Vancouver company sees iPad as an outlet for new game designs

by Liam Britten | Startups

A Vancouver company has struck it big with an app they designed for the iPad.

Or have they sunk it big?

CustomerIn, a company of four employees that doesn’t even have office space to call home designed a version of the classic board game Battleship when they were tinkering with their new iPads. Playing around with the tablet, they quickly designed a version with added explosions and sound effects. It was just a way to have fun.

144,000 downloads and a cease and desist letter from Hasbro later (Hasbro owns the copyright on the Battleship game) and it's more than simple fun — they’ve started to see gaming as a profitable use of the iPad.

The Vancouver Sun interviewed CustomerIn co-founders Fred Rego and Dave Dieno:

For Dave Dieno, 50, the success of the game was surprising, but not completely unexpected. “People who bought the iPad seem to share it. It harkens back to board games,” he said.

He said the appeal was also the game’s simplicity, adding explosion sound effects and little else to the popular game of hits and misses.

Rego said they’re at work on a follow-up called Bismarck, which they plan to offer for 99 cents.

They plan to keep the simplicity of their first release while adding accoutrements like allowing gamers to choose various fleets and awarding naval ranks to successful players. Rego said they hope to have Bismarck for iPad out by the end of the month, with the game available for iPhone later this year.

CustomerIn isn’t really a gaming company, despite the success of Battleship. They’re currently working on  app for restaurants that allow customers to easily leave complaints. CustomerIn says that an app like this is useful because some customers might not be angry enough to complain, but might instead simply never come back. They say a direct line to management will prevent situations like these.

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Liam Britten

Liam Britten

Liam Britten is a writer and editor with a journalism background operating out of Vancouver. In addition to his work at Techvibes, he has been published in student publications across Canada, as well as local newspapers such as The MapleRidge-Pitt Meadows TIMES and The Langley Advance. An aficionado for the finer things in life — such as video games and sports — Liam is plugged into the tech... more

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