Investors of Whatsapp, Snapchat, Twitter and Facebook have put money into the Finnish messaging firm Futurefly. This, coupled with little info on what they are up to, makes their launch later this month extremely interesting.
We got to try the app when we sat down with co-founder Oskari Häkkinen little before the launch.
Is it a messanger or is it a game? My first thought is obvious. No wonder, as the team around Häkkinen comes from gaming companies, he himself was building Remedy mobile teams, but others have joined from Electronic Arts and Sulake for example.
Häkkinen was digging in success stories of different messaging apps in early 2014 when he thought: “What if there would be figures which would be talking to each other?”
“I noticed that every single one of them had done something new, something which had not been done before. I started to think where are the characters, everyone tries to innovate on the chat experience.”
Trying it out one has to say it is so far it is clearly a messaging app with a few twists (we promised not to spill all the beans) where people can create their own characters – dress them up and make humanlike, just like in games – and on phone screen those characters speak to each other.
From their gaming background the team aims to take with them also freemium business model, hoping to solve the main challenge of many consumer apps. “We know how to monetise, even though some of our largest investors are laughing at this – why on earth would we think about monetising?”
But it’s clearly messaging first.
“Games are in our DNA, they come naturally. We have to focus first on a good messaging product, then we can add gaming elements to it,” Häkkinen said.
“We have a pile of napkins with ideas for games.”