Tech Power Player Roy Liu Is a Fan of Fun

The tech industry is notoriously dog-eat-dog. Breaking into the big time isn't just about having a good idea (although you'll need one), or having a strong work ethic (you'll need that too), it's about being consistently tenacious, creative, and forward-thinking. To celebrate those who exemplify these qualities, Gizmodo has teamed up with the Galaxy Nexus™ from Sprint to bring you the Tech Power Players series.

Over the past few days Gizmodo has been profiling industry leaders who have transformed the world of mobile gaming. Today, Gizmodo is taking a look at the career of Roy Liu, former developer for PopCap, startup pioneer, and arcade prize enthusiast.


If you've ever used plants to defend your home from zombies while taking the train to work, you've got Roy Liu to thank. While working as a mobile game software engineer for PopCap Games International, Liu was the lead developer of the massive mobile hit, Plants vs. Zombies. Liu believes PopCap's success stems from, "Fun, fun, and fun. PopCap never ships a project as a product but as a game. It's all about being fun. We take our time to make great games and that is our main concern." And while Liu spent five years developing fun games for PopCap, he chose to leave his job last year and co-found GimmieWorld with CEO David Ng.

GimmieWorld launched this past January, and seeks to flip the paradigm so that in-game achievements and purchases earn gamers actual out-of-game rewards. By using GimmieWorld's platform, developers are able to add in-game incentives to their games. They can customize the rewards however they see fit, allowing users to accrue Gimmie points through leveling up, purchasing in-game content, and buying other apps. These points can then be spent at the Gimmie marketplace on real-world items.

If this all sounds vaguely familiar, it's because GimmieWorld's idea to move mobile advertising forward is actually based on the arcades of yore, where a mobile marketplace is an updated version of that glass case of prizes (without the sketchy middle-aged man handing out creepy stuffed toys). Or as David Ng, Liu's partner-in-fun put it, "This is like a Chuck E. Cheese model where you can get tokens and people can keep playing to get more value. Everyone in our platform gets a benefit; users choose what they want and developers get another way to keep them coming back."

As GimmieWorld gains momentum and more developers begin using their platform in the coming months, gamers will see fewer distracting third-party ads, and begin to experience Liu's vision for the future of mobile gaming.


The Tech Power Players series is inspired by the Galaxy Nexus™ from Sprint. Featuring unlimited entertainment from Google Play on the latest version of Android, the Galaxy Nexus is changing the world of mobile gaming. Head here now for more info.