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Wooga: 15 months ago, we made no money on mobile. Now it's half our revenue

Now making a move on midcore
Wooga: 15 months ago, we made no money on mobile. Now it's half our revenue

Speaking at a press event in Berlin, CEO Jens Begemann has announced that one-time Facebook champion Wooga is now heavily into mobile.

"Just 15 months ago, we made no revenue on mobile," Begemann explained.

"Now, half of Wooga's revenue is from mobile."

As such, Wooga's been taking on new staff at a pace, growing from 140 people in early 2012 to 280 today.

But is that sustainable growth?

"We've never talked about financials or revenue numbers," Begemann said.

"We are a private company that wants to grow long-term in a sustainable way, and we see the disadvantages of chasing quarterly targets like some other companies have to."

That said, Begemann continued, "We are profitable as a company," although he declined to discuss exact revenue numbers.

Here come the games

With that out of the way, the stage was set for Wooga to announce its new lineup of games.

First of all, the German studio announced that it was bringing its popular gardening sim Monster World to mobile. The title has been available on Facebook for three years, where it still attracts millions of daily active users.

More significant perhaps, was Kingsbridge, a game that represents Wooga's move into midcore. The title is a PVP city builder in the Clash of Clans mold that will launch on Facebook in April.

Pocket Village was next, and it's Wooga's first game that's been developed exclusively for mobile devices. It too is a city-builder, although with a more casual bent.

Think Smurfs' Village rather than Kingdoms of Camelot.

Finally, Pearl's Peril is a hidden-object game with a novelty. In a bid to retain players for longer, Wooga will release new 'chapters' for the game each and every week after release, providing players with new scenes to solve and new developments in the game's ongoing narrative.

And, taking a leaf out of King.com's book, Wooga has developed a cross-platform synchronisation solution for Pearl's Peril, allowing users to pick up from where they left off whether they're playing on iPhone, iPad or PC.

Android assault

Unsurprisingly, all of these games will be free-to-play and monetised via various forms of in-app purchase.

And while all of the above titles are launching on Facebook or iOS, Wooga had a message for Google fans too - "Android, here we come."

In fact, Wooga delivered a commitment to bring all of its future games for the iPhone and iPad to Google's mobile OS at some point.

But while mobile is clearly of growing importance to Wooga, it isn't leaving Facebook behind.

As such, the presentation was rounded off with a brief talk from Julien Codorniou, the head of European gaming partnerships for Facebook.

The Facebook connection

"We're a platform and we're supposed to be neutral," said Codorniou. "But it's a special day and Wooga is a very special partner for Facebook."

Codorniou's impartiality is understandable, though, given the fact that Wooga's social portfolio attracts 50 million Facebook gamers each month or 5 percent of the Social Network's entire userbase.

And, in an interesting line of thought, Codorniou attributed Wooga's success on mobile to Facebook at least partially.

"I think the reason they're so good on mobile is because they were on Facebook first," he explained. "Everyone sees that if you're big on Facebook first, you can be big on mobile, but Wooga was the first to see it."

"I'm sure the future is bright for Wooga," Codorniou concluded.

Whether the lion's share of that prosperity will come from Facebook or from mobile will be interesting to see.