Topping the app charts
Ryan Cash’s snowboarding game has hit number one in over 20 countries by Nikki Gill
When Ryan Cash met his best friend Jordan Rosenberg at the age of four, neither of the young boys had any clue they had just met their future business partner.
The pair, who are also Richmond Hill High School graduates, are the co-founders of Snowman, a small Canadian software studio based in Toronto.
The studio is responsible for creating the wildly popular app Alto’s Adventure, one of the top paid in the Apple app store around the world.
“It’s doing really well in pretty much every country in the world. We’ve hit number one in over 20, and we’re in the top five or top 10 in most countries,” says Cash of the app’s success.
Although Cash was always interested in computers, he didn’t spend his youth staring at a screen.
“I wouldn’t call us your typical computer nerds,” he says of himself and Rosenberg. “We were way more into outdoorsy things, but we saw the power of the Internet to have a big reach and as a tool to make money, and we saw that was the way the world was going.”
That love of the outdoors led to their idea to create the snowboarding game Alto’s Adventure.
“When we looked around in the app store, there were not a lot of snowboarding games that stood out to us,” says Cash of the moment they realized they had an opportunity to create something the market was lacking.
Cash credits the success of the app to their desire to make a game that was more than just cool 3D graphics, plus making sure the game was also fun to play for people who loved games and snowboarding — and also for those who don’t.
“We carefully considered every last detail of the game rather than just making sure the game play looked cool,” he says.
Cash and Rosenberg also teamed up with a U.K. artist and developer whose work Cash had seen before, Harry Nesbitt.
“I connected our idea of making a snowboarding game with Harry’s artwork,” he says.
Looking back on his humble beginnings at Richmond Hill High School, Cash says it was more his interest in computers that led him to where he is rather than his technical training.
“It wasn’t necessarily lessons we learned in class that I directly applied to what I’m doing now, but just being around [computers] and focusing on it definitely did help.”
Alto’s Adventure is the sixth app that Cash and Rosenberg have created and is definitely the most successful to date.
The game was in development for over two years before launching in February. Now it is available in the Apple app store for $2.29.
“Hopefully we can bring it to some more platforms. We’ve had tons of people ask us if we’re bringing it to Android, to consoles, to computers,” says Cash. “We’ve had users from pretty much every platform asking for it.”
It’s doing really well in pretty much every country.”
Cash’s latest app is one of the top
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GRADUATED: Richmond Hill High School, 2005
Co-founder of Snowman