Outfit7 are game makers at their core. With over 18+ billion game downloads and 88 billion global video views, they live to create-feel good moments and bring joy to their fans around the world.
“We currently have 400 people on our dynamic team, and we strive to empower them as much as possible so that they may create magic and share it with our users.” Xinyu Qian, CEO at Outfit7
Powered by creativity and industry-leading expertise, Outfit7’s talented international team of over 400+ people push the boundaries of the possible every day. From the award-winning family fun of Talking Tom & Friends to the heart-thumping strategic action of Mythic Legends, their entertainment ecosystem is always growing.
In 2018, Chief Executive Officer, Xinyu Qian, took over the helm of the company. Since then, he has been working side-by-side with the Outfit7 team to deliver high-impact, strategic campaigns, and exclusive products on a global scale. As CEO at Outfit7, Xinyu Qian is responsible for running and managing all facets of the company’s global business. An inclusive and detail-oriented leader, Qian’s mantra is that a CEO must be fair, honest, and good-hearted. He believes that empowering people and letting their entrepreneurial spirit run wild will ensure that Outfit7 continues to deliver innovative, immersive experiences that guarantee excitement to its fans around the world.
During his tenure, Outfit7 hit 18 billion global downloads and the company scaled up its size, business scope, and performance. He is particularly proud of the company’s two latest mobile game launches, My Talking Tom Friends and My Talking Angela 2 – released while the entire team was working from home – the former became one of the Top 10 most downloaded mobile games of 2020, while the latter became the #1 game of the summer 2021.
What inspired you as an individual to enter the gaming world?
“Having a financial background, when I first joined Outfit7, I was more concerned with the financial side of things; however, my gaming got the better of me, and I began to enjoy using my experience of playing games on my computer and mobile and was inspired to share it with users all over the world to entertain as many people as possible. Both the joy and the experience motivate me to keep working hard at Outfit7 to take gaming to the next level.”
You say that you are “game makers at your core, and at your hearts”. Tell us about the inspiration behind Outfit7 – “a group of passionate people that are ready to go above and beyond to create epic memorable moments for your audiences across the globe.”
“For starters, our users are more familiar with the final product than with the process of creating the game, its characters, content, and so on. Our strength lies in the fact that the entire team is motivated, cohesive, and aligned on our culture and values throughout the full game development process, which includes pre-production, production, and post-production. To produce a good product and outcome, we constantly put people first. We currently have 400 people on our dynamic team, and we strive to empower them as much as possible so that they may create magic and share it with our users.”
As a product owner, how important is user feedback?
“Our users’ thoughts, suggestions, and feedback are extremely valuable to us, and are always considered. Internally, we undertake our own market research and extensive user tests during the video game development process to determine what will work and make the end-product as engaging as possible. We stand behind two things – firstly, feedback is and will be critical to our success, and secondly, we will never compromise with the quality and content of our product, including gameplay, narrative, and features. It is undoubtedly a continuous process that contributes to the evolution of our products as well as the consideration of sequels to the original games.”
The company operates in studios worldwide and almost exclusively focuses on mobile games related to the Talking Tom & Friends franchise. How have you expanded your entertainment ecosystem to reach over 18 billion downloads and 88 billion video views along the way?
“For the past decade, we have been focusing on Talking Tom & Friends. We developed the games for this brand, its video content, and we are happy with its popularity and success. To grow our brand, we use a 360° approach, which encompasses game creation, video content, licensing, merchandise, theme parks, and a full-length film, which is now under development. From a business perspective, the brand is being developed to offer the end-user an experience that is second-to-none. When it comes to the characters of the game, which are loved by all users and fans, we strive to introduce more protagonists that will contribute to and ensure the games continuity.”
As an organisation that is extremely team-centric, you continue to challenge what has been, and chase what could be, always bringing your A-game to the table. What made you choose Cyprus as one of the key bases for your headquarters?
“For the past ten years, our worldwide headquarters have been in Cyprus, where corporate leadership and an expert staff work on product research and development, updates, sales, and communications. As part of our company’s growth strategy, we opened new offices in Limassol last year and are looking forward to welcoming local and international talent into our team.
