Wooga, the Berlin-based social gaming startup, may well look quite different in a year’s time. In recent years the company has climbed up the social games leader poll with a number of highly successful games on Facebook. But it’s recent experiments in iOS have given it pause for thought. Does Wooga’s future lie on smartphones and tablets? It’s about to find out.
The company has this week announced it will develop two new mobile titles, including its first on Google’s Android platform. Now, Diamond Dash for Android and Monster World for iPhone and iPad – its farming game – will be crucial to Wooga’s future direction. Both are expected to be released this Autumn. Monster World has garnered over 45 million players in the last two years.
A year ago it launched its successful Facebook game, Diamond Dash, on iOS, and now has half of its 200+ team working on mobile titles and the other half on native Flash titles for Facebook.
Wooga says they found that Diamond Dash mobile players who connected with friends via Facebook were eight times more likely to spend money and much more engaged than users who play without logging in.
Thus, by having the game available on more than one platform, you get more interaction. In March, 64% of Diamond Dash players logged in with Facebook.
“We believe phones and tablets are social and so we are making the games fully social there. Diamond Dash can be played across many devices, but we are seeing a huge shift to mobile,” says co-Founder and CEO Jens Begemann.
So far, over 70 million people have played Diamond Dash since it was first released on Facebook in March 2011, with 20 million of those players downloading the game on the iPhone and iPad. With the game now on Android, we can expect those figures to grow significantly.
Another incentive to develop for Android is that revenue per user is higher on Wooga’s mobile games than on Facebook, Begemann says.
Prior to this move, Wooga had launched games on Google+ and HTML5, but it’s pulled its games from Google+ and canceled its HTML5 game Magic Land Island and released it as open source code. Begemann HTML5 games are not ready for the mass market.
“We’re talking about social games here and to be social you needs critical mass, so doing that across devices you increase the likelihood that this will work,” he told me via phone.
As far as the company is concerned Begemann says there are no plans for further fund raising right now.
They did a Series B raise of $24m, a year ago but are “now very happy growing the company, by at least 2 employees a week. These 200 employees are all in Berlin, but we have over 30 nations amongst employees,” he says.