Dr. Kai Wawrzinek and Dr. Christian Wawrzinek, founders of Goodgame Studios, will leave their current positions as CEO and CSO at Goodgame by the end of February 2019, to focus on their roles as shareholders of Stillfront. The search for a new CEO has been initiated.
“Stillfront’s acquisition of Goodgame is a perfect strategic fit and we are very encouraged by the realization of synergies we have seen during 2018. The timing is now right for us to hand over daily management of Goodgame, allowing us more time to create value for Stillfront as active shareholders,” says Kai Wawrzinek.
“Goodgame Studios is performing well, with strong profitability and a solid pipeline for future game releases. The management team of Goodgame has an impressive track record and we have a strong leadership in place to ensure an orderly transition while building on the positive business momentum seen across the Group,” says Jörgen Larsson, CEO of Stillfront Group.
Today starts a new era in the history of the German gaming developer Goodgame Studios. “We are very proud to announce the merger of Goodgame Studios with Stillfront Group, which is listed on the Nasdaq First North Premier stock exchange,” says co-founder and CSO of Goodgame Studios, Dr. Christian Wawrzinek. “Once the transaction is approved by the Stillfront Group’s shareholder meeting in January 2018, Goodgame Studios can be publicly traded indirectly for the first time.”
In this merger Stillfront Group AB, located in Stockholm, Sweden, will acquire Goodgame Studios, which is much larger than Stillfront in terms of turnover and profit. As part of the transaction, the current shareholders of Goodgame Studios will receive about 40 per cent of the shares and voting rights of the combined company. Consequently, the founders and managing directors of Goodgame Studios, Dr. Kai and Dr. Christian Wawrzinek, will become the major shareholders of the Stillfront Group and both will remain managing directors of Goodgame Studios. In addition, Dr. Christian Wawrzinek is proposed to be elected as new member on the Stillfront Board of Directors. For the purposes of the transaction, Goodgame Studios has been valued at 270 million Euros.
“We managed to turn things around in 2017 and are now very profitable. In the first nine months of 2017 we achieved an EBIT of 22 million Euros.” says Dr. Kai Wawrzinek. “Together with the other studios of the Stillfront Group, we want to pursue our shared vision of creating a gaming company of global importance. Being listed on the stock market provides the flexibility that we require for our plans. Our future looks bright.”
Following recent changes at Goodgame Studios, it is paramount to the founders to provide stability: “No personnel changes are planned at Goodgame Studios. The subsidiaries of the Stillfront Group are run autonomously and Goodgame Studios will also remain as it is today.” Additionally, they see strong synergies on the know-how level. “The games developed by the Stillfront Group’s studios fit perfectly with our extensive marketing know-how and our global distribution network consisting of many thousands of partner websites.”
Last month Goodgame Studios broke through the all-time turnover (User Spend) ceiling of one billion (USD). The company has been given a further boost by successfully launching its new hit game, Big Farm: Mobile Harvest, achieving 2 million registrations in 4 weeks.
“EMPIRE” and “BIG FARM” are the names of Goodgame Studios’ most successful mobile and browser games with over 340 million registered users. With a turnover of USD 1 billion, the German games forge, Goodgame Studios, is making a return to the top ranks of the gaming industry. This is an achievement “made in Germany” that is also causing a stir in the international gaming world. The two creative minds behind the company – founders and managing directors Dr. Kai and Dr. Christian Wawrzinek – thank their team for this success and they are confident: “EMPIRE and BIG FARM in particular are a remarkable success for Goodgame Studios and we can do more. The gaming industry still has huge potential. For our employees and for us, reaching this milestone is both reason to celebrate and an incentive.”
As the managers of one of Germany’s biggest gaming companies, the Wawrzinek brothers often found themselves in the same position as their players on their way to making a million: seeds that were sown did not always germinate; patience, fighting spirit and lots of strategic skill were necessary. After a phase of enormous growth in 2014 and 2015, they managed with blood, sweat and tears, tough cutbacks and restructuring in 2016, to get Goodgame Studios back on course in 2017. “It was absolutely essential for us to focus again fully on our core brands of EMPIRE and BIG FARM,” says Dr. Christian Wawrzinek. “Only in this way were we able to achieve turnaround, and we are now once again on a course of growth.” The successful launch of the mobile game “BIG FARM: MOBILE HARVEST” underlines this statement. In less than one month, the game has been installed over 2 million times worldwide.
In the fantastic world of BIG FARM, one can only become a successful farmer with business skills, the right strategy and a strong community – and those are the principles to which the team at Goodgame Studios also adhere when it comes to continuing the company’s steep upward curve in the future.
Goodgame Studios proudly announces that the recent release of the mobile version of browser hit, ‘Big Farm’, has been the best game launch the company has ever experienced. Even though it has only been available globally for three weeks, 2 million players have already installed ‘Big Farm: Mobile Harvest’ on their phone. And even more importantly, people are really enjoying the gaming experience. “In terms of both play and pay activity, these are the highest numbers we’ve ever seen from a game in our entire history.” says Kai Wawrzinek, founder and CEO of Goodgame Studios.
Instantly loved by players worldwide
After only three weeks, millions of players from 234 countries joined the game to build and manage their own farm and team up in cooperatives to help each other as best as they can. Since ‘Big Farm: Mobile Harvest’ has lots of cooperative features, thus a big and vibrant community is a key to success. “We are very happy to see that so many players have fallen in love with the game already. The team will regularly add more content to the game to provide our farmers with exciting events and tasks,” said Head of Studio Simon Andrews, whose team is responsible for ‘Big Farm: Mobile Harvest’.
Eagerly awaited success after a hard time
The successful launch of ‘Big Farm: Mobile Harvest’ is a very important milestone for Goodgame, following many failed launches in the recent years. The new company strategy established at the beginning of the year is already coming to fruition. “After having managed to stabilize our live game revenues, ‘Big Farm: Mobile Harvest’ now offers a high chance of solid growth again.” says Kai Wawrzinek, CEO and founder of the company. “I’m especially delighted for our employees, who have all worked hard to achieve this milestone. They deserve the success and I want to thank everybody who stayed with us to contribute to this great turnaround.”
Next big launch early 2018
There’s not much time to celebrate. The next new title, ‘Empire: Millennium Wars’, is expected to go live as soon as early 2018, and in terms of complex features, it will be even larger than ‘Big Farm: Mobile Harvest’. “There’s still a lot to do, but the team is on track to meet the timeline.” says Head of Studio, Simon Andrews. “With the tailwind from this year’s turnaround, I see plenty of chance for us to bring another successful game onto the market.”
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.”
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.