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Platogo has launched a casual game web site where gamers can create their own levels in games and share them with friends so they can play the levels together.
The Vienna, Austria-based company lets players use simple tools to create new levels in casual games. Players can rate the levels of others, share them, and play. The more they participate, the more their activities count toward a weekly “Platogo Rising Star” contest.
The gamble is that gamers don’t just want to play, but, as with the popularity of user-generated content on social networks, that the gamers also want to create their own games. Normally, games are exceedingly hard for gamers to create. Tools simplify the process so that there isn’t as much technical training necessary. Once users create their games, they can make money from them as well, thanks to monetization platforms such as virtual goods that are built into the platform.
Platogo is focused on attracting young game developers, but it emphasizes that anyone can participate in the community. The company was founded in 2008 by Jakob Sommerhuber, chief executive, and Florian Landerl, chief technology officer. Other core members are Christoph Atteneder, Simone Haider and Daniel Kuales. There are 10 full-time employees.
Rivals include game companies such as Kongregate, Nonoba, Newgrounds, Playfish, and OMGpop. The company has raised an undisclosed amount of money from European angel investor Seedcamp and the city of Vienna’s own startup funding program, Departure. With the small beta testing so far, the average time on the site is 10 minutes. About eight games have been uploaded and 360 levels have been created by users.
Of the eight games, Platogo created one itself. The other seven were posted by developers who use Platogo’s development tools. Each game also includes easy-to-use tools that players can use to create their own levels.