“Over the next year,” Heiko Hubertz, founder and member of the Supervisory Board of Bigpoint, expects, “Mobile games will continue to be one of the industry’s biggest drivers. The reshaping of the online games industry and strategic decisions made this year, especially by the larger companies, will be factors that influence how the next several years will look.”
“The industry is now in a consolidation process.” Hubertz evaluates, “Bigpoint made major decisions during the past year that have placed it in an excellent position, both financially and on an organizational level, for the coming years.” He continues, “Each market competitor will make or choose not to make strategic and organizational adjustments; adjustments which together will determine the market for the future.”
The only constant is change…and a love of games
“Reshaping your approach is a natural part of every business,” Hubertz tells us. “Entrepreneurs should always be asking themselves how to deal with mistakes. Although it is necessary to passionately follow your persuasion, it is also necessary to be flexible enough to make adjustments as soon as you discover a strategy is not working.” Hubertz cites the example of his company stopping their mobile games program last year. “Even though mobile was a hot segment, we simply realized we were not experienced enough in this business area. It became clear that we could be more effective cooperating with experienced developing partners than developing internally.” He explains further, “Instead, we shifted back to our core competencies: Ten years of developing for the online games market, and international distribution of online games by our network of more than 1,000 partners worldwide.”
Hubertz derives great satisfaction from seeing how encouraged Bigpoint’s teams are and how much they share his passion for games. “One of the most outstanding moments of my career was signing the deal for Battlestar Galactica Online,” he remembers, “We were the first online gaming company in the world to acquire a Hollywood license for a very successful global TV series.”
A love of football creates an online game leader
Heiko Hubertz is founder of Hamburg-based Bigpoint GmbH, and Bigpoint Inc. in San Francisco, but 11 years ago, Heiko was working with some friends, developing his first game: An online football manager. “It was done out of pure necessity,” he says, “since my friends and I wanted to pursue our love of football online, but there was no such game on the market at that time. The game spread, and we recognized the economic potential arising from the free-to-play business model.” Soon thereafter, Hubertz founded Bigpoint in Dusseldorf in 2002, and it has since become the world’s largest portal for browser games, as well as one of the top three gaming portals worldwide.
Today, Bigpoint’s place in the games industry ecosystem derives from its success as an in house developer of online gaming titles; titles which have inspired many other developers to move to the online business. Some of these internationally successful titles, played by tens of millions of gamers every day, include Farmerama, Battlestar Galactica Online, Drakensang Online, Dark Orbit and Seafight.
Catherine Quinton is a staff writer for www.gamesauce.org. Catherine loves her hobby farm, long walks in the country and reading great novels.