Welcome to iQ212

iQ212 is a casual game studio making fun, original games for the mass-market. Our team has a proven track-record creating hit casual games on mobile, web, and PC.

We are a new studio, but you may have already played one of our games. Click below to check out our Brag Book of previous hits, kudos, and awards.

The Blog

The iQ212 Blog discussing game design, production, mobile and media will remain an important part of this homepage. Keep checking the blog for new editorials and posts. Thank you for your support!

I Heart Android.
Wednesday January 05th 2011, 12:11 pm
Filed under: Casual Games,Mobile

I heart Android.  Java was good for us.  BREW was great.  iPhone, meh.  But now I love me some Android.

After 14 years on ATT (most of that on my trusty Nokia 3650) I made the switch to Verizon.  I am on a Droid X, and my wife is on a Google provided Droid.  I also use a Verizon Samsung Galaxy Tab as a web surfer and color nook. Like I said, I <3 Android!

At iQ212 we are jumping in to android as well.  Emoticons® is half ported to android, and Redneck Fishin’ ™ is next. All our new games will be simultaneous Android/PC launches.

I admit, the Google Marketplace is not great at monetization, yet, but it is valuable in getting a game out into the wild and building a brand.  I am still a fan of what carriers do for merchandising and monetizing mobile games.  Sure the same 5 games have been in the top ten for ten years, and there are only three major publishers thriving, but overall the carriers are good for the biz and good for consumer experience.  I look forward to how the carriers handle Android and present a win/win/win for customers, publishers, and themselves.

My day job is at Exent, the world’s largest games on demand distributor.  We power Verizon Games, Tmobile, and several other operators.  I have been involved in cheerleading mobile internally and working on extending our content catalog to cover Android games.  Exent is iQ212’s largest PC revenue source, and I am sure that they will be our largest mobile revenue source when our Android games launch on their upcoming GameTanium service.  The subscription model monetizes every minute of gameplay, so iQ212 games (that are fun and replayable) will do very well with Exent.  If you have android games and apps, check out Exent’s distribution as a complement to carrier deck and app store revs.

Anyways, it is fun to be back in the mobile mix and catching up with other mobile old-timers.  I will be in London this month for the Mobile Games Forum, in Hamburg in Feb for the CC Europe, and in Barcelona for Mobile World Congress.  Let’s meet up, catch up, and talk about how great mobile is again.

Fours of Nature – Premium Deluxe Collector’s Edition
Thursday April 01st 2010, 8:15 am
Filed under: Casual Games,Game Design / Production,Uncategorized

4-01-2010  -  iQ212 is proud to announce the exclusive debut of our original puzzle game: Fours of NatureTM – Premium Collector’s Edition.  It is available for sale to download at select elite game sites.  Fours of Nature is a beautiful, nature inspired puzzle game that ruminates on the various Fours found in nature: seasons, elements, etc. 

Fours of Nature is a terrific game with hours of fun gameplay, but the digital extras in the Premium Deluxe Collector’s Edition put it over the top.   The Premium Deluxe Collector’s Edition available today includes a number of downloadable extras that will not be available with the standard edition of Fours of Nature when it launches next month. 

April Fools! FofN Premium Deluxe Collector’s Edition INCLUDES:
  • – Fours of Nature PC game, plus…
  • – Printable PDF version of the game instructions.
  • – Powerpoint FofN Strategy guide.
  • – Frequently Asked Questions about the game in TXT format.
  • – Wallpaper of the logo splash screen as JPG.
  • – A “Making of…” video on YouTube.
  • – Premium FofN desktop icon with cyan border.
  • – A Word doc with the recipe for yummy FofN Quattro Stagioni pizza
  • – 25% off coupon for Pets.com orders delivered by Webvan.
  • – An 800 number to call to save a bundle on car insurance.
  • AND…
  • Three weeks access to your own YOURNAME@ILoveFoursOf Nature.net email account

Crazy dream about old-school Maxis, and old fashioned EA
Monday February 22nd 2010, 10:45 am
Filed under: Casual Games,Game Design / Production

Since I have been back from Casual Connect Europe in Hamburg I have had wacky dreams.  Maybe a bit of jet lag induced.

Here is a dream I had last night.  EA (Electronic Arts – ERTS) gathered a bunch of Maxis alumni to discuss reviving old Maxis IP to help the EA bottom line in 2010. For the meeting, EA re-opened the old 2121 N. California office.  The execs were a mix of old and new: JR, Probst, Braun, and even Sam Poole!  The alums were all of the gang from back in the day, working on stuff that got canned after the acquisition of Maxis by EA.  Games like Sim Mars, The Mindwarp, SimBee, Sim Castle, and the Elliot Portwood titles.

Sim Mars and Castle art

Sim Mars and Castle art

So there was lots of deliberation, digging through the vaults, and the Maxis team and EA execs found the perfect games to update and revive.  We talked about what it would take to refresh them, and how to make them hits in today’s market.  The game concepts, themes, designs, branding, gameplay and everything about the GAMES were ideal to make lots of money for ERTS shareholders.

So, it was settled.  Great games were planned.  QED.  Ship it. 

Not quite.  Then, the EA execs start arguing. 

 - “Jewelcase, cardboard, or DVD Box?”.
 - “When can we book a retail endcap?”
 - “Is this feature list text to long to fit on a game package?”
 - “What is the CoGs for CD versus DVD?”.
 - “Is our key retailer shelf allotment booked through 2011?”.
 - “Has the price of oil driven up delivery costs?”

