3 local game studios team up for crossover to bring joy to Singaporeans

SINGAPORE – 3 home-grown studios joined forces for the first time to launch a gaming crossover today (Oct 27).

Mighty Bear Games, BattleBrew Productions and The Gentlebros are behind the hit mobile games Butter Royale, BattleSky Brigade Harpooner and Cat Quest II respectively. These games are family-friendly and can be played on multiple devices.

In the crossover, players of one can unlock and use the characters and weapons from the other two. The crossover elements have no expiry date.

The studios are hoping to unite and uplift their spirits through gaming in these trying times.

The crossover idea was initiated by Mr Fadzuli Said, co-founder and chief technology officer of Mighty Bear Games, which launched food fight game Butter Royale in January this year.

“This year has been really tough for everybody because of the pandemic. People are stuck at home and some have lost loved ones,” says the 38-year-old, who adds that his father died this year due to a pre-existing heart condition.

“When I was younger, playing games with my sister was kind of an escape for us, so I wanted to share this good feeling with others.”

He roped in Singaporean fellow game developers and long-time friends Shawn Toh and Desmond Wong.

Mr Toh, 35, co-founder and chief executive officer of BattleBrew Productions, says: “We have known each other for years and I like them both personally and professionally. It is a good initiative, so why not?”

His company's shoot-'em-up game BattleSky Brigade Harpooner was released in September last year (2019).

Mr Wong, 32, co-founder and chief executive officer of The Gentlebros, which created Cat Quest II, shares the sentiment.

“We thought it would be great if we could do a collaboration to show that great games can come out from our small country,” he says.

After the collaboration was firmed up at the end of March, the trio tried to incorporate the elements of each other's games.

Mr Wong says: “For us, we already have an existing story (with Cat Quest II). So if we are going to do a crossover, we have to make sure the stuff that are crossing over make sense and fit into our story and style.”

Cat Quest II was first released in September last year on Apple Arcade before becoming available on some other platforms.

But that was the fun part, Mr Fadzuli notes. “I think the artists had a lot of fun, like just coming up with all sorts of ideas.”

While finding the right weapons or gameplay mechanics in other games to fit their own was a challenge, the biggest problem they faced was scheduling.

Mr Toh says: “Obviously, we all have different development speeds, goals, patch cycles and so on.”

The original launch date for the crossover was in August to coincide with National Day. But due to scheduling issues, it was delayed until now.

The common thing the three games share is that they are all on Apple Arcade, which means they can be played on iPhone, iPad, Macs and AppleTV. The Cupertino tech giant's gaming service comes with a monthly subscription of $6.98 after a one-month free trial.

However, the developers say Apple did not have any direct input in the collaboration, though it did give them its blessings.

The trio are open to the idea of teaming up again.

“We will see how it goes. It is a rather fluid process, but we are definitely open to it,” says Mr Toh.

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