Weekend Inspiration: Accused of Copying, Indonesian Startup Had a “Wakeup Call”

July 15, 2012

10:00 am

For Anton Soeharyo, it all started with a Chinese New Year gift: a traditional red packet, containing money and symbolizing good luck.

At the time, he was going to college in Japan for international relations, and he wanted to do something useful with the money. So he decided to start building games and teamed up with his cousin and brother.

“Having people that I can trust, especially in business, makes me feel like Superman, invincible,” he says.

And they seemed invincible for a while: after Touchten Games was founded, they created several high-ranking games, like Sushi Chain and Hachiko. Hachiko became a top 10 app in the U, and was mentioned by Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt in a speech. Touchten’s games were downloaded 2.1 million times, and they received nearly $1 million in funding from local venture capital firm Ideosource.

But the good luck didn’t last: in early 2011, an American company claimed that Touchten’s most popular game was copied from theirs, and Apple removed it from the app store. Soeharyo tried to fight back – he says he didn’t know about this other game, which was actually released after Touchten’s – but to no avail.

“I learned that I should not put my eggs in one basket,” he says.

The incident lit a fire under Soeharyo: he realized that Touchten had been coasting on the success – and profits – from that game, and they were being “kind of lazy.” So they buckled down to work on other titles to prove that Indonesians can produce games, not just play them or copy them. Now, their game Infinite Sky is ranked among the top 10 games in several countries.

“It was like losing your child,” Soeharyo says, but “that was kind of a wake up call.”

The Touchten team

Did you like this article?

Get more delivered to your inbox just like it!

Sorry about that. Try these articles instead!

Kira M. Newman is a Tech Cocktail writer interested in the harsh reality of entrepreneurship, work-life balance, and psychology. She is the founder of The Year of Happy and has been traveling around the world interviewing entrepreneurs in Asia, Europe, and North America since 2011. Follow her @kiramnewman or contact [email protected]

  • Shares

Leave a Reply

  • (will not be published)
.ME Tech.co search 300x600

Get personal with .ME

Make your domain name as unique and memorable as you are. Get creative, get .ME!