Then the EA execs turned to me and asked: “Rick, what do you think? Given all these concerns, is it still worth producing these games?”

And I said, “Don’t ask me.  All my games have been digitally distributed for the past ten years”.

Fours of Nature – New iQ212 puzzle game and new biz models!
Monday September 21st 2009, 9:07 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

I am proud to announce our latest game is almost ready to ship.  The game is a puzzler called Fours of NatureTM.  It rounds out current PC puzzle game offerings with a different mechanic, but classic casual play.

Here at iQ212, we are taking some steps to enhance the premium nature of our new title.  Though it is ready now, we are holding it back for a 90 day “premium window” where it will not be sold anywhere so it cannot be exploited by game portals.  After which we will launch on parity across all services.  Also, when it does launch, rather than sell the full game for $19.95, we are going to break it up into 60 levels over 60 days that cost $6.99 each.   The increased exposure from having a NEW game a day for 2 months, and the 21X return we will get from players buying all chapters rather than $20 once, will reap us huge dividends.  Plus, tying up 2 months of  “new game a day” slots will lock out the competition.  

Nothing is set in stone regarding our launch and pricing plans, so if the market changes, we can adapt as needed.  If you are interested in Fours of Nature for your game portal, let us know.  BTW, we might increase the ”premium window” where the game unavailable to up to 180 days just to keep the premium profit margins intact.

Observations from GDC Mobile in SF this week
Friday March 27th 2009, 3:00 pm
Filed under: Media,Mobile,Uncategorized

Second coming.

Google phone 2.0 



Minna Mingle: Now “F-word” free!
Wednesday December 10th 2008, 10:11 am
Filed under: Casual Games,Game Design / Production,Media,Uncategorized

Last night was another of the incredible game-biz gatherings known as the Minna Mingle.  Jessica Tams and the Casual Games Association do a terrific job putting these events together, and bringing together people who love games.  It is nice to hang out and chat casually, without the overhead of powerpoint presentations, invoices, or term sheets.  I do have a criticism of the lecture content from the panel of experts.

This Mingle started with an hour lecture on Social and Community Games billed as The world as I see it: five minutes from ten social gaming virtuosos. It featured comments from such proven, venerable game authorities as Zynga, SGN, Gaia, “Bret”, MySpace, and Ooga.  Added together, those companies have almost 10 years in the games business.  Each company rep got to speak extemporaneously for 5 minutes on social games.  Most talked about the waves of VC cash, how the sector was set to explode, tricking users into playing, how this is just like -but Bigger than- the Dot-Com days, and how important it is to make horrible games that cater to the lowest common denominator.  In 60 minutes, the panel of game experts NEVER USED THE F WORD!!!

WHAT THE F#&%?!?
Once again, in 60 minutes, a panel of ten experts on how to make great social and community games never used the word FUN.  The lone outlier was Sean Clark of EA/Pogo, who did stress the importance of quality gameplay for building social networks.  One big diff is that Pogo actually owns their community, rather than piggybacking on others.  His heresy was countered by several others who said the best way to make a social game is to rip off Mob/Mafia/Gang Wars and reskin it with a different theme.

So the takeaway is that the game companies that have sprung up to capitalize on the popularity of Facebook and MySpace are not really game companies.  They are marketing companies that are building/buying/borrowing an audience to flip before the buzz fades.  They (notable exceptions are Kongregate and Pogo) use off the shelf web tools to borrow a segment of another company’s userbase.  Where is the long term value in IP, infastructure, and subscriber community?  Where is the FUN?


Thursday November 06th 2008, 6:41 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Best new PC game this year: World of GOO
Thursday October 23rd 2008, 3:10 pm
Filed under: Casual Games,Game Design / Production,Uncategorized

Original, fun, creative, addicting, innovative, well produced, beautifully designed, rewarding, compelling.  It is all that.  Congrats to the team at 2DBoy on this terrific game.  You gotta play World of Goo

iQ212′s Rick Marazzani is in Moconews
Wednesday October 22nd 2008, 11:20 am
Filed under: Media,Mobile,Uncategorized

I read the mobile content news site moconews.net every day and finally had a chance to contribute.  The T-mobile Google Android phone launch party was in SF on Tues, and I was around to take pics and write a report for Moconews.  Check it out: http://www.moconews.net/entry/419-hundreds-form-line-in-san-francisco-for-t-mobile-g1-event/ 

EMOTICONS is honored by the National Parenting Publications Awards
Tuesday September 16th 2008, 5:59 pm
Filed under: Casual Games,Media,Mobile,Uncategorized

EmoticonsTM won a NAPPA award for being a family friendly game with appeal for parents and kids.  Our mobile publisher Konami submitted Emoticons to NAPPA and we were selected for an award.  It is pretty cool that folks dig the game.  We must have done something right, as our sales are growing month over month.  We knew going in that good puzzle games will have evergreen shelf-life and a long tail.NAPPA Award for iQ212's Emoticons

Here is a quote about the award: “The National Parenting Publications Awards is the most comprehensive awards program for children’s products and parenting resources. NAPPA’s independent panel of judges evaluate hundreds of submissions to select the most appealing, fun, safe, educational, age-appropriate and enduring products.”

iQ212 is excited about the award, the great work Konami has done to publish the mobile game, and the future of our Emoticons franchise.