Growing “out” of Europe: Wooga Postmortem (GDC 2012)

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Jens Begemann, CEO and founder of Wooga, will reveal how he and his team put Wooga and Berlin on the social gaming map and became the third largest social games developer worldwide. Wooga's strong and constant growth is based on sustainability, a core belief which has taught Jens and those at Wooga valuable lessons in the last three years. Condensed and from a European perspective, Jens will retrace Wooga's fast race to the top and offer an outlook for 2012, illustrating how the company will continue to expand into the emerging social mobile universe.

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Growing “out” of Europe: Wooga Postmortem (GDC 2012)

  1. Growing  “out”  of  Europe   -­‐Postmortem  of  3  years  Wooga-­‐    Jens  Begemann  (Founder  &  CEO)  
  2. 50  million  ac:ve  users,  70%  female  (age  20-­‐60)  
  3. Team  of  160  from  >25  na:ons,  in  Berlin    
  4. Million   50   45   40   35   30   25   20   15   10   5   0   Jul   Oct   Jan   Apr   Jul   Oct   Jan   Apr   Jul   Oct   Jan   2009   2010   2011  
  5. 2008  
  6. Vision:      Games  for  everyone  
  7. Typical  cliché  gamers  
  8. We  start  playing  as  kids  
  9. And  con:nue  playing  our  whole  life  
  10. But  computer  games  are  quite  male  
  11. and  young  (or  do  you  believe  this  is  real?)  
  12. They  don’t  play  computer  games  
  13. She  doesn’t  play  tradi:onal  games  
  14. 7  key  learning  to  share  
  15. 2009  
  16. Brain  Buddies  
  17. Started  with  paper  drawing…  
  18. …and  simple  prototypes  
  19. Final  Mini-­‐Game  –  it’s  only  great  because  of  all  the  detail    
  20. User  tes:ng   Every  week/  2  people     -­‐  Tons  of  insights  leading  to  detailed  changes  
  21. 1st  Learning:    DEDICATION     TO  DETAIL  
  22. Ini:al  plan:  only  address  social  networks  as  2  years  behind  Zynga,  Playdom  &  Playfish   Local  Social  Networks   Facebook   VS.  
  23. …then  applied  Frank  Sinatra  strategy:  “If  we  can  make  it  there,  we’ll  make  it  anywhere”      à  Focusing  fully  on  Facebook  
  24. July  2009:    Brain  Buddies  Launch  @FB  
  25. We  tracked  user  growth  on  the  the  wall:    
  26. Every  Morning  upda:ng…  
  27. …  in  4  months  we  ran  out  of  wall  
  28. 6  Millions   5   4   3   2nd  Learning:   A   Series     FOCUS  ON  ONE  THING   2   1   0   Jul   Aug   Sep   Oct   Nov   Dec   Jan   2009  
  29. 2010  
  30. 6  Million   5   4   3   2   End  of  virality  as   we  know  it   1   0   Jul   Oct   Jan   2009  
  31. 14  Million   12   10   8   6   4   2   0   Jul   Oct   Jan   Apr   Jul   Oct   2009   2010  
  32. 14  Million   12   10   8   6   4   2   February  2010:   Launch  Bubble  Island   0   Jul   Oct   Jan   –  Adventure  MJul   Apr   ode   Oct   2009  
  33. Engage  the  player  with  highly  polished  gameplay  &  racoon  reloads              
  34. Million   14   Strong  growth,  because  of  focus  on  engagement,  not   12   virality   3rd  Learning:   10     8   ENGAGEMENT  IS  THE   6   4   KEY   2   0   Jul   Oct   Jan   Apr   Jul   Oct   2009   2010  
  35. 14  Million   Farming  game  with  a  twist   12   10   8   6   4   2   0   Jul   Oct   Jan   Apr   Jul   Oct   2009   2010  
