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Devsisters Corporation (Korean: 데브시스터즈 주식회사) (logo stylized as DEVSISTERS) is a South Korean company focusing on manufacturing and developing mobile entertainment and gaming apps, founded in 2007. Currently, Devsisters is widely known as the developer of Cookie Run, using popular instant messaging platforms, such as KakaoTalk and LINE.

History

2007 - 2009: Start-up

The company was initially founded as a start-up named Extra Standard (Korean: 익스트라스탠다드) in 30 May 2007, by Sejoong Kim and Ji-Hoon Lee. They changed the name to Moblier Corp. (Korean: 모블리에) in 2009[3].

2009 - 2011: Change to Devsisters

By 2009, the start-up has renamed again into Devsisters, although the new name was legally accepted later on March 2010[3]. and has shifted their focus on iPod Touch and iPhone gaming and application market, saying that "Apple was one of the forerunners to lead a paradigm shift in distribution with its open market platform"[5]. By this shift, they started to launch several iPhone-based apps and games, including "OvenBreak" (the predecessor of Cookie Run) in 3 July 2009[6]. OvenBreak garnered 20 million downloads by the end of 2009, at such point OvenBreak quickly became the top game of iOS in 20 different countries[7]. The success of OvenBreak then followed with releasing OvenBreak Infinity (2009) and OvenBreak 2 (2012-2013).

2013 - present: Cookie Run era

After the hit success of Ovenbreak, Devsisters decided to modify Ovenbreak to fit the Korean market. They were applying the affiliation with KakaoTalk platform for 6 months before releasing Cookie Run in 2 April 2013[4], a move that heavily boosted the game popularity because KakaoTalk has been downloaded on 95% of smartphones in Korea[7]. By the end of 2013, Cookie Run grosses KRW 62 billion alone, making Cookie Run the most downloaded app of 2013 in South Korea, and statistically being downloaded by the half of the country's population.

The hit popularity of Cookie Run resulted Devsisters expanding the game into international releases, by launching the English version of LINE Cookie Run in January 2014. The LINE version has garnered 10 million downloads in just 30 days after its release, quickly claiming the top game in 10 different Asian countries[8]. By July 2015, Line Cookie Run have been downloaded for 50 million times.

Devsisters also signed a deal with iDreamSky to bring Cookie Run into the Chinese market[9], later using QQ platform[10].

"The Devsisters Trio" - From left to right: Lee Ji-hoon (CEO and co-founder), Brave Cookie, and Kim Jong-heun (CEO).

The huge success of Cookie Run have brought the company moved from start-ups into a five-storey building with 98 employees (as of 2015), including three chefs and a Korean physician in the Seoul's Gangnam business district[11]. The success have further brought Devsisters into the Korean Securities Exchange, with its IPO in October 2014. Later in 2015, Devsisters has expanded their business outside of gaming industry, by creating two investment companies, "Devsisters Ventures Ltd." (established 11 May 2015) and "Devsisters No.1 Investment" (established 21 December 2015).[3]

Products

Devsisters mainly produces mobile apps and games that can be played in iOS and Android devices.

List of Games by Devsisters

Name Genre Year Status
Alice's Adventures - Rabbit Hole of Death[12] Adventure 2009 Cross.png
Burglar Buster Others 2010 Cross.png
Caffeine Project[13] ??? TBA
Cookie Run Arcade 2013 Cross.png
Cookie Run TuTu[14] Arcade 2014 Cross.png
Cookie Run: OvenBreak Arcade 2016 OK.png
Cookie Run: Kingdom [15][16] RPG/City Builder 2021 OK.png
CookieWars[17] Defense/Strategy 2018 Cross.png
Dark Shrine[18] Action 2010 Cross.png
Get THAT Mish![19] Simulation 2012 Cross.png
Cookie Run: Puzzle World Puzzle 2019 OK.png
iRodeo - Crazy Bull Riding! Arcade 2009 Cross.png
Lost Throne[13] RPG/strategy TBA
Mars Project[13] Simulation TBA
Obey-Makes You Party Game! Social/Party 2010 Cross.png
OvenBreak[20] Arcade 2009 Cross.png
OvenBreak 2[21] Arcade 2012 Cross.png
OvenBreak Infinity[22] Arcade 2009 Cross.png
Pandadog's Pizza[23] Simulation 2010 Cross.png
Party Party[13] MOSNG TBA
Project S[15] Simulation/strategy TBA
Solitaire: Decked Out[24] Card 2016 OK.png
Tape It Up![25] Casual 2017 OK.png

List of Apps by Devsisters

Name Category Year Status
Angelizer - Play with angels Photography 2009 Cross.png
Avatar World Photography 2011 Cross.png
Devsisters Connectier Project[26] Productivity TBA
Giffle Photo Motion Photography 2010 Cross.png
iFan - The Virtual Heat Chaser Entertainment 2010 Cross.png
iWhack - Punch, Slap, Whip! Entertainment 2010 Cross.png
Smart Timetable[27] Productivity 2009 Cross.png

Merchandises

Devsisters also produces various merchandises, mainly Cookie Run themes, such as plushies, school supplies, comic books, and home decorations.

