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GoD Feature: 'Digital Chocolate CEO Trip Hawkins: Part Two'

In the second part of its two-part feature for Gamasutra sister mobile game news site, GamesOnDeck talks to Trip Hawkins, CEO of Digital Chocolate about the company
In the second part of its two-part feature for Gamasutra sister mobile game news site, GamesOnDeck talks to Trip Hawkins, CEO of Digital Chocolate about his company, its current line-up of software, and the unique aspects of the mobile games industry. In this excerpt, Hawkins discusses one of his company's mobile titles, Tornado Mania, which was given a 'perfect score' from consumer website IGN, and demonstrates how Hawkins and Digital Chocolate “think differently about gaming”: “Katamari Damacy was kind of an inspiration for us in realizing "yeah, ya know, why not be something like a tornado?" So of course there's the element of destruction, but there's a story line where it's all for a good purpose and you get this feeling of taking care of a city and taking care of the virtual people who live in it. So we've learned a lot about the user interface, the gameplay mechanics, the theming, and of course trying to present original ideas around that.” He also spoke later about Digital Chocolate's mobile dating sim, AvaPeeps, commenting on that game's rapid success: “We launched this thing on Boost Mobile which represents about 2% of all the handsets in the US, a small slice of the market. Within a couple days we had served over three million pages from our server. We had customers that were hyper dating, like one guy within a day or two had been on twenty eight dates with the same other avatar. They were at the top of the leader board. Speed dating was going on that we just didn't anticipate. The average player is sending twelve messages a day that are just custom messages they're sending in the game to other avatars. Within a week we started getting emails from people that had their avatars meet in that game and actually met and started dating in real life.” You can now read the full GamesOnDeck feature on the subject, with more from Hawkins on Digital Chocolate's line up of compelling mobile software, the reason behind his preference for original versus licensed content, and how he sees mobile gaming evolving over the next several years (no registration required, please feel free to link to this feature from external websites).

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