I have immense respect for Backflip Studios. They are one of the few iPhone development groups that has been able to leverage one of their early successes and build it into a strong and sustainable business.

The company was founded by Julian Farrior (pictured left), Dale Thoms (pictured right) and Tom Blind in April 2009. Their first game was Ragdoll Blaster and launched on May 15, 2009. Three weeks later, they launched Paper Toss for free. Paper Toss, of course, went on to be massively popular to the surprise of everyone including Backflip. But Backflip recognized the value of having such an incredibly successful free app and used it to both generate revenue for the company and also help launch its other games up from obscurity.

After their first year, Backflip has generated $3.5 million in net revenue and has expanded to 8 full time employees and over a dozen contractors. 60% of their revenue comes from direct App Store sales while 40% comes from advertising. Of the 11 apps (including Lite versions) they've released, they've seen 8 of them reach the top 5 overall rankings, and they presently serve 1 million unique players a day.

We spoke with Backflip's Julian Farrior and Dale Thoms today at WWDC 2010 and got a look at their upcoming projects. Farrior reports that they have been aggressively ramping up production of games and has 4 new games coming in the next couple of months. He provided us hands on demos for them. They included one paid game and three free games:

  • Tunnel Shoot - tunnel shooter developed with Team Phobic
  • Graffiti Ball - level-based physics game
  • Ninjump - casual jumping/climbing game
  • Buganoids - retro-styled circumferential shooter

Julian and Dale walk through the gameplay of each in this video:

We expect they'll continue with their great success. Tunnel Shoot is the first title to be delivered on June 24th with Graffiti Ball, Ninjump and Buganoids each following every 2 weeks. Julian Farrior is an active participant in our forums as Backflip Studios.

  • Lukeb

    I never ended up playing the latest Ragdoll Blaster, but the screenshots really stuck in the mind. One could tell just from looking at them how fun all the interactive elements would turn out to be, and the artwork was great.

  • http://www.silentrocco.com Silent Rocco

    The child of Canabalt and Ninjatown will be a success, for sure.

  • http://www.metroccolis.com Silent Rocco

    The child of Canabalt and Ninjatown will be successful, for sure.

  • festival

    paperToss never play it...but it looks very simple. simple gameplay is the key to success on the iPhone.

    • http://doesnothaveoneyet ultimo

      Tht is the Truth ma Friend πŸ™‚

  • blackHorse

    It's funny how they ripped off that indie flash game developer with Ragdoll Blaster (Originally Ragdoll Cannon), and made millions with it.

    • http://doesnothaveoneyet ultimo

      He should have done something about it.... something is NOT = to wht Tim langdell did

      • Kinl

        Please fill us in on what he can do then? Isn't this the way the app store works, an indy proves a concept then someone with more money and marketing power copies it a trumps it?

      • festival

        game ideas are never copyright protected....only the content/assets of a game are!

      • blackHorse

        Please compare even the graphics of Ragdoll Cannon and Ragdoll Blaster.

      • festival

        ok the ragdoll gfx looks nearly the same...but it's newly drawn. Not nice...to copy the game assets of a game so close..I'm sure thats not legal.
        Unbelievable that the fonts are also blue?!

      • festival

        Most famous game idea rip off is Doddle Jump ripped Papi Jump . But they included a new look and more gameplay.

  • http://doesnothaveoneyet ultimo

    Loved Graffiti Ball (Esp. Pinch feature πŸ˜‰ ) & Ninjump (Esp. TOUCH Controls) from the Vid.

  • SalsaMD

    Hmm, "Ninjump" bears strong resemblance to" Ninjatown: Trees of Doom" by Venan...

  • Hurricane Mind

    Sad... All those comments about Natalia's looks posted after the previous article, and these guys get no love at all.

    • swarmster


      Though your comment made me curious, so I went back and read the comments of the previous article and it's really amazing what a difference some selective censorship can make.

      Early this morning it was at least half Imangi criticism, including a few responses from Natalia, and very little if any comments about anyone's physical appearance. But now it's like a full scale love-in.

  • pami

    Waiting for

    how much it will be
    or it will be free?

    when its coming,
    im lazy to read..

  • festival

    Here's the difference about "Ragdoll Blaster" from backflip and "Ragdoll Cannon" from a russian flash game developer.

    backflip used the ODE physics engine...the Flash game used Box2D (as3 version)

    Anyway....like both games. Backflip Studios creates great pick up and play games.
    Sure, not the original games but i like them

  • nonamez11

    respect for Backflip Studios?
    people who ve got money and glory by creating 100% clone of the famous flash game?