When IvÃ¡n De Cabo hacked together âSteve â The Jumping Dinosaurâ, the super casual game playable from within the iOS Notification Center game, he had no idea what would happen next.
The game become a minor viral sensation, shooting it up the App Store charts, eventually catching the attention of Apple itself who featured the âappâ. This then led to an acquisition offer that went up and up â from an initial $350 to $60,000, De Cabo told TechCrunch at the time â that was politely declined.
However, TechCrunch has learned that âSteve â The Jumping Dinosaurâ has since been acquired by a different suitor, Spanish gaming company Genera Games, for a sum I understand to be more than triple the offer De Cabo originally received. Heâs also joined Genera Games where heâll be heading up a team at the company developing âultra casualâ titles.
In a call, De Cabo told me he was first introduced to Genera by his then boss at Icinetic, Lucas GozÃ¡lvez (who also owned a 15 per cent stake in âSteve â The Jumping Dinosaurâ) but at first the gaming company wasnât interested in making an acquisition.
That was before it took on a viral life of its own, and got featured in the App Store (in part thanks to another shareholder, marketeer Chris Obereder, who had a 10 percent stake, with De Cabo owning the remaining 75 per cent).
âI never made a game before and I decided to do one in a weekend to see if Iâd be able to make a game within two days. What I donât know is how I found out that there exist extensions for iOS that let you code for the notification center,â De Cabo recalls.
âSo there I was, I picked the Google Chrome easter egg as a tribute plus the mechanics of the game were pretty simple (just a character jumping) and I decided that Iâd be different from the rest by putting it right into the notification centerâ.
That resulted in a million downloads to date. And, eventually, being acqui-hired by Genera Games. I also understand there was another offer on the table, a partnership with a different leading but unnamed games publisher.
âMy first impression when I met Ivan was that guy is really smart and honest, I want to work with him to evolve the game niche that he has opened,â says Curro Rueda, Genera Games Chief Operating, in a statement. Now the two are doing just that.