Wooga: “We were profitable in 2012, no plans for IPO”

22 Feb, 2013

At a press briefing, Wooga founder and CEO Jens Begemann said that Wooga was profitable in 2012, although he declined to say say exactly how profitable. He also said that the company is growing fast – now with 280 employees (all of them in Berlin).

Begemann made his remarks about profitability not to restore investors’ faith in the gaming industry after Zynga’s disastrous IPO, but rather to alleviate concerns of potential employees, he said:
“We want to send a message that we are very long-term oriented, that we are focused on sustainable growth.”

Wooga is investing its revenues back into the company as part of its long term focus on sustainability and innovation, it says. Begemann added that he has no plans to raise more funding or to take Wooga public. “We have no plans to change anything about our status as a private company.”

Wooga announced four new games at the event. One of them, Pearl’s Peril, is a “story-driven” game that will be released in weekly installments, much like TV shows – a first for the gaming industry, according to Begemann. The idea is apparently to become a kind of ‘The Bold and the Beautiful’ of games: the company aims to keep the game open ended for the next few years, if the audience is receptive of the game.

Wooga’s announcements also shed light on two bigger trends: first, it’s clear that the shift to mobile is massive and fast, and second: the  dominance of Android in the mobile market is becoming hard to ignore for developers.

As far as mobile is concerned: Wooga introduced its first mobile game barely 14 months ago (Diamond Dash). Today, half of Wooga’s revenue comes from mobile games.

And from now on, Wooga said it would start developing its games in parallel for both iOS and Android. While everybody in the industry knows that revenue on iPhone and iPad is higher, Begemann said, “the gap is closer and smaller than most people would think it is.” 

I can imagine that this won’t do much to reassure the already shaky Apple investors (see this graph of Apple stock in the last 6 months):

[Wooga, FT][Photo: Official GDC, Flickr]

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Raf Weverbergh

Editor of whiteboard. Raf Weverbergh was a magazine journalist whose work appeared in magazines like Rolling Stone, Playboy, Mail on Sunday, Publico and South China Morning Post. He is the co-founder of FINN, a corporate communications agency where he advises startups and multinationals on their PR and Mustr, the easiest media database for PR professionals. You can contact him on Twitter, Linkedin or Skype (rafweverbergh).

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