Germany’s Deca Games is coming out of stealth to offer live operations (such as tournaments) that can breathe life into older mobile and PC games.
The Berlin-based company will work with game studios and developers who don’t want to continue the task of running an existing game as a service. It will do so by taking over the entire operation of a game through acquisition or licensing. In doing so, Deca Games will compete with rivals such as RockYou and Tag Games. Deca’s very existence suggests there might be a lot of aging games out there with dedicated fans wondering if their beloved title will be shut down.
Deca Games’s founder is Ken Go, who previously served as general manager for Kabam’s European headquarters. He developed Kabam’s Live Ops departments and served as executive producer on Kabam’s Kingdoms of Camelot (which is operated today by Deca’s rival RockYou).
The team consists of 30 people, including free-to-play veterans from Aeria Games, Bigpoint, and Kabam. Deca Games wants to provide a way for developers to profit from the long tail of games and preserve dedicated fan bases for the long-term.
“With game companies needing to focus on their next big hit to continue to grow and survive, smaller older games with a very engaged audience are being put on the back burner,” said Go in a statement. “I created Deca Games to give developers an alternative route to shutting down a game, and for the super fans of these games on the verge of dying. We care deeply about the community, and that comes across in everything we do. Our ultimate goal is to give these games a rebirth and revitalize the fan base.”
Deca Games wants to handle all community management, product management, feature development, art, customer support, live events, and promotion planning to ensure a good experience. Go started the company a year ago, and it has been working with developers including Kabam and Gree. It now operates five games on browsers, Steam, and mobile platforms — including the six-year-old Realm of the Mad God. That game has doubled its users under Deca.
“Ken and his team bring incredible passion, creativity, and experience to each Live Ops project,” said Andrew Sheppard, the outgoing CEO of Gree International Entertainment. “Gree values their unique approach to community, which focuses on long-term engagement and value creation. In this regard, Deca Games is hands-down the best choice.”
Deca has not raised outside money, and it is profitable, the company said.