What a Difference a Few Years Makes

I’ve neglected this blog for a while, but was just reading back though it and thought one series of blog posts was particularly interesting. Back in early 2009, I met a husband/wife iPhone developer team:

April 2009, Blog Post:

I spent a fair amount of time hanging out [at GDC 2009] with Imangi Studios husband and wife team Keith Shepard and Natalia Luckyanova. Keith had quit from his day job almost a year ago, while his wife has just given notice so they could pursue their iPhone game company full time.

I think it’s a great move, even in this economy. They clearly have a growing business and have the opportunity to do what they love. There is some inherent risk involved, but the lost opportunity of not pursing it is simply too great.

July 2009, Blog Post:

Well, it’s only 3 months later, and they have a top 10 iPhone app (and climbing) with Harbor Master [$0.99]. The game is currently sitting in the #6 spot of all paid iPhone apps. Now, I haven’t seen top 10 sales numbers lately, but I’ve heard the numbers have been increasing, so I’d guess they may be up to 10,000 (~$7000) downloads a day.

I forgot to do more followup on the Keith and Natalia story. So, here it is.

In August 2011, they released a game called Temple Run. It became a massive hit and by January, 2012, it was the #1 Grossing App in the App Store. Then, just last week they announced that Temple Run 2 had become the fastest downloaded mobile game ever in its first two weeks with over 50 million downloads.

These were the two people that I first spoke with at GDC 2009 where Natalia was still on the fence about quitting her day job to go full time on Imangi. I guess they made the right choice.

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