Apart from the big and famous European social game makers, most prominently Wooga, there are also some exotic companies achieving remarkable success with applications seeing millions of users on Facebook. These are the top three ‘dark horses’ from Europe.
#1 Telaxo – 13.3 million monthly active users
Telaxo, founded in 2004 by Mathieu Collas, is the seventh largest game publisher (in monthly active users) on Facebook – even ahead of CrowdStar or Digital Chocolate. Unlike them, Telaxo, headquartered in Orleans, France, is practically unknown and hardly ever featured in the media.
One reason for this could be that Telaxo doesn’t have one huge multi million user hit. Its game suite on Facebook encompasses 139 apps, mostly very simple and easy to play casual games in English language with next to no social features except for leaderboards. The most successful of these games, such as Bouncing Balls (bubble shooting) or Tower Blocks (tower building) attract more than 500,000 monthly active users each.
#2 Mynet – 4.6 million monthly active users
Mynet.com is Turkey’s most popular internet portal with over 39 million visitors per month but also a publisher of Facebook games. Given that there are more than 30 million Facebook users in Turkey, Facebook’s sixth biggest country, the success of Mynet’s games comes as no surprise.
All of the Facebook apps are published in Turkish language only – and apparently Turkish Facebook users enjoy board games a lot: Mynet’s biggest hits are Çanak Okey (2.4 million monthly active users) and Mynet Çanak 101 (1.1 million monthly active users) – both based on Okey, a tile game similar to Rummikub; and Tavla (620,000 monthly active users) – a Backgammon-style game.
Mynet’s titles are frequently on the lists of fastest growing Facebook games; it doesn’t look like the developer plans to release them in English or other languages to attract users outside Turkey.
#3 Geewa – 4 million monthly active users
Geewa hails from Prague, Czech Republic, the country also responsible for the Pilsner Urquell beer, Kafka and the word ‘Robot’ amongst others -its website informs. The company was founded in 2005 by Milos Endrle and currently has 14 employees. Geewa develops multiplayer casual games published on Facebook, Geewa.com, and also on the largest Czech web portal Seznam.cz.
Geewa’s philosophy is to build multiplayer games ‘because they’re more fun’. To prove the point, they even made a multiplayer version of Solitaire.
On Facebook, Pool Live Tour, a nicely executed pool game, is Geewas’ biggest success (4,000,000 monthly active users). Players compete against each other in real-time to make it to the leaderboards. The downside of the multiplayer approach is of course that opponents simply disconnect from a game when they’re losing.