Company: Gameforge AG, Karlsruhe, Germany
Company Description: Gameforge is the largest global provider of Massively Multiplayer Online Games (MMOG). Founded in 2003 by Klaas Kersting and Alex Roesner, the company today employs 270+ people and has won numerous awards (Red Herring 100 Europe, Entrepreneur of the Year 2008, Technology Fast 50 Rising Stars, WEF Technology Pioneer 2009). Accel Partners has had a stake in the company since Aug. 2007.
Nomination Category: Company/Organization Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Most Innovative Company of the Year in Europe
Nomination Title: Gameforge
Tell the story about what this nominated company achieved (up to 500 words). Focus on specific accomplishments, and relate these accomplishments to past performance or industry norms. Be sure to mention obstacles overcome, innovations or discoveries made, and outcomes:
Gameforge was first-mover in localizing online games to second row countries
like Poland or Greece. There, players suddenly had the possibility to play
online games in their native language. This lead to a huge growth. In many
countries, especially Eastern Europe and Africa, Gameforge still is the only
occupant of the local online games market.
Gameforge offers a broad portfolio of 15 browser- and client-based games for a
worldwide audience. Easily accessible and free-to-play, with the option of
upgrading to premium accounts, all Gameforge titles are online and designed to
encourage player interactions within the game world. The company's catalog of
creative multiplayer titles includes:
- Ikariam: Strategy game set in ancient islands in the Mediterranean that
focuses on trade, warfare, and city-building
- OGame: Space simulation title with the goal of intergalactic conquest
- Gladiatus: Gladiatorial role-playing game where players earn experience, gold
or prestige by fighting in arenas, completing quests, and more
- BiteFight: Gothic adventure where vampires and werewolves fight for supremacy
Gameforge's browser-based games only require Internet access and a web browser.
The advantage is obvious: the games can be accessed from almost anywhere and for
free. There is no need to install software on a specific computer, there are no
license or copyright terms that might be infringed. Updates, patches,
extensions, or new versions are directly installed on the Gameforge central
The second strategic core business of the company is publishing client-based
online games such as Metin2, Europe's largest MMOG with more than 6 Million
active Users. Client-based games include a software which can be found on the
game's website. The game can also be downloaded, installed and played for free.
Although Gameforge games are free of charge and players pay neither for purchase
nor usage, there are small fees that have to be paid if players want to acquire
game add-ons and premium features - special weapons or outfits for instance.
Individual add-ons are easily affordable for any player and can be paid
conveniently via the innovative self-developed payment system. Gameforge offers
a big variety of payment methods such as bank transfer, PaySafe-Card, SMS,
phone, credit card or PayPal in more than 50 countries, always giving the player
the possibility to pay the way he wants to.
75 Million players, a growth rate of more than 350 percent per year and 350.00
new registrations per day prove the success.
In 2008, Gameforge won the Red Herring 100 Europe, the Entrepreneur of the Year
2008, and the Technology Fast 50 Rising Stars awards. The World Economic Forum
named Gameforge a "Technology Pioneer 2009".
List hyperlinks to any online news stories, press releases, or other documents that support the claims made in the section above. IMPORTANT: Begin each link with http://, and enclose each link in square brackets; for example, [http://www.youraddress.com]:
Record: Metin2 hits the 5 million player mark in Europe
Gameforge looking for 200 new employees – Talent Scouting, Scholarships,
Growth despite economic crisis – Gameforge is expanding again
Gameforge Selected as "Technology Pioneer" by World Economic Forum
Unlimited Growth - Gameforge wins "Technology Fast 50 Rising Stars" award
Entrepreneurial Top Performances - K. Kersting and A. Roesner are the
Entrepreneurs of the Year 2008
Browser Games are More Popular than Ever among German Internet Users
Gameforge Only German Game Developer to Win the Red Herring 100 Europe 2008
The Future is Online
Provide a brief (up to 100 words) biography about the leader of this nominated company:
After brief stints in business and law, Klaas Kersting began his study of
international economics with a sponsorship from KPMG in Mannheim, Germany,
specializing in IT and project management. In December 2003 Kersting established
Gameforge in Karlsruhe together with Alexander Roesner. In June 2004 he
graduated with a degree in international economics, using Gameforge as part of
his thesis on the internationalization of an internet business. Today the
company employs more than 270 people, and with more than 75 million registered
users world-wide, Gameforge has become the leading independent developer and
publisher of browser- and client-based MMOGs worldwide.