team will create for its users. The users of Cookie Run expect not only a high quality graphic interaction but a personal experience when they enter the The World of Cookie AWWESOMEness.
For further reference into the business aspect of DEVSISTERS and its game Cookie Run please reference this article.