Huge! Play’s Adrian Roche discusses the extraordinary tech in the GameBud Talking Tom

Why GameBud Talking Tom is the tip of the licensing iceberg for Huge! Play’s Adrian Roche.

Adrian, thanks for talking to us. We met when you were exhibiting as co-founder of Huge! Play at BLE. You had an incredible piece of tech on your stand: tell us about GameBud Talking Tom…
We’ve developed a platform, GameBud, which – in our first launch – features Talking Tom as a character. He wirelessly connects with some of the Talking Tom mobile games, and he reacts and comments real-time on the game you’re playing.

In what way? What’s his personality like?
He behaves like a great gaming buddy, giving you hints, cheering you on, teasing, telling stories, jokes and many more things. You can also make him say things on command via the soundboard in our pairing app. He has lifelike mouth movements that are synced to his speech, and his ears and eyebrows all move as he talks. His eyes are fully animated: from blinking to fun graphics like explosions, question marks, icons and more. He’s always alive until you shut him down, which he has opinions about!

I bet! I’m glad you mentioned the mouth movement and the eye detail so early on… I was particularly impressed with them. The tech inside this is clearly extraordinary. How much development has gone into this?
A lot of development went into this product. Designing the firmware to respond to in-game play, as well as voice interactions was important in making a very natural responsive product.

“One of the biggest challenges was getting the eyes and lensing correct…”

Many hours were spent designing how the mouth would move. Even the material of the mouth was important to engineer well… One of the biggest challenges was getting the eyes and lensing correct. The unique design of those lenses and placement of the LCDs make for an extraordinarily realistic effect. We have quite a few patents pending on this innovative little device.

Adrian Rouche, Huge! Play
In your opinion, why is this groundbreaking?

Bringing a plastic character to life is no trivial task. Getting it to respond to actions in a video game real time is genuinely disruptive. Our product feels as if he’s alive with you as you play, commenting on your game play, talking smack, and giving you all sorts of fun comments. We feel we’ve achieved a new level of digital gaming to physical play that breaks out of the screen while keeping you immersed in the gaming you love. Even the AI and speaking content are structured in all new ways to make him the most alive and fun animatronic streamer ever!

Good answer. As you say, the product ties in with two computer games: Talking Tom Gold Run and Talking Tom Hero Dash. How does it enhance those games?
GameBud Talking Tom behaves as a live gaming streamer who knows exactly where you are and where you’ve been. The AI in his head also knows where you’re going to be next. During your gameplay, he shouts out comments, suggestions and general game play reactions right as the events happen. He makes the game more fun and helps you to to be better all while having fun with you as you play.

It’s extraordinary to hear this character talking to you while you’re playing, it really is. What else does GameBud Talking Tom do that might be unexpected?
He does a ton of things while playing a game – like remembering how you played last time, and guessing how you might miss something while encouraging you to keep going or to play again. When you’re not playing a game he has funny, interesting and even bizarre things to tell you. He also knows what time of the day it is and what region of the country you live in, and he automatically customises his comments to your time, weather, day in history or other facts.

Adrian Rouche, Huge! Play
My god! Tell me he can scramble eggs and I’ll marry him!

Well… No, not yet. Let me look into that! He’s a lovable wise guy, though, and tells all sorts of stories and gets you to participate in them by making choices… He asks you questions that then change the story itself. He seems to almost never say the same thing twice and is constantly being updated with new things to talk about. Lastly, through the pairing app, which is free, you can control what he says using the soundboard. There are hundreds of comments, phrases and reactions that you can make him say on command.

“We worked with experts in child-safety compliances, ensuring all mandatory and voluntary government compliances were met.”

Given the target audience, I imagine the difficulties you had with data protection were enormous! Can you tell us a little bit about how you overcame those challenges?
Privacy is extremely important to us and we took all precautions in making sure no data is stored on the product or in the cloud servers. There’s nothing that’s kept because we don’t ask for any personal information. Our voice-recognition software only asks for certain pre-designed word responses and nothing more.

And what happens to that after you respond?
Once the response is made? It’s immediately deleted, in a fraction of a second. We’ve worked with experts in the field of child-safety compliances, ensuring all mandatory and voluntary government compliances were met for the global market.

Adrian Rouche, Huge! Play
Above and beyond the call of duty! Data protection aside, then, what was the biggest challenge making this idea a reality?

Hmmm. Creating and then manufacturing a product of this complexity is an enormous undertaking. Because of the challenges of component part shortages, price increases, shipping delays and so on, the hardest part was overcoming the extraordinary obstacles we faced in such an unusual year as 2021. Making sure this product delivers a totally unique experience in helping bring story and gaming to life was a tall order but with our senior teams deep expertise and great passion for excellence the challenges were met and we delivered a very special product.

And when you were looking to develop this, did you specifically imagine extending it with other brand properties?
Absolutely, we were delighted to be able to launch our first product with Outfit 7. Their Talking Tom mobile games are some of the biggest in the world and they were wonderfully supportive partners. We always saw this as a perfect opportunity to test whether the technology would be able to deliver what it promised – and it passed with flying colours! This allows us now to move to our next phase.

Oh yes? With that in mind, then, with whom would you like to work on other versions?
Our next move will be into the PC-gaming world with some of the biggest licensed characters in the world. Our ‘real time’ technology enables us to deliver profoundly valuable information, strategy, lore and more dished delivered through your favourite in-game character come to life.

Adrian Rouche, Huge! Play
You’re not just looking at the child market, though?

No, the PC-gaming world core market is 16 years plus. The worldwide gaming market, according to Forbes, will top $500 Billion by 2025!

Wow. So what’s next for you?
We’re in fundraising mode. We’ll use these funds to launch at least two PC-connected GameBud Pro characters from A-list game licenses next year, while continuing to roll out GameBud Talking Tom to international markets

Great! Adrian, you’ve made this very easy and enjoyable; thank you so much for spending time with us. Before we wrap it up, what’s the one question I should’ve asked you but didn’t?
Has anyone done a product similar to GameBud before?

That’s a good question, and I think I know the emphatic answer…
Right! It’s no! This is truly a groundbreaking first. The software’s taken over five years to develop, and the advances in Wi-Fi connectivity allow us to do things that would have been impossible, even a short time ago.

Brilliant! Thanks again, Adrian. Best of luck with the next phase – keep us posted! In the meanwhile, welcome people find out more?
People can access our website at

Adrian Rouche, Huge! Play

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