We have a production studio in Slovenia, and our sales headquarters are in the United Kingdom. We also have a strong presence in China and are present in the United States of America. Cyprus connects the world due to its strategic location. The island offers amazing support to IT companies and talent in the video gaming industry, with both the government and the community pitching in.”
According to industry statistics, the gaming sector is expected to increase at a 9.17 per cent annual pace from 2020 to 2025. How do you perceive the future of the industry?
“The industry has been rapidly expanding for the past five years. In our opinion, the video gaming industry will continue to grow, with emerging markets such as India and Indonesia experiencing faster growth. These markets are already growing faster than mature markets, indicating that the sector will continue to thrive. When it comes to mature markets, they are more saturated and competitive than in previous years, and users are looking for high-quality, innovative games, especially those that provide something completely new.
This is perfectly in line with our aim of developing higher-quality games than the competition. Even though our games are “casual,” we will never compromise quality. We have identified the requirements and opportunities in both mature and emerging markets, and we are excited to put innovative ideas into action to create products that will appeal to a broader range of users.
Our games are accessible to everyone. They appeal to people of all ages. All our games are designed to be accessible to a wide range of users. This has been confirmed by our market research and feedback received from end-users, and we are proud of it.”
What are the greatest challenges facing the gaming industry right now?
“The pandemic has been one of the industry’s greatest challenges for the past two years. People had to work from home, which made teamwork extremely challenging, especially at Outfit7, a company that depends on interpersonal interaction and the dynamics of close collaboration. However, we were able to overcome this hurdle and continue to provide our users with new games and experiences. The pandemic has taught us to be prepared for the unexpected and has re-established our basic values of collaboration and a healthy work environment.”
How has Outfit7 made sustainability a part of its business?
“Players were invited to grow their own in-game trees as part of our unique “Grow and Go” event, which pledged to help plant at least 30,000 trees through Talking Tom Gold Run. We donated all the proceeds from the Talking Tom Gold Run in-app purchases to the non-profit organisation, One Tree Planted, which helps with global reforestation initiatives.
We were thrilled to align our efforts with such a noble cause, as forests are home to 80 per cent of the world’s terrestrial plants and animals, and trees assist to clean the air, collect carbon, and so much more. The campaign’s success enabled us to plant more than 50,000 trees, demonstrating that the gaming industry is critical in promoting sustainability to its end users, and that our players are willing to support sustainable business practices.”
What is next on the cards for Outfit7?
“Aside from the full-length feature, mentioned previously, which is based on the Talking Tom and Friends franchise, Outfit7 has revealed plans to expand its portfolio beyond the virtual pet simulation and runner genres. The repositioning will bring the multi-brand and multiplatform experience to its users around the world. With plans to grow its already significant user base of up to 470 million monthly active users, the company has announced several new titles, including some completely new IPs.
The first new title, Mythic Legends, is an auto-chess inspired mobile game with an asynchronous multiplayer mode and advanced progression system, which was launched earlier this month.
Currently in the pipeline are a life simulation with deep, choice-based storytelling and visual narrative and a tower defence-arcade shooter, Swamp Attack 2, which are also in production for later this year. The latter features a family of hilarious characters and richly designed worlds.
The success of the Talking Tom & Friends franchise is something we are incredibly proud of; however, it is time for us to reposition ourselves and expand into other segments. We are uniquely placed to do this because we have the right people, an experienced organisation, and a strong company culture. Here, the game in the development is Talking Tom Gold Run 2, a runner game that will take users on a journey through time and space. Outfit7 has also disclosed the development of a new animated series where characters will be transformed into superheroes who must unlock their potential to save the day. Our promise to our users is that we will continue bringing our A-game to them. Outfit7 is heading into a new and better gaming era.”
Do you have a personal mantra as an affirmation to motivate and inspire you and those around you?
“I have always aspired to make a positive difference in the lives of those around me. I consider myself fortunate since we produce games that bring joy and provide unforgettable experiences. I believe that aligning your personal and professional convictions is a winning formula.”