Gameforge Enters Mobile Gaming
- By: CM Boots-Faubert
- Posted 3rd Aug 2012
In addition to the development, marketing and operation of online games for the PC, the international online game provider, headquartered in Karlsruhe, Germany, has achieved its first successes with its new mobile division. Based on an engine developed in-house by Gameforge, the company has released the first three RPG titles for Apple iOS, Android and Windows Phone 7. Only a few weeks after the launch, Mafia Game, Vampire Game and War Game have been downloaded and installed over two million times, and achieved top ratings and high chart rankings in the respective app stores.
For the second half of 2012, the mobile team of Gameforge is preparing the next generation of the technology, which will build the basis for the development of strategy games. Principally, Gameforge conceptualizes all of its mobile titles as multiplayer games, in which players always interact with each other in a common online game world. At the same time, adaptations for tablet computers are underway for a series of successful online games of Gameforge, such as Ikariam, OGame and Gladiatus. These will grant players access to their account and the same game world, whether from a mobile device or their home computers. A new production based on the Unity 3D development environment is also on the starting blocks.
"Given the increasing extent users enjoy games on their mobile devices, it is a strategic decision for game publishers to be present in that field. Our first mobile games for smartphones were a field experiment for us to see how the game mechanics of our successful web games can be transferred particularly to smartphones. They proved to be a successful start in this rapidly growing market segment," says Gameforge CEO Alexander Rösner. "Our goal is to give players access to our games independently from their given device. The success of our first mobile games tells us that we are on the right way into the mobile future."
Until the end of this year, Gameforge plans to have released 10 mobile games. Already in 2013, the Mobile Division is expected to contribute several million Euros to the turnover of the Gameforge Group. In order to achieve these ambitious goals, Gameforge will drastically increase its mobile team.
The mobile trend
For the coming years, market research institutes, such as IHS Screen Digest Research, forecast a very dynamic development for the mobile gaming sector. In comparison to 4 billion US dollars in sales, which the market segment earned in 2011, Screen Digest expects an increase to 5.6 billion US dollars for 2012, to 6.9 billion US dollars in 2013, and to 8.3 billion US dollars in 2014.
The analysis firm Digi-Capital assumes that the total market for digital games will reach sales of 82 billion US dollars by 2015, corresponding to a growth of 14 percent in the period from 2011 to 2015. The growth drivers will be online and mobile games in particular, which should account for 50 percent of the total market or 41 billion US dollars.
Gameforge will introduce its mobile product portfolio to select media at gamescom, Europe's largest gaming trade fair, which will take place in Cologne, Germany from August 15th to 18th, 2012. The focus will be on the mobile adaptations of the successful browser games Ikariam and OGame, which the team will present for tablets at the fair.