Behind the Doors of a Liverpool Technology Studio

10 years of Citrus Suite: developments of the past decade, part 2

Read part 1 here

Guest blogpost by Kerri Chamberlain.

The past ten years for Citrus Suite have brought many developments from perspectives of creative to health. Each one created its own significance and success whether that was through the formation of an app, website or software system. This adjoining post to celebrate Citrus Suites tenth birthday will focus on their developments and the accomplishments that were achieved as a result.

It seems necessary to start with Citrus Suites first in-house release ‘Mystery Seekers: The Secret of the Haunted Mansion’. The game was initially created as the first output for their Citrus Engine back in 2011, the point-and-click adventure game was published by a Seattle gaming company  – Big Fish Games and became an instant hit among its users after its release to the Apple store in March of 2012. The game reached number 1 in the iPad adventure games category in UK, US and 13 other countries gaining high review scores along the way. It also made the top 10 (in iPad puzzle games category) across 78 countries. To date the game has been downloaded close on 1 million times across various formats.

The same year brought the contract with Penguin Books, which was a really successful time for Citrus Suite, as their app developed adaption of Keri Smith’s acclaimed book ‘Wreck This Journal’ – ‘Wreck This App’ was released and positively received. The app replicates the format of the book, with specific prompts to inspire users to create and destroy, in this case navigating between pages of a digital journal, with the choice to share their creations through forms of social media. The release of the enhanced ebook brought an abundant of positive reviews, to being voted best digital product of 2011, at the Penguin Group Third Annual David Awards. Wreck This App also went to #1 on the UK iTunes entertainment chart.

Citrus Suite’s second app for the book company – Chopsticks, which was released in 2012,  was awarded ‘App Of The Year’ by App Magazine, and it was apparent as to why – the interactive counterpart of the dark picture book offered a realistic and emotional look into the lives of the characters featured and brought a different kind of experience to each individual reader, granting the team at Citrus Suite access into the list of the ‘top 5 book apps ever’ by Apps Magazine.

In the midst of 2014, co-directors; Chris Morland and Steve Donovan, decided they were up for the challenge of entering Public Health England’s first ‘Health X’ competition which was designed with the intention to determine and support the newest applications to improve people’s lifestyles, from getting active to eating well. In August of 2014, Citrus Suite were announced the first ever winners of the Health X competition. This huge accomplishment was able to endorse Fee Fi Fo Fit and its concept into a brilliant active lifestyle game. This success offered Citrus Suite an even bigger opportunity getting on the radar of Disney UK and Creative England. They asked for technology developers to create a way for families to be inspired and lead healthier lives. With Fee Fi Fo Fit being the perfect game to get families of all ages moving Citrus Suite entered themselves into the competition, and in January of 2016 the team were selected as the winner for their prototype, and also received £80,000 of product development funding, for an idea that has still not gone away….

For Citrus Suite with each achievement came another client proposing new and different creative developments. In 2015 advancement for a daily affirmation app called Daily Wonder began. The app is inspired by the book ‘Wonder’ by R. J. Palacio a number one, New York Times best selling Author. The Daily Wonder app provides daily quotes to promote kindness, as well as a book section which provides extended excerpts. Late 2017 saw the release of the film ‘Wonder’ based on the award winning book. On the same date of the US release, the Daily Wonder app was featured under ‘New Apps We Love’ on the Apple store.

Citrus work with some of the world’s top companies & visionary organisations and were voted Creative England’s Future Leader in 2015; “Our ten Future Leaders were chosen by a panel of judges* for their strong growth promise and their potential to disrupt the sector with true innovation.”

CREATIVE ENGLAND’S FUTURE LEADER

*Judges included:

  • Nicola Mendelsohn – runs Facebook (in Europe, Middle East and across Africa) and was voted the 4th most influential person in the Wired world 2015.
  • Saul Klein – Founder of Lovefilm, Seedcamp, Kano, Platoon, Entrepreneur (Firefly, Skype). Investor (Localglobe, Index).
  • Rory Cellan-Jones  BBC’s technology correspondent
  • Rebecca Burn-Callander – The Telegraph’s the Enterprise Editor. She writes about entrepreneurs, start-ups, SMEs and fast-growth businesses
  • Stuart Rock from the Business is Great government campaign.

The last decade has shown a multitude of apps, websites and software developments all of which have contributed to the high success Citrus Suite has achieved. I am very much looking forward to seeing what the next ten will bring and what advancements Citrus Suite will accomplish.

 

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