The “car” and “racing” genre is heavily catered for in the Flash gaming space. But it’s also large enough that there are companies dedicated just to producing these sorts of games. MojoCreatives is one such company and in this short interview I caught up with their CEO Michael Ojo about this unique space in the gaming spectrum:
What got you into car games?
“I got into the whole online gaming gig back in 2007. It was just something I stumbled upon really. I had enjoyed playing Flash games online and figured why not make my own? I’m a total car / auto fanatic. And racing games are my favourite genre, so it made sense that I would try to make a game like this. I’m not a developer myself. I create the game idea, concepts and design style. We then use either our in-house coders or work with other studios such as IriySoft. My first game was called Crazy Mustang and was finished in December 2008. It was extremely popular with plays now in the tens of millions. Since then we’ve released another 11 car games.”
How do monetise your games?
“All our games are free to play but carry ads. We release them on our own sites (like ArcadeLot.com) and of course we’ll upload to the popular portals like Newgrounds and Kongregate. That alone helps the game get a decent exposure. And after this we’ll reach out to the top gaming portal owners. This is sometimes a daunting (and time consuming) process, but if your game is good it’s worth it in the long run. Right now we are gearing up to release at least one new game every month and some will be accompanied by mobile versions.”
What goes into making a car game?
“In the new car game we’ve just released we chose a different route by compiling several mini car-related games into one. We read a lot into our users statistics and know that the average user only spends about 5 minutes per game. So we felt safe taking this approach. This way they get to play a variety of smaller car games in one hit. Mini-games include car washing, parking, painting, cone racing and professional (timed) versions of washing and parking.”
It’s amazing that people are happy playing games that are as much to do with caring for a car, as they are racing them.
“Yes, the most common car games you will find online today are the two dimensional track riding games like Crazy Mustang. When we launched Crazy Mustang it was a real hit, and we thought about making our new game a sequel. But instead we chose simple games that the player will spend a short break playing. Originally the concept of the game was supposed to tell a long story: The player buys a car from a dealer. They take it to the body shop for had it customised. Then to a car wash for cleaning and details and finally go on a driving course, and so on. Instead we ended up taking 3 main concepts from this story line and merged them into one single title.”
“The car washing game has the simplest concept. Think of it like using a paint brush in a tool like Photoshop. It’s the same in our games, except you’re moving a sponge around cleaning dirt away. The more you move, the more we alpha out the dirt layer!”
It doesn’t sound too dissimilar to “pet” care games on girls sites (groom, wash, play).
“This may surprise you, but we estimate that almost 70% of our players are female.”
That certainly explains the “nurturing” part! Don’t you ever get bored producing car games?
“I don’t think we can ever get bored with car games! For one this is our main niche and we know there is a high demand for car oriented games. Yes we are currently working on other game styles including shooting and stunt bikes Stay tuned for release dates. We’ll also look at using Stage3D if it fits our needs and concepts in the future.”
I find it fascinating that such a rich ecosystem exists around what is a very specific sub-genre of game. It doesn’t feel that much different from other niche areas such as Match-3, Pet Care or Hidden Object. It’s just nice to know that if you do find your speciality, the Flash gaming world is large enough to support you in that. And if you’ve written a “car care” or racing game then it might be worth dropping MojoCreatives a line to see if they’ll license your game from you.
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