Goodgame Empire hits $800 million in lifetime revenues

Press Release – Hamburg, August 22, 2017


Just in time for its sixth anniversary, ‘Goodgame Empire’ has given its developer, Hamburg-based Goodgame Studios, a truly special gift. The highly popular medieval strategy game hit $800 million in lifetime revenues, becoming Germany’s most successful game of all time and one of the top games worldwide.

Empire: Four Kingdoms

More than 250 content updates within six years

“We are extremely proud and we thank all the players who have helped make it happen. The financial success has given us the freedom to expand ‘Goodgame Empire’ into one of the most complex strategy games ever,” says Nina Mueller, who runs the studio responsible for the game’s ongoing support and development. “We are especially proud of all the players who have been with us for many years. With over 250 content updates since the game launched in 2011, we have obviously kept the fun factor high.”

Nevertheless, there are still many ideas in the pipeline. “Yes, we have lots of interesting stuff in the backlog to look forward to. At the same time, we want to take requests from the community into account even more,” promises Mueller. “Our long-term goal is for Goodgame Empire to be running successfully ten years from now.”

Transition to HTML5

One requirement for reaching that goal is to successfully transition from the soon discontinued Flash technology to the new web standard, HTML5. “It’s a mammoth task, we are talking about one million lines of code that have to be transferred,” explains Benjamine Constantine, who is responsible for this strategic project for Goodgame Studios. “Nevertheless, we are aiming for a seamless transition for our players, meaning the complete feature set as well as regular content updates.” The project is well underway and the switch is planned for no later than mid 2018.

Empire Millennium Wars

Expanding the Empire

2018 promises to be an exciting year for Goodgame Studios and the Empire brand anyway. Besides continuing development of Goodgame Empire itself, from early 2018, the Empire franchise will be expanded with the addition of the new game, ‘Empire: Millennium Wars’, where players can compete to dominate the mining industry on Mars. Unique support from Google will start this Thursday. Despite not being released yet, ‘Empire: Millennium Wars’ will be featured prominently in the Google Play Store for pre-registration.

Goodgame Studios back on track, two new games early 2018

Press Release – Hamburg, 27 July 2017

Goodgame Studios, a leading developer and publisher of gaming software, announced today a return to consistent profitability following a recent strategic restructuring of its operations. In addition, the Company announced that two new mobile titles are in development, expected to launch in early 2018.

Company Expects Long-Term Financial Stability After Difficult but Necessary Reorganization

Since the beginning of the year, founders of Goodgame, Kai and Christian Wawrzinek returned to their executive positions of CEO and CSO respectively, and reflect on the recent changes at the studio. “The restructuring was definitely one of the toughest periods of the company’s history,” said Christian Wawrzinek, CSO of Goodgame Studios. “Nearly everybody in the company had to say goodbye to talented colleagues who will be missed and to whom we thank for their dedication and service. As painful as it’s been to undergo this process, there is no doubt that we were doing what we believe necessary to ensure long-term growth and financial stability.”

Commenting further, Christian Wawrzinek  reflects on how gratifying it is to see Goodgame Studios return to constant profitability. “Before the reorganization, we focused our efforts heavily on creating new games in new genres while neglecting the needs of our loyal audience who are playing our current titles. Following the strategic realignment, two of our blockbusters ‘Goodgame Empire’ and ‘Big Farm’ have our full attention and have also been switched to a more user-centered development approach since the beginning of the year.”

Goodgame Studios Entry 2017

Positive operating result expected for 2017, potential increase in 2018

“Goodgame Empire is six years old now, and we’re proud that the title is still the most successful game franchise ever produced in Germany,” emphasizes Kai Wawrzinek CEO of Goodgame Studios. Commenting further, Kai notes that the four-year-old Big Farm brand still delights millions of players worldwide every month. “We have the responsibility to continue the success of these blockbusters, for our players, for our employees and for the whole company. Based on solid revenue, Goodgame wants to build new, sustainable growth.”

