Germany’s Gameforge has announced that it is moving into the mobile gaming market. That’s a big transition, since Gameforge is focused on hosting massively multiplayer online games for hardcore gamers on the PC. Shifting to mobile games is an increasingly common crossover strategy for many established game companies.
The Karlsruhe, Germany-based company will focus on mobile games and has developed an in-house engine for mobile games. The company has released three role-playing games for devices running Apple iOS (iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch), Android, and Windows Phone 7. Gameforge has 20 massively multiplayer online games with more than 300 million registered players on the PC. It is late to the mobile market, which is destined to be the ground for the mother of all free-for-all battles, but it can leverage its web-based PC users as it moves into mobile.
A few weeks after the launch, the three games, Mafia Game, Vampire Game, and War Game, have been downloaded and installed more than 2 million times. They achieved top ratings and high chart rankings in the respective app stores, the company said.
For the second half of 2012, Gameforge is readying another blast of mobile games in which players can always interact with each other. The company plans to adapt a number of its online games, including Ikariam, OGame, and Gladiatus, to tablets.
These mobile games will let players access their games from either mobile devices or home computers. Gameforge is also working on a Unity 3D-based game production.
“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.”
By year end, Gameforge plans to release 10 games. Next year, the mobile division is expected to generate revenues of several million euros for its larger Gameforge Group parent company. Accordingly, the company is hiring more mobile game developers. Gameforge already has 600 employees.
The world mobile game market is expected to grow from $4 billion in sales in 2011 to $8.3 billion in 2014.
Gameforge will show off its mobile games at the Gamescom conference this month in Hamburg, Germany, Aug. 15 to Aug. 18. Gameforge was founded in 2003 by Rösner.