Disruptor Beam: We want to be the BioWare of mobile development

Game of Thrones: Ascent and Star Trek: Timelines studio expresses desire to move from licensed work to original IP
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Mobile studio Disruptor Beam has big ambitions.

The developer was founded in 2010 and released its first game, spin-off Game Thrones: Ascent, for browser in 2013, before moving the title to mobile a year later.

It released a second iOS and Android game, Star Trek: Timelines, based on the storied sci-fi franchise, at the start of this year.

Although the company’s success and foreseeable future will continue to mine the rich vein of licensed properties, founder and CEO Jon Radoff has now told Develop that he “wouldn't rule out” developing original IP – and that the trajectory of one of the games industry’s biggest studios is serving as an example.

“Someday, we'll have grown to the point where we have this network of fans who both like the individual games that we've created but also understand the kinds of games that we make, which are very story-based, social and hit these vertical themes and what-not,” he said.

“There are comparable examples, like when BioWare built triple-A games, they made Dungeons and Dragons, then a Star Wars game – they really built the first ten years of their business around very well-known IP and then they later added Mass Effect and some of these other games. They were able to do that because their customers started to understand what it meant to be a BioWare game. That took them many years to build.

“We're certainly trying to do the same thing in free-to-play mobile gaming, in that you'll see consistent themes in the products we created around things like story, collecting and socialisation with other players.

“Someday we may find other ways to take that game model and build our IP, but I'd say that's well into the future. Right now, where we're really focused is understanding some of the world's greatest IP – Game of Thrones, Star Trek – and then turning that into games that the fans really love.”

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With just a pair of games under its belt, Disruptor Beam has already worked with two of pop culture’s biggest brands. CEO Jon Radoff discusses moving from Game of Thrones to Star Trek, the benefit of building around verbs and boldly going where no mobile dev has gone before