Financial

Devsisters is publicly traded in the Korean Securities Exchange (KOSDAQ) under the stock symbol KOSDAQ:194480. The Initial Public Offering was issued on 6 October 2014[28]. However, less than two months after its IPO, stocks has been down by 30%, in which Wall Street Journal says "...reflecting investor skepticism that the company can replicate the initial success of Cookie Run". Kim Jong-heun, the CEO, have replied that the downfall is coming from "selling by institutional investors, not company insiders," and further saying he is "well aware of the challenge of following up one smash success with another — just ask the developers of Farmville, Angry Birds and Candy Crush Saga."[11]

Since the inception of Cookie Run, Devsisters have enjoyed a huge amount of profit and popularity that boosted their growth. Devsisters grosses their highest profit in 2013, the same year of Kakao Cookie Run's releases, earning KRW 62 billion. However, since there are no game or app released after Cookie Run, Devsisters' income starts to declining to KRW 31 billion (2014) and for the first time recording net losses of KRW 968 million in 2015. Revenues from gaming purchases has significantly declined. For instance, net sales by Devsisters has sharply declined by more than 70%, from KRW 69 billion (2014) to KRW 19 billion (2015)[29]. For this reason, Devsisters decided to postpone the release of "Cookie Run 2", despite their urgency to stop poor financial performances[30].

The ownership scheme of Devsisters Corp's subsidiaries, as of 31 December 2015.

In the financial market, Devsisters currently owns three subsidiaries, both running in the investment sector. "Devsisters Ventures Ltd." was established on 11 May 2015, with Devsisters Corp. wholly-owned the company (100% controlling interest). "Devsisters No.1 Investment" was later established on 21 December 2015, with 80% interest directly owned and 20% interest indirectly owned via Devsisters Ventures[3].

The third subsidiary, "Devsisters Japan," was established on 31 October 2017, and it is the first overseas subsidiary established by Devsisters. Devsisters plans to utilize the subsidiary to optimize game service to the needs of local customers and conduct Japan-exclusive services for jobs such as game operation, marketing, and customer support.[31]

Achievements and Accolades

Year Publisher Achievement
2013 App Annie Top 52 Publishers of 2013 - #36[32]
2014 PocketGamer.biz Top 50 Developers of 2014 - #21[33]
2015 Deloitte Technology Fast 500™ Asia Pacific - #1[34]
PocketGamer.biz Top 50 Developers of 2015 - #26[35]

Gallery

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Devsisters corporation: Company Overview Information - Businessweek. Accessed 31 March 2016.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Devsisters corporation: CEO and Executives - Businessweek. Accessed 31 March 2016.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 Devsisters Corp. Annual Business Report 2015 disclosed by Korean Securities Exchange.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Better than Angry Birds: Breakout Gingerbread Man Runs Off with All the Money. Written 21 April 2014. Accessed 31 March 2016.
  5. Devsisters Targets Global Market With Passion, Creativity
  6. OvenBreak Release Information for iOS - GameFAQs
  7. 7.0 7.1 How a Korean mobile studio uses messaging apps like Line and Kakao for global success
  8. "LINE Cookie Run cooks up 10 million downloads in 30 days"; Written 7 March 2014. Accessed 2 May 2016
  9. "After conquering Korea, Devsisters signs a deal to bring top grossing game Cookie Run to China"; Written 30 July 2013. Accessed 2 May 2016.
  10. "姜饼人酷跑"
  11. 11.0 11.1 ‘Cookie Run’ Maker Plots Next Moves Over Gourmet Food, Massages - Korea Real Time - WSJ.com
  12. Alice's Adventures - Rabbit Hole of Death
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 FUN 게임 - 데브시스터즈. Accessed 8 February 2019.
  14. Official Facebook page
  15. 15.0 15.1 Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named DevNewGame
  16. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named DevCRProduct
  17. Sneak Peek of the New Cookie Run Defense Game – The CookieRunner translated from MK News - [고침] 지방(우도등대 소망항아리 동전 …) and 데브시스터즈, 신규 전략 배틀 게임 ‘쿠키런: 쿠키워즈’ 4분기 CBT로 첫 시동 - 인벤
  18. Dark Shrine
  19. Get THAT Mish! Official Game Trailer- YouTube
  20. OvenBreak on the App Store - iTunes - Apple
  21. OvenBreak 2 Release Information for iOS - GameFAQs
  22. OvenBreak Infinity on the App Store - iTunes - Apple
  23. Pandadog's Pizza - Wheel of Fortune
  24. Solitaire: Decked Out Ad Free - Android Apps on Google Play
  25. Tape It Up! - Android Apps on Google Play
  26. 모바일 서비스 - 데브시스터즈. Accessed 8 February 2019.
  27. Smart Timetable - the standard scheduler for students
  28. Devsisters announces initial public offering - Reuters.com
  29. Devsisters Corp. Audit Report published in 17 March 2015. Audited by PriceWaterhouseCoopers Korea and Disclosed by Korean Securities Exchange. Accessed 13 April 2016.
  30. "Launch of Cookie Run 2 delayed; more time needed for earnings momentum to improve" Written by Jaemin Ahn (NH Investment & Securities), 5 November 2015.
  31. Devsisters Sets Up Subsidiary in Japan – The CookieRunner. Published 3 November 2017. Accessed 21 November 2017. Translated from 데브시스터즈, 일본 도쿄에 첫 번째 해외 법인 설립 - 게임인사이트 by 김동준 (Dong-Jun Kim). Published 31 October 2017.
  32. "App Annie Announces the Top 52 Publishers of 2013! See Who Made the List"
  33. "PocketGamer.biz Top 50 Developers of 2014"
  34. "Technology Fast 500™ APAC Winners | Deloitte"; with the Growth Percentage of 8516%.
  35. "PocketGamer.biz Top 50 Developers of 2015"
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