Spotlight Interview: Jeffrey Chee from Happy Labs

Hang on to your happy hats folks for we are going to wonderland! You may have seen their games on your mobile devices and felt a pleasant vibe from their cute, cheerful visuals and relaxing gameplay. Well, we are here to give you an inside look at the Singapore company responsible for those merry moods. Presenting Jeffrey Chee, Founder and CEO of Happy Labs Games! Do not be fooled by the company title, it is not all sunshine and rainbows. Jeffrey and his team of developers take their games seriously! So peel behind the curtains and read about the heart of Happy Labs.

Check out their site – https://happylabs.weebly.com/

 

Q: Give the readers a short introduction about yourself and your company. What is your role? What is your company about? What is your “origin” story?

Happy Labs games are distributed on Google Play and App Store to countries all over the world. To date, we have launched 15 games with a combined download volume of over 55 million. I (Jeffrey Chee) lead the company in terms of vision and direction for our games.

 

With each iteration of their games, they try to add better features based on user feedback.

Q: How does your company endure as a game studio in South-east Asia? What challenges did your company face when it first started?

Being from a gamer background, it was difficult to deliver games that are easy to pick up for casual players. We found our niche by pulling inspiration from playing more casual games, listening actively to customers and also from our past experiences on making simulation games in our previous jobs at Nubee.

 

 

Q: What are some of the common challenges your company face when developing or releasing a project? How are resources allocated or distributed?

It takes a lot of time to polish something to the best of our satisfaction, but sometimes we have to make a compromise between perfecting something, adding more features, or even cutting some specs that we think is fun. It’s a delicate balance that we have to constantly measure ourselves against.

Happy Labs at Tokyo Game Show, 2015.

Q: How does your company manage funding and recruitment?

We’re entirely bootstrapped and recruit from word of mouth.

 

Q: How does your company conduct user testing?

We use Google Play’s Beta Release and Early Access program to easily reach out to relevant users who are interested in our genre of games (no we’re not paid to say that).

Find out more about their great selection of games on the Happy Lab website.

Q: How does your company handle marketing for your brand and your products?

A large part of our users come in organically. Apart from disbursing game news from our website, we also actively use social media channels to reach out to our audiences. From time to time, we run UA (user acquisition) campaigns on channels like Facebook and Google Adwords.

 

Q: What is your company’s work environment like? Any quirks or interesting stories you would like to share?

Contrary to our ‘happy’ brand, the Happy Labs office is utilitarian and simple with a bunch of hard-working people in their thirties chugging out work round the clock.

Happy Labbers during Happy Tennis’ Launch, 2016.

Q: What are your views on the local game industry?

We think that the industry has come a long way since the time we started in 2013, but the mobile market we’re in now is becoming saturated and mobile game developers must now come up with quality work that can beat other games on an international level to really succeed.

 

 

Q: Do you have any tips for aspiring entrepreneurs who want to enter the local game industry?

As mentioned, go global or go home! 😀

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