Ever sat across from a bloke who can Hulk-smash through – yes, through - an elevator door? Until yesterday, I hadn’t either, but then again, Devsisters, a feisty Korean iPhone/web developer, may well just be a super hero of sorts. They’re a smart, but casual group of mates who have set out to turn the App Store on its nose with fun and unique apps. The eleven-person company sent its bouncer, Jibong (G) Koo (right), and its snake, David Ryu (left – a man whose Korean name bleeds secrecy like a Free Mason’s handshake) to my neck of the woods to chat, to laugh, to threaten, and to keep things off the record.
It’s doubtless you’ve heard of Devsisters. The App Store spots eleven of their apps on its muscle-bound servers including the unique 3D RPG, Dark Shrine. But yesterday, Oven Break Infinity, a thumbs up jump/slide platform game stole the show AND nearly all my time on a brand-new iPad! Funny that – I explained to G and David that I really suck at games – that I had five left thumbs – and they insisted (you never say no to a man who can tear apart an elevator) that I play. I’m glad I did.
Devsisters, Com2uS, Gamevil, NCsoft, and a number of other clever software designers may have a tough time at home – the Korean App Store lacks a game category and the market is still rather small – but they’ve no lack of quality, especially as it comes to coding things for us to buy. Korea is a virtual software juggernaut; its 45 millions probably house more game programmers than any similarly-populated country in the world.
But rather than just porting established titles, Devsisters have built from the ground up for the iPhone and now… the iPad. They are also dipping their fingers in the online gaming and readily searching out new markets to conquer.
We sipped great Juleno lattes, ate stiff ‘Japanese’ うどん and played games. And despite the fact that David, can rip into elevator doors like most normal men rip into a Christmas presents, I didn’t feel threatened. Even G, the bouncer, was a nice (but tall) lad. They play each other like a couple of competent (and contemporary) comedians. Think Harold and Kumar – it’s easy to see where their games get their fun edge.
What can I say but, “I look forward to good things from the sistas, yo!”