Temple Run 2 Interview With Imangi Studios' Keith Shepard
It's great to be Imangi Studios. The developer behind the immensely popular Temple Run released the sequel, aptly called Temple Run 2, last Thursday. In just a few days, the game has been downloaded more than 20 million times on iOS alone. That said, we caught up with co-founder Keith Shepard to talk about the team's success, along with plans for the inevitable Android version.
The original Temple Run was huge across multiple devices. What was your reaction to its commercial reception around the world?
We were blown away by the success of Temple Run. It's something you always dream of as a developer, but not something you ever expect to actually happen to you.
How much pressure did you feel in creating Temple Run 2? Did you meet or exceed expectations?
We definitely felt a lot of pressure. The first was such a huge hit that we knew it would be hard to top. So far we're off to an amazing launch. We hit #1 on the App Store within a few hours of launch and the reception has been overwhelmingly positive. So I feel that we've at least met expectations and hopefully exceeded them.
The addition of zip lines and mine carts help break up the endless running. Were there any ideas that didn't make it into the game?
Yes, there are always things that end up cut from the first release in order to make your release schedule. We have a lot that we still want to do with this game, and Temple Run 2 is setup better from a technical standpoint for us to make updates to it and add content as we go.
We noticed the game has four characters. Who are they in the grand scheme of things? How did you arrive at their names?
The four characters in Temple Run 2 are actually what we considered the four main characters from Temple Run. They are all people that have some sort of special connection to the idols and are playing a part in a larger story. You can read more about the world and characters in the Temple Run comic book series. Their names actually came about rather quickly during the development of Temple Run. We wanted names that sounded like cool comic book or action heroes and we just made them up.
It appears that Temple Run 2 is quite expansive. What can we expect moving forward in terms of updates?
Yes, the world in Temple Run 2 is a much richer and vibrant environment that we hope to expand upon in future updates. Nothing to announce yet though.
Conspicuous by its absence is the Android version. When can we expect to see it?
We're planning on releasing the Google Play and Amazon version next Thursday, January 24th.
Now that the Android version exists, will you support Ouya and Project Shield? What do you think of these devices?
We don't have any current plans to support those devices. What they are doing is very exciting, but we're such a small team that we have to prioritize our focus. Right now we're taking a bit more of a wait and see approach.
Imangi doesn't seem to release much, aside from Temple Run updates. Is it safe to say that the series is now your sole priority?
We're a small team. The original Temple Run was three people, Temple Run 2 was a team of five. You can imagine that our time is very limited and we have to make difficult decisions about our priorities, given that it's really not possible for us to be working on more than one project at a time. Right now our sole focus is on the Temple Run series. I'd love to make some other new games in the future, but nothing we are currently working on.