Turku, Finland based TicBits has been growing steadily since we last covered the release if iAssociate 2, their popular word association game. Their team has grown to nine employees without any outside funding, and today announces the release of another title, Cruel Jewels.
The new game can be described as a match-three game with a twist. The evil villain Leonard St. Vile has challenged you to a game alternating between three different modes: regular, timed and versus. The versus mode is where it gets interesting with you taking turns in order to do damage to the opponent.
Unlike many game studios that try to test out new and innovative game concepts off the bat, TicBits decided to build a userbase by publishing game concepts that are already popular. The first game after iAssociate 2 was "Sudoku :)" with "Minesweeper", "Solitaire :)", "Mahjong :)" and "FreeCell :)" following.
Niklas Wahrman, CTO and co-founder of TicBits tells us, "Many start their game companies by trying to make the next Angry Birds, they spend a lot of money and time on a game and fail because the game didn't get traction (or simply wasn't good enough). Our plan was to build up a user-base first before taking risks with new concepts."
In total, the company has seen nearly 5 million downloads, with monetization coming in through ads and in-app purchases.
For the future, TicBits has a few games in the making that fall into the category of "popular game concepts," but the company says they've also started development on some bigger, more original games.
TicBits has seen most of their success come through iAssociate 2, but really only on the iPhone. A Facebook version was also released, as well as an Android release, but after trying those markets the company has decided to stick with iOS for the time being.