Auckland company's latest game making it big in US

By Ben Chapman-Smith


Auckland game developer Ninja Kiwi has continued its success story with the company's latest app hitting number two in the US charts within 24 hours.

The Kumeu-based company launched Bloons Tower Defence 5, the latest in its popular Bloons series, for iPhone and iPod users late last week.


After soaring straight into second spot, the game is currently the number four best-selling app on US iTunes behind the likes of Angry Birds. It was also selling in the top five in four other countries.


Managing director Chris Harris said creating a version of Bloons TD 5 for the mobile platform had been time-consuming but incredibly satisfying.


"It feels amazing. When you put a lot of work into something like this, everybody involved was excited to see what would happen."


This coming weekend would be a crucial one for the company, he said.


"The US is about to celebrate Thanksgiving, which is the second-biggest time of year after Christmas for app store sales.


"If we can hold our position over the weekend, it'll be big for us."


Bloons TD 5 for mobile users comes after the game was first launched on the Ninja Kiwi website late last year.


Harris said that iPad and Android versions of the game would be coming soon.


Ninja Kiwi has produced around 60 games and its TD series itself has had over 1 billion plays on web and mobile devices. Bloons TD 4 has sat in the top 100 of all apps in the US App Store for over two years.


The company makes money from advertising on the Ninja Kiwi games site, by selling virtual currency and from their apps for Android and Apple devices smartphones and tablets.


Founded by brothers Chris and Stephen Harris in 2006, Ninja Kiwi recently acquired Scottish game developer Digital Goldfish.


The merger would allow Ninja Kiwi to better develop mobile versions of its games.


Ninja Kiwi made the 2012 TIN100 Report's "10 Hot Emerging Companies", with revenue growth of 66 per cent over the past year.

- THE AUCKLANDER

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