'Candy Crush is the First Game to Employ Brain Hacking Techniques'by@swedeyburr
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'Candy Crush is the First Game to Employ Brain Hacking Techniques'

by Burr MediaJuly 15th, 2022
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Triple O Games CEO and Co–Founder Isidro Quintana was inspired to try and make a Hollywood movie when he was a teenager. Quintana studied fine arts and computer engineering in Madrid, where he studied Audiovisual Communication. King’s Candy Crush, Angry Birds and Supercell changed everything all over again by bringing high-quality games to mobile games, he says. The best gamechanger is probably King's game that exploits the weakness in the human brain that keeps people playing.

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Past–Present–Future: A Q&A with Triple O Games CEO & Co–Founder Isidro Quintana

When did your fascination with tech and gaming begin?

I had a strong curiosity about how things work since I can remember. As a little kid, whenever I saw a machine, a plane, or a car, I would become obsessed to know how it works. When I was five years old, my grandfather gave me a big toy car–the kind that you can drive. Instead of driving it, I destroyed it–wanting to see how things inside work. Such interests stayed with me until today. As a boy, I was also very creative and loved art and drawing. As I grew older, my desire to create became directed at machines and computers.

I recall when Toy Story came out–I got inspired to try and make a Hollywood movie. I did a lot of 3D stuff and worked very hard, even though I was a young teenager at the time.

My desire to combine fine arts and computer engineering eventually led me to Madrid, where I studied Audiovisual Communication.

That was when I entered the computer animation industry. Already as a student, I started working at a studio that was recently acquired by Skydance Animation Madrid. Working and collaborating with high-profile talent at the time significantly impacted and accelerated my learning curve. There I also got the opportunity to observe up close how a company that started with 20-30 people grew to 300 and raised $60M to make a movie. That was my first step into a CEO career

Since I was very familiar with how you raise money for an animation movie, I soon began to wonder–if they did it, can I do it for myself? That was the reason I came back home to the Canary Islands–to start my own start-up.

At what point did you decide you were not going to make movies and went for gaming instead?

I was into computer games since childhood, but it was when the first color mobile games came out, which had terrible graphics, that I thought–this is an opportunity. I was eager to bring the high-quality animation from the movies into mobile games. Around that time, the first iPhone hit the market, so the moment was perfect.

I started to run my own business in 2007–Promineo Studios. I wanted to jump into mobile games–predicting back then that they are going to be the future. Because I was in the Canary Islands at the time, the opportunity to jump in front of the competition with my vision got wasted. I didn’t have the opportunity to connect with entrepreneurs, investors, and visionaries in the field, so I wasted a lot of time making the right connections with the right people. Finally in 2008, when it became apparent that mobile games can make a lot of money–I made a mobile game.

Now that same story repeats–in 2017 I saw the possibilities of Blockchain games. Thankfully, at this point, I have a bit more advantage thanks to my experience and my career.

What’s the best mobile gaming app–the gamechanger that you’ve seen come out?

That would have to be King’s Candy Crush. The game itself is super simple and nothing very new, but King did something crazy with it. It is the first game that employed brain hacking techniques. It exploits the weakness in the human brain that keeps people playing. The company threw a lot of research and analysis behind it, which set the standard for the rest of us.

Another one that definitely had an impact on revolutionizing the industry is Rovio’s Angry Birds. It’s much simpler, however, the progression system it introduced–for leveling up and improving the main characters in the game–was a gamechanger.

Finally, Supercell changed everything all over again by bringing King’s and Rovio’s knowledge to high-quality games.

Who will change mobile games next remains to be seen. It will almost certainly be a multiplayer game. People love to interact and that became a must for mobile games that want to get on top and make a lot of money.

What’s your take on the Metaverse and Web3?

I find it interesting how all the big brands are making sure to be there–in the Metaverse. It’s no wonder–having millions of people attending the same events for example offers unparalleled advertisement opportunities. Also, there is a virtual economy that is growing up. Studies are showing that younger generations are becoming more interested in making purchases for their virtual characters than for themselves.

We are also there, Triple O Games, at the very beginning of Web3 and the Metaverse.

What would you advise someone who is just getting into the industry?

Don’t pay attention to the hype and go for real usability and value of whatever you are creating instead. Consider how are the things that you are creating going to impact people. Come because you want to do something meaningful inside the space.

The world won’t transform overnight and the transition from Web2 to Web3 is going to be gradual, so focus on how can you help people make those, for many difficult, baby steps.

A particular failure or a success that substantially impacted the way you make decisions?

There is a quote from Robin Sharma I particularly like and find to be true. It goes “The bigger the dream, the more important the team.”

I learned the hard way that sharing the same ambitions with your business partners and aligning those with your team is extremely important. However, thanks to my previous mistakes I now have an amazing group of people at Triple O Games.

It might sound a bit tough, but my mission as a CEO is to be useless.

What are some of your hidden talents?

I enjoy envisioning the future. This leads me to do a lot of research, which helps me foresee what’s coming next.

I’m really good at recognizing other people’s hidden talents–those that a person might not even be aware of possessing.

Is there one moment in your career that stands out above everything?

It’s tough to answer, but if I have to single something out, it would be receiving the worldwide feature from Apple, which meant appearing on everyone's iPhone for a week. I thought that was huge. At that point, it became recognized that I have a good product, and it meant that my vision was on point.

Do you speak any other languages besides Spanish and English?

I speak some Portuguese thanks to practicing Brazilian Capoeira for 13 years.

If you weren’t in gaming and tech what would you be doing?

I love storytelling and I love movies.

I also love space and what Elon Musk is doing. I have an uncle who was a director of solar observatory at the Institute of Astrophysics in the Canary Islands. I always found what he was doing to be very interesting, so maybe I would be a space engineer.

Do you collect anything obscure?

Not really. In fact, I adopted a minimalistic lifestyle for the past 10 years. I only have what I need–a bed to sleep in, a computer to work on. This also allows me to be more mobile.

What would be the title of a game that features you and your life?

Something in line with “Back to the Future.”

Additional reporting by Ana Grabundzija