Heiko Hubertz on how to dominate the browser gaming space
Back in 2002 Heiko Hubertz had foresight that would do much to set the template for the now vast browser gaming sector.
It was then that he founded website m.wire, which gradually began to introduce sports management titles to a new wave of internet-savvy consumers. In turn a series of investments and reorganisations eventually gave birth to the Bigpoint.com portal, which in 2006 brought together just 16 titles.
After that inception, which was in equal parts humble and visionary, Bigpoint’s fortunes snowballed, and now, as CEO, Hubertz overseas one of the most
significant empires in the contemporary gaming industry.
The firm’s network of over 60 games today reaches more than 140 million customers worldwide, and have been translated into 25 languages. The likes of Dark Orbit and Seafight might not be the most potent brands when contrasted with the giants of triple-A, but the future that terrifies many of the games industry’s traditionalists is a place filled with opportunities for Bigpoint’s leading titles.
“We believe in pushing the boundaries of what’s possible in online gaming,” says Hubertz of Bigpoint’s future-ready position.
“We are building high-quality 3D games that provide a gaming experience similar to what gamers are used to getting through consoles.
“Upcoming titles, such as Battlestar Galactica Online, Poisonville, and The Mummy will change the perception of what’s possible through a browser. Our distribution network is far broader than most in terms of channel and regions. Our payment platform has taken years to develop and allows users from around the world to use their preferred payment method regardless of country or region. We’re monetising in over 180 countries around the world.”
Confident words indeed, but for Hubertz there is reason for his conviction. Behind the cash flow and customer base on which Bigpoint thrives is a business and technology platform that many of the company’s counterparts have been eager to emulate.
“For us, technology is vital,” confirms Hubertz. “We build atop platforms that are able to deliver the best gamer experience. We understand that innovation is vital to success. Over the years, we have developed titles with Flash, Java, and now Unity.
“On the business side, we have a global network that includes over 1,000 partners, including our own portal that we drive traffic to very aggressively. We have integrated with every major payment solution you can imagine. The combination of high quality games, a massive network, and the right monetisation solutions are what keeps Bigpoint ahead of the competition.”
Bigpoint has overcome many obstacles that have caused lesser operations great problems. It has resisted the pressure to piggyback on a social networking giant, maintaing its independence whilst making games with a global appeal. Its strength in that regard, says the CEO, is down to quality of staff.
“Game portals are gaining momentum fast,” concludes Hubertz, turning his attention – as ever – to the future.
“They’re also gaining credibility among core and hardcore gamers as windows into real games. Many of the games we have under development are designed to appeal to the most critical gamers, and run in a browser. We don’t think high quality games should require expensive hardware to enjoy. Our mission is to unlock barriers to high quality gameplay, no matter where the player is. We are excited about what the near future looks like.”