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App takes on Monster Truck proportions

Arts

A MOBILE app game is influencing the sport it set out to mimic.

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ODD Games launched its mobile app game “Monster Truck Destruction” in October 2012. The South Australian company now has more than 20 million downloads, reaching the top spot for racing titles in 107 countries including the United States, Canada, France, Germany and Japan, making it the most popular and realistic Monster Truck game available worldwide.

The free game features over 50 licensed Monster Trucks including BIGFOOT, USA-1, Rislone and Outback Thunda.

This year ODD Games licensed the game’s name and logo to US events company Apex Motorsports Promotions (AMP) – one of the largest monster truck promoters behind Monster Jam – to be used for a live tour.

In July, leading radio controlled vehicle manufacturer Traxxas became the title sponsor of the Monster Truck Destruction Tour, which includes 70 shows a year in 50 US states, Canada, Europe and Central America.

ODD Games Managing Director Ben Marsh said AMP approached his company about a possible licensing deal following the success of the app game.

“This is the first full financial year they’ve been using that name under licence from us so what we’re finding is happening with that is they are getting more sponsors on board and that is enabling us to look at those brands to see if there are any synergies,” he said.

“They’ve used the whole name, the logo and everything, which is pretty cool.

“It’s a really good link between the digital and physical and I don’t know of any other video games that are currently doing this within the sports genre.”

Marsh said he also believed the partnership had led to additional game downloads.

“Within the game we’re able to target people in a certain area for the live shows,” he said.

“For example, there’s a big show on in Texas on October 1 and 2 so what we’re able to do through our game is identify all the players in Texas and send them out an advertisement inviting them to buy tickets.

“We’re able to push players to go and see real live shows and in return when people are at the live shows they promote our games so that’s driving traffic back to us as well.

“We get an 8 per cent click through rate to the ticketing page, which is a pretty good conversion rate.”

Marsh incorporated ODD games with brothers David and Terry O’Donoghue (pictured above) in January 2012 after working up the idea in a garage in suburban Adelaide, the capital of South Australia.

They are working on a second game in the “mud and dirt” racing category.

“The reason why we focus on that is because the bitumen racing market is flooded and there’s AAA companies all fighting over that space,” Marsh said.

“But no one’s really satisfying the mud and dirt genre adequately and we think there’s a great opportunity for us to own that space.

“Going forward, we want people to think of ODD Games when they think of mud and dirt games.”

Marsh said Monster Truck Destruction was still being downloaded about 50,000 times a month.

Chillingo, the publisher of hit game Angry Birds, is their publisher on the iOS platform. The game is also available on Google Play, Microsoft Windows Store and is self-published for Android on Amazon.

“All those platforms have done really well. We’re now recognised as a top developer by Google so that gives us certain advantages in the marketplace,” Marsh said.

“As a game developer it’s about identifying who your target market is and how you’re going to satisfy their needs.

“If you’re trying to be that one developer trying to create the next Angry Birds your likelihood of success is going to be diminished greatly but if your game is very niche and has a good following then your chances of success are increased as long as you are able to deliver the needs and wants in an entertaining package that you can monetise to make a living out of.”

This is a Creative Commons story from The Lead South Australia, a news service providing stories about innovation in South Australia. Please feel free to use the story in any form of media. The story sources are linked in with the copy and all contacts are willing to talk further about the story.

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