King.com, a popular casual gaming site with 25 million unique players a month, is moving into social games in a big way.
The company is debuting 26 skill-based games on Facebook. Those games can be played in multiplayer tournaments and support the sale of virtual goods. It’s another attempt by an older casual game company trying to make a splash on Facebook, which is dominated by new players such as Zynga. Facebook is getting very crowded with these new players, and I expected it will get more crowded still.
London-based King.com is essentially opening a casual gaming portal on Facebook, as has been done by MindJolt, GSN, Big Fish Games and others. King.com is taking its tournament games and is wrapping social features around them.
Riccardo Zacconi, chief executive of King.com, says that the company has a proven business model where users pay real money in micro-transactions for virtual goods. The company hopes to replicate that model on Facebook.
King.com’s app lets players participate in daily game challenges where they can get achievement awards, compete with friends, look at global leaderboards, and get virtual currency to spend on rewards. The virtual currency is how King.com makes money.
The app is already live and has 630,000 monthly active users, according to AppData. Rivals include WorldWinner, Prize Room and GameDuell. Some 400 million games are played each month on King.com, across more than 200 exclusive games in 10 languages. King.com provides games to portals such as Yahoo!, MSN, NBC and others.
King.com was founded in 2003 and has 120 employees. It has raised $46 million from Index Ventures, Apax Partners and angels. King.com has been profitable since 2005.