GamesBeat

Peak Games grows to No. 3 social gaming firm by focusing on the Middle East

Peak Games, a publisher that focuses on emerging markets for games such as the Middle East, says it has become the third-largest social game publisher on a worldwide basis.

On a daily basis, Peak Games has more users than Electronic Arts. That’s a big accomplishment and it shows how big the Middle East has become as a regional gaming market.

The Istanbul, Turkey-based company said it has 9.7 million daily active users worldwide on Facebook, compared with 56 million for Zynga and 12 million for King.com.

In the past year and a half, the company has accumulated 29 million monthly active users. But the numbers don’t show up in AppData, which keeps stats for Facebook games.

That’s because Peak’s numbers include 5.7 million daily active users for its own games on Facebook and nearly 4 million daily active users for its titles published by acquired companies and third parties, said Rina Onur, chief strategy officer, in an interview with GamesBeat.

One of the reasons that Peak has grown so fast is that half of the country’s population has internet access and a significant number of them use Facebook. Onur said that revenues for the first quarter of 2012 were up ten times compared to a year ago.

“Our focus is on delivering culturally relevant games to Turkey, the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) regions,” Onur said. “We are positioning ourselves as a company to be a leader in the region and to grab as much of the game landscape as possible.”

Peak Games has also added new talent on board. Ali Kutay, an angel investor and former CEO of WebLogic, has joined the company’s board of directors.

“By tapping into the Turkey and MENA markets, Peak has seen substantial growth rivaling that of top global companies,” said Kutay. “The Peak team recognized a need for culturally relevant games in these regions and is delivering titles that fit local lifestyles.”

Robert Unsworth, formerly vice president of global sales and business development at Digital Chocolate, is also joining the company as director of business development.

Peak has grown on the strength of Okey, its first game and a title that is based on a traditional Turkish tile-based game. About 50 percent of the users in Turkey have played more than 3 billion hands of Okey. Peak recently launched Lost Bubble, an arcade shooter game for iOS. It picked up a million users in just two weeks.

“The Turkey and MENA regions hold huge potential with a burgeoning economy and an expanding, young population,” said Sidar Sahin, CEO of Peak Games.  “Peak Games understands the importance of tailoring games for people in emerging markets and is already continuing this approach across additional high-growth areas around the world.”

Peak Games has more than 170 employees and is funded by Earlybird Venture Capital and Hummingbird Ventures, and other angel investors.

Onur says that mobile has becoming an interesting market in the Middle East, which is home to about 350 million people.

“Monetization is improving fast,” Onur said. “We expect to grow by hiring talent, mergers and acquisitions, and international expansions in social and mobile.”

Peak Games has offices and game studios in Istanbul and Ankara in Turkey and in Amman, Damman, Abu Dhabi, Berlin and Barcelona.


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