MegaZebra is one of the pioneers in the European social gaming industry with a wide portfolio of game genres across several social networks. Having reached a significant experience level and understanding the constantly changing mechanics on social networking platforms, MegaZebra recently decided to give others the opportunity to benefit from their expertise. We talked to Henning Kosmack, Founder and CEO of MegaZebra about the recent strategic move.
Social Games Observer: How did you come up with the idea to act as a games publisher?
Henning Kosmack, CEO of MegaZebra
Henning Kosmack: Basically, we wanted to bridge the gap between the great talent pool of game developers in Europe and Germany and the fantastic platform that Facebook is. This platform, however, is getting increasinglytricky and requires full dedication. We think that if you want to succeed on Facebook these days you need to give it much attention and that is what MegaZebra has done now for more than 1,5 years. We eat, drink, and sleep social games! Adding to this, the recent Facebook changes made it more difficult for new entrants, i.e. cutting down on some viral features. Hence, partnering creates a great win-win-win situation. Studios can focus on their games, MegaZebra will make them social and users get access to something new and fresh. The fact that we get great response among game developers for this approach is very encouraging. Increasingly, we also get calls from the US and Asia because they know that we have been around for a while, focus on quality, and, last but not least, have managed to get users primarily in tier 1 markets.
Social Games Observer: There are many companies that focus on publishing and offer different solutions. What does your publishing service include?
Henning Kosmack: That depends very much on the game, the genre and the mechanics. Overall, we want to make the games as good as possible, together with the partner. This normally includes optimising the social engagement and to make it fit for the target group. On top of that, it will of course get access to the general offerings by MegaZebra, e.g. our payment platform, localization, and cross-promotion through our network. It is important to stress out that this is not a “one-size-fits-all-approach”. Some parties offer publishing which to them means to simply put a cross-promo bar on top. This is not how we see a partnership. We are looking for a deep cooperation for the benefit of the users. We care very much about our users so we always want to offer them something great. If we do not see that potential in a game we won’t do it. But if we do we will work long hours to get it in front of existing and new MegaZebra games. This also means that the games get the same customer service as our own games so the users will not feel any difference.
Social Games Observer: Which features of games that you license usually need to be adapted?
Henning Kosmack: First of all, the game needs to appeal to the target group. This includes the entire user interface with sound effects. Users have to get into the game quickly and easily. We have to remember that most people on Facebook still don’t consider themselves as “playing games”, but rather interacting with friends via a game. Therefore, we have to ensure that the game offers this possibility. Often we also have to optimise the game for scalability. If someone has never developed a Facebook game before they will not know how to handle this kind of traffic. We have learnt this the hard way sometimes and our partners can benefit from it now. Additionally Facebook still offers viral features irrespective of what the general opinion in the market is. MegaZebra is still growing that way and we are proud of that.
Social Games Observer: What kind of game developers can benefit the most from your service?
Henning Kosmack: Almost every game developer that has any aspirations towards Facebook can benefit from this partnership. Obviously, casual and browser games developers are (more…)