My Singing Monsters
London-based Big Blue Bubble breeds monsters, music, and success.
Damir Slogar, Founder and President, Big Blue Bubble
My Singing Monsters by Big Blue Bubble is a world-builder game unlike any other where users can enjoy breeding and feeding singing monsters to build unique melodies. The game was the fantastical idea of an in-house designer at Big Blue Bubble, who had previously worked as a musician. He came up with the idea for fun creatures to create music together. Founder and President, Damir Slogar, immediately liked the uniqueness of the concept, but when he saw the first test phase, he fell in love.
Damir is originally from Croatia and moved to London, Ontario 17 years ago. With over 30 years’ experience in the gaming industry, Damir first worked for other studios before deciding to start his own. Big Blue Bubble is now a large multicultural company with a bulk of talent coming directly from local schools – the University of Western Ontario and Fanshawe College.
My Singing Monsters was a follow-up to their wildly popular game Burn the Rope, which became, quite literally, an overnight success. With extensive media coverage, the game had over a million downloads in 24 hours for iPhone alone! On the launch of My Singing Monsters, the team experienced instant success once more. Again featured by Apple, it had over a million downloads as well and the game was overloaded with users returning four to five times a day! The backend simply wasn’t ready for it but the team worked intensely to increase its capacity.
Inside Big Blue Bubble headquarters
Creators at Big Blue Bubble are also personally invested in the game. The company’s employees took turns making the funny voices for the monsters and in the end, half a dozen were selected. But whose voice is whose? It’s hard to tell sometimes as all the monsters are gender neutral. The game is a mix of everything: it’s all about imagination and universal appeal, with neutral music of no particular genre.
While the monsters and their creators get fan letters delivered every day, one of the main ways that fans interact with the game world and each other is through social media. With close to 800,000 followers on Facebook and millions of views on YouTube, fans can’t get enough. The monsters are also on Twitter and Vine and Big Blue Bubble has a very large team dedicated just to interacting with the community.
One such fan is Super Fan Diane Delsig. Diane creates singing monsters videos and tutorials and gets millions of views. The team at Big Blue Bubble wanted to thank her and decided to surprise her for her 60th birthday! They brought her to London for a studio tour and recorded videos that were shared online. Not a bad way to spend a birthday at any age! Other Super Fans include the kids at a local school in London who recently decided to do a play based on the game and characters.
Breed and feed the unique characters of My Singing Monsters
The music is another important element of the game that fans love. Written by Sugarland, fans of the game and fans of the band were delighted when the team created a character based on band member Kristian Bush. This was a very successful cross-promotion for all those involved.
Another community that deeply benefits from My Singing Monsters are children with autism or similar conditions. A number of moms have written to the team to let them know about the changes and improvements in their children’s lives, which they feel is directly related to playing the game. One Grandmother revealed that her granddaughter had never spoken to her before but they connected through the game. They now have a much richer and more meaningful relationship.
A fun collection of My Singing Monsters toys
My Singing Monsters has been the biggest hit so far for Big Blue Bubble, helping to put them in the children’s and youth gaming spotlight and to negotiate better deals on future projects. It used to be near impossible to get a meeting with companies like Disney – “now they come to us!” Monster merchandise includes T-shirts, jewelry and stuffed Mammotts. With the recent launch of the sequel My Singing Monsters: Dawn of Fire in October 2015, the team is hoping to break even this summer (2016) and continue to grow their success (and more monsters).
While the game has won many awards, Damir is most proud of its uniqueness. You know a project is successful when there are many copies of the concept out there. “With the amount of work that goes into it, it can’t be easily copied.”
And who is Damir’s favourite Monster? “Mammott. I love the smile in the eyes.”