Through a recent partnership with producer and retailer of designer toys, Kidrobot, Seriously has set its sails to enter the toy merchandise market with its Best Fiends franchise.
It is only weeks ago that news broke about an Apple Watch edition of the Best Fiends smartphone hit-game, set to be released along with the Apple Watch launch on the 24th of April.
But now it seems that Seriously is ready to enter the toy franchise market, starting at San Diego Comi-Con in July. As Seriously CEO and co-founder, Andrew Stalbow, states in a blog post following the news, “We’ve been careful not to rush consumer products for Best Fiends, but now feels like the right time to do something collectible given the growth of our audience.”.
The growth that Stalbow refers to has been quite astonishing, and the young company already keeps more than 1,300,000 daily players glued to their smartphone screens. And not only for a few minutes; those 1.3 million players spent on average 30 minutes playing the Best Fiends game each day.
With a quick rate of growth and now with the move into the toy franchise market, it is easy to draw lines between the young studio and Rovio’s strategy for Angry Birds years back. And as Andrew Stalbow explains, parts of the 24-man team working at Seriously have indeed moved over from other properties such as Angry Birds, including Andrew Stalbow himself who were the previous head of Strategic Partnerships at Rovio before founding Seriously in August of 2013.
“We are lucky to have a talented team at Seriously with backgrounds working on properties such as Angry Birds, The Simpsons and Clumsy Ninja, and want to take all the experiences we have had to build out the Best Fiends property.”
The toy franchise market is often a synonym with supply chain nightmares and cut into the profit margins. Especially for young companies who are moving into the toy franchise for the first time.
However, the Best Fiends franchise is rapidly expanding, and the goal right now seems to be to build a strong foundation for the franchise by partnering with the right companies, despite the initial costs involved.
“Right now, we’re building foundations for the Best Fiends brand, and are focused on partnering with companies that add value to our overall proposition”, Andrew Stalbow says to Nordic Game Bits.
While recognizing that there may be large costs involved with moving the Best Fiends franchise into the toy’s market, over time, Stalbow feels confident that the toy franchise can provide a stable revenue stream for the company.
“In time, we think that consumer products can be a great revenue stream for us, and we want to take a leadership position on how we align the content experience with the way we offer products through mobile.”
Apart from the move into the toy market, Seriously also revealed last week that it is partnering with Korean publisher Incross, a publisher that focuses purely on bringing western games to the Korean market.
The decision to enter Korea comes as no surprise as the Best Fiends game saw early success in Asia right from the start, with China being the biggest market by downloads.
“Right now, we are focused on building out the Best Fiends brand in an organic way through strategic partnerships not only with consumer product brands like Kidrobot, but also as we expand our distribution reach such as with our recent partnership with Incross to localize Best Fiends for Korea.”, Stalbow concludes.