DEEP DIVE

The cat who chats

Meet Talking Tom, a purrfectly versatile video-game hero.

Talking Tom, the kid-friendly star of over a dozen games and his own animated series, has diverse talents. He races jetskis and chases robbers. He eats cupcakes and dresses up. But how did he come to be? Here’s the inside scoop on the chattiest cat to grace your iPhone and iPad.

Humble roots

Unlike most hit videogame characters, Talking Tom wasn’t actually designed by his developer, Outfit7.

Back in 2009, studio co-founder Samo Login was full of game ideas but had no artists on staff yet. So he turned to the internet, where he found an online marketplace selling a 3D model of a tall gray cat with a fuzzy white belly.

After purchasing it for $90, the team integrated the model into the franchise’s first game, Talking Tom Cat. That’s the one where you talk to Tom through your device’s microphone and he repeats what you say back to you in a high-pitched voice.

The game was a huge hit.

And who knows? If Login had picked a different model (a frog and trash can were also options, the devs recall) we might be playing Talking Toad or Gabbing Garbage instead.

Palling around

Tom’s friends are everything to him. Although he may be the ultimate alpha cat, he’ll do anything to keep his pals happy, according to the team at Outfit7. That’s why he spends so much time trying to get along with inventor buddy Ben, adorable goof Hank, bubbly love interest Angela and rascally neighbour Ginger.

That loyalty won’t wane. Tom’s beloved comrades will continue to be a huge part of his adventures.

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