Casino International Online (CIO): When was Ruby Seven created?
Michael Carpenter (MC): Ruby Seven was founded in May of 2012 when Michael Carpenter was introduced to the ChaYoWo Games team in India. Jugul Thachery – now COO of Ruby Seven Studios – and the team there had been building games for other companies, including Chillingo, BigFish and other major publishers in America. Michael Carpenter joined forces with this team to create Ruby Seven Studios, with offices in San Francisco, CA and southern India.
CIO: Who are the key personnel behind Ruby Seven?
MC: Michael Carpenter (CEO, Founder) entered the social gaming arena in 2009 at Seattle’s PopCap Games. As the Vice President of Social Product Operations, Carpenter brought the company’s product operations group to life, building the team responsible for operating PopCap’s social games, including top titles such as Bejeweled Blitz and Zuma Blitz.
Jugul Thachery (COO, Founder) has led an extensive career in social/mobile gaming, previously as founder and Managing Director of ChaYoWo Games. Thachery grew ChaYoWo from a small gaming start-up into one of India’s largest casual game developers. Today he leads the Ruby Seven production team as co-founder and COO.
Doug Schwarz (Senior Director of Product) brings over twenty years of casino games development experience to the team, having formerly worked as a Senior Producer for Bash Gaming, Vice President of Aspect Gaming, and Head of Product for Wagerworks/IGT. Schwarz joined Ruby Seven in early 2014 and works out of the San Francisco office overseeing new game development.
Dwayne Marley (Senior Art Director) is a skilled animator with nearly 20 years of experience working with brands such as Hasbro, Mattel and Disney. Before joining Ruby Seven Studios as the company’s Art Director, Marley was Art Director for Zynga’s Integrated Casino and worked on titles such as Zynga Poker and Words with Friends.
CIO: What have been the key achievements for the company since launch?
MC: Ruby Seven was set up to become the top operator and innovator in the social casino space. One of Ruby Seven Studios’ greatest achievements is taking a 100 person, downloadable game development studio and transforming it into a full multiplatform, live operations, international social casino games team running nine titles on four platforms. We’ve developed titles for iOS, Facebook, Android, and Kindle and are planning on expanding to the Windows Phone later this year.
CIO: What does Ruby Seven do better than other companies in this sector?
MC: Ruby Seven Studios is creating a hybrid experience – matching the solid designs of real money gaming with our video game design expertise. We also excel at running live operations and understand how to grow and monetize a large user base. Our games are consistently in the top 100 and just this week we became the #1 Casino game on the Google Play Store, a coveted accomplishment for any casino app.
CIO: What will be the key point of focus for the company for the rest of 2014?
MC: Our key focus for 2014 is our upcoming product debuts with our real money gaming partners taking their made-for-casino games to social and mobile platforms.
CIO: The recent partnership with Grand Vision was a classic old-meets-new partnership. How important are partnerships like this to Ruby Seven?
MC: We value these partnerships immensely as these teams have spent decades creating great game experiences in casinos. We’re excited to be bringing these brands to social casinos.
CIO: Can we expect more partnerships in the future?
MC: Yes, in fact we’re partnering up with the Gala Coral Group to bring some of their very successful land-based games to social. Our first collaborative release will feature some of Coral’s most successful titles, including The Magician and Wild Magic.
CIO: The social sector seems a tough nut to crack. What do you think is key to success in this space?
MC: Our primary goal is to create a fun and engaging experience for our players. We invest in compelling metagames and smart game design practices using both a creative and data-driven design process, which ultimately results in a better experience for our players.
CIO: As “a social and mobile casino games studio” Is social more important than mobile? How hard is it to get the balance of developing products right?
MC: We define social a little differently. Social for us equals social interactions, not games on social networks. We think a great game experience can and should be shared with others, whether through community recognition on a leaderboard, or directly through a multiplayer experience chatting and competing with other players. We strive to offer these games on the platforms our players want to play them, whether that be on Facebook, iPhone, Android tablets or Windows Phone.
CIO: What are you most excited about for the future of the company?
MC: 2014 is going to be a huge year for the studio. We have some amazing games in development which will usher in the next generation of Ruby Seven Studios games. Ruby Seven is one of few companies at the nexus of social casinos, land-based casinos, and real money gaming online. Our primary investor is a land-based casino, and our partners are both online real money experts as well as designers and manufacturers of casino games. We provide the bridge to mobile and social, which is very exciting.
CIO: Finally… why “Ruby Seven”?
MC: We liked it!