About Neon Play
Long, long time ago...
Neon Play was born back in 2010. Seems a long time ago now. Our founder Oli Christie was making viral Flash games for big brands (remember Flash?) and the iPhone had changed the mobile gaming space. People thought "drinking" a pint of beer from your phone was really cool and clever. Angry Birds and Doodle Jump were smashing the charts. Anything seemed possible.
Help, I need somebody...
Oli needed someone clever, with braincells and everything. So he put a job ad online. It simply said "Opportunity of a lifetime: iPhone developer needed". He received a lot of CVs from developers abroad looking for visas - and one CV from some chap called Mark who had just moved back from the US in some big cheese console games company over there, travelling lots and being important.
See you in the pub
Mark was about to take another frightfully important role on a huge salary at a big and glamorous UK game studio, but he saw this job ad and his interest was piqued. He met Oli for a pint in a dark and dingy pub in the Cotswolds. And Oli offered Mark an even more important role in a non-existent and unglamorous UK game studio with no office on a tiny salary. For some unknown reason, he said yes. So that was lucky.
Back of the net!
Then Oli sat in his kitchen with Mark trying to make the first mobile game they’d both ever made. To say they were winging it would be generous. Making it up as they went along was very much order of the day. And they made this little football game called Flick Football where you had to err, flick a football. There was nothing like it in those days on the App Store, which shows how long ago it was.
Moving on up
Neon Play moved from a kitchen to a box room above a shop in Cirencester (if you don't know where that is, we're in the UK, sort of between Oxford and Bristol). Ikea tables, children's wall stickers, bean bags, darts board, kettle - we had it all. We hired our first two employees, Matt and Glenn, which felt very grown up and rather scary. Glenn is still with us. Matt smells of poo.
And the winner is...
We were suddenly putting on a dinner jacket rather a lot and winning awards most months. Somehow we had become one of the most talked about companies around. It was all rather fun. PS We love this awards photo as Paul (on the left) was asked to hold the glass trophy, but all he could grab was the presenter's hand. LOL!
Hello your Majesty
We then became the first UK mobile game studio to win a Queen's Award for Innovation and went to Buckingham Palace to meet the Queen no less. It was a very hot day, we were sweating a lot and the Queen is amazing, but very small. She wore white gloves so she couldn't feel our clammy palms. Lucky.
Pleased to meet you
We got approached and had chats with some big games companies and there was lots of smiling and nodding. We thought we liked one of those companies, so we worked with them. Then we stopped working with them. Long story, but we don't want to bore you. Lots of lessons learned about life and business and people and we moved on stronger and a bit wiser and greyer.
On the books
Then we met some very nice people indeed from a big book company called Hachette. They did books by authors like JK Rowling, Stephen King, Ian Rankin, Alex Ferguson and um, the Hairy Bikers. They wanted to get into mobile gaming and we thought they were the perfect partner as they would let us get on a make our own games the way we like doing it. So we shook hands and sold our six year old child. And we're still all here doing the same thing and still loving it.
We've made some big games since then, but we thought we would go back to what we were best at in the old days and that is small, fun and addictive games. They call them hyper casual games.
Gonna roll with it
We've had a couple of big old hits with Roller Splat and Soccer Kick, plus some other crackers like Buca, Cannon Man and Crossy Crash (free to enjoy on an app store near you). Big stat alert... Roller Splat has had over 60m downloads and topped the charts in 80+ countries. We rather enjoyed our (rare) moment in the spotlight on top of the USA App Store above the big tech trillionnaires. And we were also featured on the BBC. Fame at last.
Now we're really idle
As well as making fun little games, we're also now making what are called "idle tycoon games", where you build a world and earn money to build it even more, managing things and everything - it's simpler than it sounds. Have a peep at Idle Golf Club Tycoon, Idle Army Base and Idle Scrapyard Tycoon if you want to see what we mean. Might keep you busy for a few days.
Happiness = smiles minus frowns
And that's where we are now. We hope you love playing our games. They're all free to download and play, so the worst that can happen is, err, nothing actually. The best that can happen though is that we give you a lot of joy and fun, free of charge. And you become happier, successful and popular. You can thank us by email if you'd like.