DICE 2011: Scribblenauts Developer 5th Cell Panel: First To Market Or Best Of Breed

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Posted February 10, 2011 - By Jake Gaskill

5th Cell Dice Panel

When it comes to figuring out what new, innovative, and original title Scribblenauts developer 5th Cell will pursue next, the developer's chief officers, Joseph Tringali and Jeremiah Slaczka, have some very clear ideas about what they want and what they don’t want, and it really comes down to two schools of thought: first to market or best of breed.

As evidenced by the success of the Nintendo DS smash hits Scribblenauts and Super Scribblenauts, 5th Cell’s approach is all about bringing fresh and original titles to market first.

“When you’re making a game, you need to identify which side you want to be on. Do you want to compete with the Call of Duties, and the Haloes, and the Grand Theft Autos, or do you want to be something different and original? Those are ways that you can really differentiate yourself from the market. When 5th Cell started back in 2003, we didn’t have the ability, the funds, the experience, the talent, all of that, to become best of breed, so, instead, we said, “Ok. We’ll work to be first to market.” That’s sort of been our MO and our moniker since then. I don’t know if we’ll ever try to be best of breed type of company.”

The other key component of the developer’s philosophy is being proactive with regards to where the industry is headed, rather than reactive to current trends.

“Just because the Facebook market is exploding,” Slaczka explained, “doesn’t mean much to us, because we’re not interested. We don’t play Facebook games. It’s just not part of our interest. So why work and why try to compete against Zynga, who lives, breathes, and eats it, when we can’t?”

And finally, finding the right publishing partner is also a crucial component to a developer’s success, and, for 5th Cell, that partnership must adhere to several specific guidelines, chief among them a respect and cultivation of talent and making sure the publisher delivers on its promises when it comes to supporting the game pre and post release.

And, just in case you were wondering, none of the developers at 5th Cell had any prior experience making games when they started out. So if you love you some Scribblenauts and would love nothing more than to work for 5th Cell, but aren’t exactly sure about how to go about doing it, here are the developer’s hiring criteria:

Attitude (no diva’s need apply)
Passion for 5th cell products

DICE 2011: Scribblenauts Developer 5th Cell Panel: First To Market Or Best Of Breed


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