Bigpoint appoints games chief as new CEO

Bigpoint appoints games chief as new CEO
Aaron Lee

By Aaron Lee

March 8th 2013 at 10:30AM

Khaled Helioui promoted to lead online publisher

Bigpoint has appointed Khaled Helioui as it new managing director, four months after its CEO Heiko Hubertz stepped down.

He will lead the company’s development strategy and look to grow its portfolio of games and studios across Europe, Asia and the US.

The new managing director has a steep task ahead of him to recover from the stumbles that the online game developer-publisher has faced in the last 12 months.

In July, the company shut down its mobile operation, and cut almost 30 jobs, citing the heavy competition as a reason for its retreat. A further 120 jobs were cut in October as the company closed its San Francisco office, and CEO Heiko Hubertz resigned.

But despite its ailing growth attempts, the company’s games have managed to attract over 300 million users.

“I am really proud and honoured to have the trust of company founder Heiko Hubertz and our supervisory board. In face of the transition within the industry, Bigpoint has undergone a number of changes over the last year,” said Helioui.

“I am confident that with our new organization, our fantastic staff and our renewed focus on the core of what Bigpoint really is, our games, we are going to drive the next phase of online gaming with content of unprecedented quality and genuinely innovative design.”

Heiko Hubertz, founder and chairman of the board of Bigpoint, added: “Khaled has a passion for gaming, really understands what makes Bigpoint unique and has proven to be a great leader for Bigpoint as CGO. We are very pleased to have him guide the company going forward.”

Helioui join Bigpoint in July 2012 as chief games officer, and over saw the development of new titles, ongoing development for released games and the publishing of third-party content.

Previously, he worked at TA Associates, a global growth equity firm, where he covered the technology space from 2009 to May 2012 and was involved in that company’s investment in Bigpoint. Prior to that, he was at UBS advising technology companies across Europe on capital raising and M&A considerations.

Bigpoint was one of the early movers into the free-to-play space, and has generated a large audience as a result. However, Marius Follert, CEO of Farbflut Entertainment, based in Bigpoint’s hometown of Hamburg and another maker of free-to-play games, told Develop that the early days of growth are over, and that the competition for companies like Bigpoint is now more pronounced.