Socialgamesobserver

The Latest News on the Social Games Market in Europe and Emerging Markets

12Jan/12

Europe’s Dark Horses – Three Hardly Talked About Social Game Companies with Millions of Users

By Regina Leuwer

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.

Tower Blocks by Telaxo has almost 500,000 users.

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.

Mynet's Çanak 101 Okey game - big in Turkey.

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 real-time multiplayer Pool Live Tour.

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.

23Mar/11

Turkey – Shining Diamond of Eastern Europe (Guest Post by Afşın Avcı)

By Sebastian Sujka

Afşın Avcı, Country Manager Turkey at SponsorPay

Social Economics has passed its infancy in the US and Europe. Now these markets are growing daily and grabbing a seat in these markets is getting harder and harder. However, there are some baby-markets that are highly promising. Turkey is one of these markets. You will probably have heard about the potential of the Turkish market. Just to illustrate: It is the country with the fourth biggest Facebook audience. Talking about the social games market in particular, the demand in Turkey is huge.  There are 7 Turkish Social Games in Top 500 games on Facebook. The biggest one is Okey with 4.3 million MAU.  Okey is a table game that is very common in the Turkish culture. It is played by four people and is highly popular in Turkey. It is the game you see men playing in cafes all day.

Although Facebook has dominated the market, there are other social networks in Turkey. The most important one is Mynet, which provides casual games in its game center “Mynet Oyun”. Moreover, Mynet distributes well-known social games and virtual worlds such as sMeet in Turkey. On average, 100k users play games on Mynet at the same time and the network has about 1 million daily active users. Another stand-alone social gaming platform is Gamyun.net which has daily active users around 500k.  In general, these gaming platforms mostly consist of traditional Turkish games such as Okey, Tavla(Backgammon) or Card Games.

When we get back to social games on Facebook, we see new start-ups popping up. The best known of them is Townster, which is an Urban Planning game that has 568k MAU.  The developers behind Townster is Gamester and I am positive that they can join the big players by reaching 1 million MAU. Turkcell, the leading mobile operator in Turkey recently also entered the social gaming market with a game called Footbo City. The game has 366k MAU without Turkcell spending a lot on advertising or marketing activities yet. Although the market is very promising, the catch is monetization. Social games same as all other online games have to deal with the problem that Turkish users are not accustomed to spending money online.  Mobile payment solutions improved the situation a bit but right now no game except Sanalika can make a positive balance just with selling virtual goods.

Sanalika is a virtual world that was also listed in Google Zeitgeist 2009. Because of the slow online spending mentality it is believed by many that offer-based monetization will boom in Turkey. Some companies already adapted to this model. But currently, there is a big problem on the advertiser-side becuase the market is not developed and ad-models such as CPL or CPS are hard to find. Still, most offer based monetization companies turn their eyes on the Turkish market and and currently I see SponsorPay in the leading position in Turkey. Despite all current problems, online spending is increasing day-by-day and it is to expect that games with a sufficient user base will be able to earn good revenues soon.