Image | Akamon Flickr
Before the Angry Birds phenomenon, not many people outside of Finland knew Espoo, a city in the south of the country where Rovio has its head office. But the Scandinavian country is not the only innovation cluster for mobile gaming in Europe. London is an option for some companies to settle down, but lately more and more are choosing Barcelona. Adding up the projects emerging from the Mediterranean city itself, we can see how Barcelona is gaining importance.
Akamon Entertainment, from Barcelona to the world
Akamon Entertainment belongs to this second group of startups originating from Barcelona. After starting in July 2011 with the popular game portal Mundijuegos.com, it expanded all over the world at tremendous speed: Right now, there are portals in France, Brazil, Venezuela and Argentina and thanks to local agreements the presence is extended to various other Latin American countries. All this being run from their head office in Barcelona. Their development office is in Valencia and in total, they have more than 50 employees.
Image | Mundijuegos
Akamon Entertainment offers various Casino Games in multiplayer mode that allow users to play against others in real time and share their results to the social layer they added. In April this year, Akamon reached more than 10 million registered users and they are expecting to double this figure before the end of 2013 thanks to new launches in other Latin American countries. And that is not all the good news: In May the company closed its first round of investment at 2.8 million euros.
Social Point, Created by Young Engineers from Barcelona
Andrés Bou and Horacio Martos, two software engineers from Barcelona, founded Social Point with the intention of setting new standards in mobile gaming. And they actually made it: two years later their first large scale game (Social Empires) has become a great success, with more than 38 million monthly users.
Dragon City, another game they launched later on, has also caused quite a revolution, reaching the second highest rating among facebook games last year. More than 25 million users are playing it on this social network and it has been only a few months since it came out on iOS, reaching more than 5 million downloads. And the result of all this success? More than a 100 employees, an investment of 11 million Euros this year and a bright future ahead for which they are preparing three new launches in 2013.
King and Digital Chocolate want to be in Barcelona as well
King is the company of the moment for mobile video games. The british company, founded in London in 2003, was able to achieve something extremely difficult: At the beginning of the year, Candy Crush Saga had more users than Zynga’s popular FarmVille 2. At the moment it is estimated that this game has more than 6,7 million users and it makes a profit of more than 633.000 dollars a day. And this is only one of the games King has to offer.
Image | King.com
In the face of this great success, King has decided to open additional offices in selected locations. Barcelona is one of them and so their Spanish branch office was inaugurated here last year, becoming the company’s second biggest center of development worldwide. Why did they choose this city? The director of King in Spain España, Manel Sort, has the answer: “We have the talent, we are competitive and have a great climate and a mixed population in the city with people from all over Europe”. At the moment, they are looking to employ almost 40 people in different areas like IT, development or design. Their objective? To reach 80 employees before the year is over.
The case of Digital Chocolate is similar but originated in a different way. In 2007, the American mobile video game development company bought the spanish company Microjocs Mobile, based in Barcelona, in order to turn it into their spanish office. However, and as they are pointing out themselves, they have been working almost completely independently since then, releasing their own video game creations out of Spain.