Goodgame Studios is expecting a positive operating result for the 2017 financial year, and due to upcoming releases the upward trend might even accelerate in 2018.

Two new games for mobile devices are planned to be released in the first quarter of 2018, and gamers who are fans of web based titles can also expect some exciting news from Goodgame Studios to be announced in due course.

“Things are heating up again!” – Goodgame Empire is kicking off a large-scale TV campaign

We’re proud to be able to advertise our most successful games, Goodgame Empire and Empire: Four Kingdoms, on TV again during July and August. Hooray!

Thanks to a reasonable advertising budget, we’ll be appearing on channels across Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, including the ProSiebenSat1, RTL, Discovery, and Sky networks, as well as on various special interest channels such as N24, MTV, and Sport1. We are looking forward to it, and we’re excited to see how the campaign will be received.

We will actually be running three different TV spots with various calls to action:

“The alliance is calling!”

Playing as part of a team in an alliance can be a lot of fun. Players can support each other and pit themselves against other alliances. If a player needs construction material for buildings, a fellow alliance member can help out. If a player is attacked, their friends can send troops to help them defend. The alliance is calling!

“Even bigger, even stronger!”

Goodgame Empire is continually developed. There’s always new content, like King Eric or the large-scale ‘Battle of the Nations’ event, where whole servers can measure up against each other. In July, there will aso be lots more new content, new rewards, quests, and buildings. And ‘Khan’s Revenge’ is sure to enthrall players. Even bigger, even stronger!

“Things are heating up again!”

The third spot in the bunch shows different aspects of Goodgame Empire: On the one hand, it shows the growth of a strong and well-fortified castle, customized just like any player’s castle with lots of beautiful hand-painted buildings and decorations. On the other hand it portrays playing as part of a team in thousands of active alliances. And finally you can see the cleverly strategic positioning of dozens of different units, each with their advantages and disadvantages, trying to defend or capture property.

We’ve had great success with TV advertising in the past, and we are confident that we can now repeat this. And here are the new spots – enjoy!

DIY – DEVELOP IT YOURSELF | NO 3

GOOD_Tips

We’ve looked at some rough-cut text adventures and explored the world of RPGs – now it’s time to bring out the big guns: Game Maker: Studio feels a lot like the RPG Maker products, and the graphics on YoYo Games’ website reinforce that impression. However, where RPG Maker is specialized in developing RPGs, Game Maker: Studio doesn’t settle for a specific genre. You can actually build games from a wide range of genres with relative ease: Point and Click adventure gamesarcadesaction RPGsplatformers, and many other types are possible.

What makes Game Maker: Studio so easy to learn is its drag and drop feature, which lets you build a solid game in no time at all, without coding anything. It’s the Game Maker Language (GML) for programming that sets the tool apart from RPG Maker. Based on C, it gradually teaches you how to code in other languages besides GML. This makes Game Maker: Studio a natural place to begin if you want to really get into coding.

Like Twine and RPG Maker, Game Maker: Studio has an active, growing, and helpful community, which you can reach in a number of ways. If you want to start right now, take a look at the Learn area on YoYo Games. The YoYo Games community provides a choice of tutorials for beginners and advanced users alike. Game Maker: Studio comes in several versions, which range from the free basic version to the Studio Master Collection with all the content you can buy at present.

Want a taste of what you can actually do with this tool? Take a look at the tough platformer Blackhole.

We hope our brief introduction to these three beginner-friendly game development tools will help you find the one that’s right for you. There are plenty more affordable programs that are similarly accessible, like QuestV-PlayGame Salad, and Stencyl.

Unite 2016 Europe - Image ©Dan Taylor/Heisenberg Media.If you think you know the basics and want to take your coding skills to the next level, take a look at UnityWe use it to program our own games, and you can do some awesome stuff with it, as Aaron Chapin demonstrated at the Unite 2016 Europe conference. The basic version is free, too. So what’s stopping you from developing your own incredible games?

