Best known for its chart-topping Talking Tom game series, Outfit7 started out as a small venture by 7 entrepreneurs based out of Slovenia. In the 10 years since its inception, it’s gradually grown into a multinational entertainment company and a true titan of mobile gaming.
Back in 2010, I reckon you’d be hard-pressed to find someone who hadn’t played or knew of the Talking Tom Cat app. It was an incredibly simple game, making use of a basic audio recording feature and light interaction with the now-iconic Tom character.
You could of course poke and prod Tom to see how he'd react or speak basic lines into your microphone for him to parrot back at you. The game’s focus on slapstick humour and forward-thinking – though still easily understood – tech meant that it held widespread appeal. As I recall, it was impressively popular among those my parents’ age, for whom Talking Tom Cat was one of their first mobile gaming experiences.
In the years that followed, the studio would double down on its Tamagotchi-like games with updates, spinoffs, and eventually My Talking Tom. This was a more extensive title than anything Outfit7 had offered before; basically serving up a layered pet sim, fit with accessible mini-games, light competitive elements, and puzzles. Unsurprisingly, it was another megahit, eventually spawning further spinoffs including My Talking Angela and My Talking Hank.
Having now become one of the biggest names in mobile gaming, it only made sense for Outfit7 to start thinking about where it could and should go next. Enter Boris Dolenc, Outfit7’s current Chief Creative Officer. An award-winning filmmaker, Boris saw the potential in bringing the studio’s beloved characters into other mediums. Now, several years later, we have two staggeringly popular animated shows: Talking Tom and Friends and Talking Tom Heroes. In total, Talking Tom video content has been viewed over 40 billion times.
Some of the creatives involved include Stefan Fjeldmark (Help! I’m a Fish, Terkel in Trouble), Greg Manwaring (animation department on The Iron Giant, The Lion King, Who Framed Rodger Rabbit), and Tom Martin (credited writer on The Simpsons and SNL). Likewise, the voice cast is a veritable who’s who of industry legends, from Tom Kenny to Colin Hanks.
While all of that was happening, Outfit7’s game output was still going strong. The team began exploring other popular genres with its runners Talking Tom Gold Run and Talking Tom Hero Dash. Last year, we also saw the first full sequel to My Talking Tom. And it’s easy to see the progress that’s been made between those early games and the company’s current, highly polished output.
10 years and 10+ billion downloads later, Outfit7 is in a place that few could hope to reach. Having opened offices in Beijing, Cyprus, London, and, most recently, Barcelona, it is now a multinational entertainment company operating on the highest level. That humble Talking Tom Cat app has evolved into a portfolio of 22 games, and the animated shows are pulling in millions of views per episode.
During my interview with Boris Dolenc in Barcelona last week, I focused on the future of the company, including discussion on the upcoming feature film, expansion onto other gaming platforms, and the potential for new games within the Talking Tom series. Look for that later this week.