[Interview] Atypical Games on successful first person survival game on mobile, Radiation Island

Been looking for a mobile game with more depth than the usual match 3, casual games fare? Give Atypical Games’ Radiation Island a try. Currently holding an 8/10 rating from Pocket Gamer and a 4.5 stars out of 5 on the App Store, Radiation Island is one of most polished first-person survival games on mobile (the game is beautiful and looks like a younger cousin of Fallout, and for a mobile game, that’s saying a lot).


Radiation Island

Users have likened it to Farcry and DayZ, while also being a bit of “Lost meets Walking Dead”.

Radiation Island Banner

The minds behind the game, Atypical Games, shared with us their inspiration for Radiation Island, why they chose the premium model instead of the usual f2p, and why the Japanese are loving their game:

As a mobile game, the genre of Radiation Island is really interesting. Not a lot of mobile game devs make anything other than casual, card, or your standard RPG games.

As a mobile developer we have always been addressing the more core audiences. Our flight simulators (Sky Gamblers: Storm Raiders, Air Supremacy and Cold War) and tank battle game (Battle Supremacy) are pretty hardcore games. For Radiation Island we kinda wanted to work on something fresh and with more freedom of expression. WWII combat is always bound by the WWII history and the used vehicles, with an open world survival we could tap in a bit of lore and fiction to allow us varied and interesting game-play.

Why did you decide to make an open world survival game for mobile?

The survival genre came mostly as something we really wished we could play on mobile devices. We thought that this kind of game will be a good fit for mobile as the interface is very touch-friendly.

Where did the idea of a survival zombie game set in an island in Japan come from?

The part with an island in Japan came after doing a bit of research on mythological islands. Japan has its Onogoro Island with a lot of mystery around it and the Devil’s Sea or the Dragon’s Triangle. The setting seemed perfect for our game and we always imagined the adventure would be set on a really good looking island.

Another interesting decision is choosing to make the game a paid game. What do you think is the biggest advantage and disadvantage of using paid instead of f2p for Radiation Island?

The free to play versus premium games talk is a long debate. We at Atypical Games really love premium games and the audience for premium games. For Radiation Island in particular, it would have been very easy to ruin the game by making it free to play. Integrating a monetization scheme in a game is not an easy task. Imagine that instead of having to scavenge for resources we would sell you bandages, that would have ruined the game challenge. We also believe it’s fairer for the player too, as we are selling a product, not providing a service.

It is true that paid games seem to cover their costs harder and harder but right now, good value still has appreciation and its rewards. Radiation Island is living proof.

You’ve mentioned that it’s been a great hit in Japan. Why do you think that is? Did you have to localise Radiation Island before releasing it overseas?

We did localize it to 10 other languages, including Japanese and I believe that helped a lot. Another reason for the success I believe to be that Japanese players are more eager to enjoy a hardcore game then other markets. There are some great video games developers in the country making great hardcore and casual games for PC and consoles, so there must be an audience for both types. It also came to our attention that the Japanese audience do share their experience more. We’ve seen a couple of game-play videos out there with a lot of views. Too bad we don’t understand a word but people seem very open to sharing their experience and emotions about a game. These things have the power the make a game a lot of fun for both players and the others who are just watching.

What’s next for Atypical Games? Do you have any games lined up for release in the near future?

We are indeed working on a new title. We are a rather small team (20 guys in the development section) so we can only do so much in a given time so near future might vary a bit but it’s definitely on track. I can’t say more about this new game other than that it will blow everyone’s minds and it will look even better then Radiation Island.


Atypical Games
Atypical Games is a California based company with a fresh take on publishing. Atypical’s developers are the makers of Sky Gamblers™: Air Supremacy and are considered the premier maker of combat flight games for mobile devices.