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Director talks growth

Director magazine

Neon Play talk rapid growth

We felt very grown-up and serious this week when Neon Play was featured in Director magazine. They even said we were "Ones to Watch" and that our CEO was a "Rising Star". How we laughed.

Director magazine article on Neon Play/Oli Christie

If you didn’t know (and of course we did...) Director is a monthly magazine for company directors and important types. In fact they say it’s for “business leaders”. Nothing like us then really.

Director magazine Neon Play

So it was with a great flush of pride that the whole background and history of Neon Play and its occasional successes were talked about in the deadly impressive magazine.

If you want to read the full article (and you do), click here. Or the full article is below...written by Sarah Nicolas

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His company's apps are being downloaded 20,000 times a day—just eight months after he launched the firm

When Oli Christie, founder of mobile app developer Neon Play, saw vast sums of money being made from creating games for the iPhone, he wanted a slice of the action. Having spent the previous 11 years as creative director for two digital marketing agencies, he had made more than 200 branded games for clients including the BBC and Tesco.

"I knew how to make a great game so why not port my skills to the iPhone? I'd always wanted to do my own thing and here was a good opportunity to do it," says Christie.

The launch of Neon Play's first app, Flick Football, just before last year's World Cup couldn't have been better timed. The game went into the UK top 10 games chart, peaking at number eight. Its success has enabled the Cirencester-based company to grow, and it now employs 10 staff.

As well as creating its own products, Neon Play has secured deals to develop apps for licensed properties-children's fictional characters, for example. And it has recently launched iPhone apps by comedians Dom Joly, Armstrong and Miller, and Pub Landlord Al Murray.

Christie's next challenge is to get into the "fragmented" Android market. "It's easy to test [apps] on Apple's iPhone 3, iPhone 4 and the iPad but we can't afford to buy more than 300 different Android handsets," he explains. "But Android is a numbers game. It's so huge we've got to get into it so we are looking to port our most successful games to Android this year."

Revenue comes from a mix of client work (work for hire), paid-for apps and advertising space on free apps, which Christie believes is the next stage for developers. "We are now earning more from advertising on our apps than from the sales of our apps," he says.

Christie's plan is to "grow the company as fast as we can" and continue to work across different areas to find out which make the most money and which are the most enjoyable.

"It's tempting when you start out to take any job just to get a quick 20 grand in the bank, but it's not just about the dollar, you have to be true to yourself," he explains. "Now we've got some really good stuff under our belt people are approaching us for the very reason that we are specialised."

Neon Play has launched 15 apps to date, but Christie hopes to market between 30 and 50 this year and turn over more than £500,000.


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