 

DIY – Develop it yourself | No 2

GOOD_TipsIn our previous issue of Good DIY Tips, we presented Twine: the perfect tool for creating spellbinding text adventures. This time we’re taking it a step further. The tool’s got to be able to handle it if you want something that’s a bit more visual and heavier on role-playing.

Do you still have fond memories of the rough-hewn 8/16-bit retro graphics of old NES and SNES classics like Secret of Mana or Chrono Trigger? In that case, your search for the right game development tool has come to an end with the RPG Maker series from ASCII and Enterbrain! As its name implies, the tool is used to produce atmospheric role-playing games, and with a little experimentation you can also add elements of strategic combat.

A number of RPG Maker versions have been released over the years, and each new iteration has brought users an ever-growing selection of options and bug fixes. Most versions come with a tile-based map editor, a database editor for changing the values of all game objects, and a simplified script language for designing events. You can use the latter to create automatic sequences like cut scenes, teleportation effects, and plausible dialogue with multiple answers. All versions offer a basic pack with graphics, compositions, and further content. Additionally, most versions enable you to add your own creations to the content.

Versions 95, 2000, and 2003 don’t require any programming skills at all, yet still permit you to make in-depth changes to your game, for instance by providing drop-down menus and buttons that do the programming for you. From RPG Maker XP on, you can make changes directly to the ready-made game system with the RUBY programming language specialized for games. You can get some RPG Maker versions in English on Steam. Prices range from €20 for RPG Maker 2003 to €74 for RPG Maker MV.

Critically acclaimed and loved by gamers, the narrative role-playing game To the Moon was developed with RPG Maker XP. Positive reviews are well above 95 percent, which tells you all you need to know! Will you accept the challenge?

DIY – Develop It Yourself | No 1

GOOD_TipsHave you ever had an idea that would make the perfect game title but you never quite knew how to go bring it to a PC, console, or smartphone? Or were you astonished by a game you played and thought “Man, I’d love to be able to create something like this…”? If so, we have fantastic news for you. As a matter of fact, you don’t have to be an experienced game developer to create awesome games. Titles like Risk of Rain or To the Moon were created with free or pretty cheap tools which are fairly easy to get into.

Because we believe that there can never be enough great games, and because we also started small, in the next three episodes of GOOD Tips, we want to present three great tools to you and go into a little detail about their specifications. And who knows, maybe you’ll be running through our open doors with your awesome prototype some day! 😉

Back in the days when you’d actually feel pretty futuristic about owning one of those machines comparable to a typewriter with a screen, gamers were all over text-based adventures. Basically, you’d be given explanations of your environment and bits of story solely through text shown on your screen. By utilizing your keypad, you’d type different comments like “walk north” or “look at tree” to interact with the imaginary environment. The program would interpret your commands, sometimes leading to frustrating encounters when the parser wasn’t able to understand your intentions. Some people love this raw experience, though. Later, music or images were added to make the games more atmospheric, but the focus lay and still lies on typing text to advance.

While nowadays these games seem pretty dated and rough, they make a great entry point to game development! One tool to get into creating text-based adventures is Twine. It’s freely available on the creator’s homepage and allows you to create your very first game without typing any code. What makes Twine both easy to comprehend and stand out in comparison to similar tools like Quest, are the well-arranged story maps. These clearly visualize the connections between your text elements and dialog pieces, eventually taking the shape of easily editable concept trees. If you feel more adventurous, you can add variables, conditional logic, images, CSS, and JavaScript to grant players a more complex and immersive experience. As with the other tools presented in this blog post, there are tons of tutorials and lots of documentation compressed in a corresponding Wiki, and you can always ask for help in the thriving forums.

A really good example for a Twine game is The Temple of No by Crows Crows Crows. Try it out and get inspired!