  36. Some  growth,  but  flahened  aier  4  months   14  Million   We  con:nued  to  improve:  weekly  releases   12   10   8   6   4   2   0   Jul   Oct   Jan   Apr   Jul   Oct   2009   2010  
  37. A/B  test:  Invite  BuZon       111   100   104  
  38. Introduc[on  of  missions      
  39. Garden  @  Launch   Garden  Today  
  40. 14  Million   12   10   4th  Learning:   8     DON’T  FOLLOW  THE   6   HIPPO*   4   2     (*Highest  Paid  Person’s  Opinion)   0   Jul   Oct   Jan   Apr   Jul   Oct   2009   2010  
  41. 14  Million   12   10   8   6   4   2   Series  A   0   Jul   Oct   Jan   Apr   Jul   Oct   2009   2010  
  42. 2011  
  43. 35  Million   30   25   20   15   10   5   0   Jul   Oct   Jan   Apr   Jul   Oct   Jan   Apr   Jul   Oct   2009   2010   2011  
  44. 35  Million   30   25   2011:   20   15   Slow  start   10   5   0   Jul   Oct   Jan   Apr   Jul   Oct   Jan   Apr   Jul   Oct   2009   2010   2011  
  45. We  were  working  on  a  new  game  with  a  cruise  ship  theme…  
  46. ..  and  quickly  had  a  name  (trademark)  etc.  
  47. Fast  prototyping,  e.g.  with  Lego   Completely  in  love  and  thought  it   would  become  a  big  hit!  
  48. Issues  in  the  core  game  loop   Relaxing   Work  @  a  ship   vs  
  49. Issues  in  the  core  game  loop   Exploring  places   Managing  a  ship   vs  
  50. Adding  features  wont  fix  a  broken  core  game  loop   Feature2   Feature1   Core  game  loop  
  51. 35  Million   30   25     20   5th  Learning:   15     10   GET  THE  BASICS  RIGHT   5   0   Jul   Oct   Jan   Apr   Jul   Oct   Jan   Apr   Jul   Oct   2009   2010   2011  
  52. How  to  con:nue  to  grow  
  53. MAU   TYPICAL  game   product  lifecycle   Time  
  54. MAU   DESIRED  game   product  lifecycle   Time  
  55. Million   12   10   8   6   4   2   0   Jan-­‐10   Apr-­‐10   Jul-­‐10   Oct-­‐10   Jan-­‐11   Apr-­‐11   Jul-­‐11   Oct-­‐11  
  56. 5%   Paid  Ads  40%   Crosslinking   55%   Virality  
  57. 35  Million   30   25   20   6th  Learning:   15     10   SUSTAINABLE  GROWTH   5   0   Jul   Oct   Jan   Apr   Jul   Oct   Jan   Apr   Jul   Oct   2009   2010   2011  
  58. 35  Million   30   25   20   Series  B   15   10   5   Series  A   0   Jul   Oct   Jan   Apr   Jul   Oct   Jan   Apr   Jul   Oct   2009   2010   2011  
  59. 2012  
  60. Million   50   45   40   35   30   25   20   15   10   5   0   Jul   Oct   Jan   Apr   Jul   Oct   Jan   Apr   Jul   Oct   Jan   2009   2010   2011  
  61. Core  fanbase  wanted  to  have  it  –brought  us  to  the  top  posi:on  
  62. Virality  cycle  +  Synchroniza:on  across  devices  
  63. Development  in  the  smartphone  industry   Carriers   Pay/Download   Single   App  Store   Freemium   Social  
  64. Million   50   45   40   35   30   7th  Learning:   25   20     15   SOCIAL  MOBILE  IS  THE   10   5   FUTURE   0   Jul   Oct   Jan   Apr   Jul   Oct   Jan   Apr   Jul   Oct   Jan   2009   2010   2011  
  65. 50  Million   7 SOCIAL  mobile  is  the  future   45   40   35   6 SUSTAINABLE  growth   30   25   20   3 ENGAGEMENT  is  the  key   5 Get  the  BASICS  right   15   2 FOCUS  on  one  thing   10   5   4 Don’t  follow  the  HIPPO   0   1 Jul   Dedica:on  to  DETAIL   Oct   Jan   Apr   Jul   Oct   Jan   Apr   Jul   Oct   Jan   2009   2010   2011  
  66. Want  to  be  part  of  this?  
  67. Career  booth  #1726  @Moscone  West  
  68. Jens  Begemann  Founder  &  CEO  Wooga     TwiZer:  @begemann     wooga.com/jobs   GDC  booth  #1726  

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