Eric Johnson

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Outfit7 Says Its Talking Friends Apps Have Been Downloaded More Than One Billion Times

dr_evil_380It’s too bad that all the Talking Friends are cute animals and not bald supervillains, because they’ve now racked up one biiiiiiillion downloads.

Outfit7, the studio behind the popular free iOS and Android apps, announced the 10-figure milestone in a press release, also noting that they’re currently scoring about 50 million downloads per month. Some 16 months ago, the total stood at around 300 million downloads. And in that time, the number of Talking Friends apps has remained constant at 14.

According to CEO Samo Login, the company is parlaying its success on the two big app stores into experiments in other verticals. Last year, Outfit7 released plush-toy versions of three of its more popular characters: Tom, Ginger and Angela. Login said those toys offer something valuable to young children that apps cannot — physical contact.

outfit7_talkingtom“Apps are a great way to start,” Login said. “A lot of characters were born in cartoon, or in print. Ours were born in the apps, which doesn’t mean they must be limited to the apps.”

(And, in case you missed it: Based on the buzz at E3, Login is in good company.)

Beyond physical toys, a TV series based on the Talking Friends is already in the works, and is planned to start in August 2014; a movie is also “in the planning” (read: We wanna do one eventually!). However, Login emphasized that there’s still more to come in the app world, even though “we need to present in other verticals.”

For those of you keeping score at home: That’s pretty similar to Cut the Rope maker ZeptoLab’s messaging around its own TV show plans, but distinct from Rovio, which is transitioning away from being the “mobile games company.”

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Nobody was excited about paying top dollar for a movie about WikiLeaks. A film about the origins of would have done better.

— Gitesh Pandya of comments on the dreadful opening weekend box office numbers for “The Fifth Estate.”