Audio & slides (55 MB) Everyone knows about Zynga, Playdom, and Playfish but what about Backstage, Viral, Offbeat, and Crowdstar? Small companies are making good money in the shadows of the big players and while this isnt the fabled $500,000 per day it IS a ton of money per-capita. A group of smaller successful social game developer/publishers talk about how they compete effectively against the big guys and get quietly rich and whether doing so will be possible in the future. Delivered at Casual Connect Europe, February 2010
Jens BEGEMANN (email) In January 2009 Jens Begemann founded wooga (world of gaming). wooga launched its first game “Brain Buddies” on Facebook and Germany`s VZ.net in summer of 2009 and quickly gained over 10 million users. Its second game, Bubble Island, was just launched in beta and game three and four will follow in spring and summer 2010. wooga`s goal is to publish the best social games in the world. It is backed by Balderton Capital and Holtzbrinck Ventures who invested over €5m ($7.5m). From 2001 – 2008 Jens was at Jamba (aka Jamster) and helped growing the company to the world‘s leading provider of mobile entertainment. From 2005 he was Chief Product Officer & member of the management board. He managed a team of of 130, being responsible for content acquisition and creation and user experience.
Toby BERESFORD (email) Armed with a first class degree in Computer Science and IBM training, Toby has delivered professional web utilities and games to consumers, government, charities and businesses for over 13 years. Founder of the Facebook Developer Garage London for developers and entrepreneurs in August 2007, Toby is one of the leading London social media consultants in the branded social network applications space. With Nudge Social Media, his clients include Sony Playstation, THQ, Photobox and The Carphone Warehouse. Recent social games for Facebook include: UFC Undisputed – who would win in a fight? and Buzz! The Friend Quiz. Search on Facebook or visit the Nudge web site to play.
Alexey KOSTAREV (email) Alexey Kostarev is a Co-Founder and Head of Production for I-jet Media, a leading developer and publisher of social games in Russia. In 2001 after graduating from Ural State University in Yekaterinburg, Russia, Alexey founded an internet service provider, which after 4 years became one of the most profitable in the city. In 2005 Alexey co-founded I-jet Media, I-jets first project was published in 2006 on Rambler (the most popular casual game portal in Russia). s games currently have more than 24 million users. Since moving into publishing, I-jet has published 25 social games from 19 social game developers.
Alexander MENDELEV (email) Alex Mendelev is the Vice President of Business Development at Backstage Technologies, a top Canadian developer and publisher of social games, where he leads corporate strategy, partnerships and marketing. Backstage has blazed a distinctive trail in helping to build and establish the burgeoning social gaming industry by conceiving and creating the most engaging games in the industry. Backstage also provides consulting services to businesses and brands looking to leverage the social space. Before joining Backstage, Alex served in key management roles at Airborne Mobile, including head of business development and head of technology. At Airborne, Alex helped bring top North American brands to mobile, including NFL, NHL, Family Guy and The Cleveland Show. Alex received a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science from the University of British Columbia and an MBA from McGill University.