July 20, 2023
Bigpoint celebrates 20 years anniversary
With titles like Farmerama, Seafight and DarkOrbit Reloaded, Bigpoint has been a leading player in the games industry in Hamburg and beyond and is celebrating more than 20 years anniversary! We took this amazing opportunity to talk with Managing Director Michelle Zou about the company and future developments.
Over the past 20 years, the games industry in Hamburg has changed, evolved, and become a focal point for tech, content, and games companies. Bigpoint GmbH, which was founded back in 2002, has been there from the very beginning. The big goal: to provide games that everyone can play in the highly competitive free-to-play market. With titles like Farmerama, Seafight and DarkOrbit Reloaded, Bigpoint has been a leading player for years.
Congratulations on more than 20 successful years in the games industry in Hamburg!
We spoke with Managing Director Michelle Zou about Bigpoint's company history and current developments:
1. Over the last 20 years, you have built an impressive games portfolio with quite an extensive range and over 410 million players. Can you give us some insight into what you are focusing on as a company at the moment and what new projects you have in the works?
At Bigpoint, our current focus is on continued innovation and delivering exceptional gaming experiences to our existing players. We want to be a lifelong friend to our players. This means that we will keep supporting our live games portfolio and keep improving ourselves. This year we will try different platforms to expand the user bases of our live titles, but we will also continue to deliver content expansions for the games as well. Additionally, we are committed to expanding our portfolio with new and exciting projects that cater to a wide range of player interests. Our team is working on developing cutting-edge gameplay mechanics, immersive storytelling, and engaging multiplayer experiences to captivate our audience. We strive to push the boundaries of what gaming can offer and create unforgettable experiences for our players.
2. You are looking for new talents for your team, can you tell us, and potential applicants, more about your work culture and team dynamics?
Here at Bigpoint, we foster a dynamic and collaborative work culture that encourages creativity and growth. Our team dynamics are built on open communication, mutual respect, and a shared passion for gaming, trust and transparency. We value diversity and believe that a diverse and inclusive workforce leads to more innovative solutions. We provide a supportive environment where talent can thrive, and we invest in the professional development of our employees. Teamwork and Trust based on transparency is vital to our success, and we encourage cross-functional collaboration to achieve our goals. Everyone is invited to pitch their ideas no matter which department they work in, or what their position is.
3. How has your recent move into a new office affected your work structure and what is your general opinion of remote work vs working in the office at Bigpoint?
Our recent move into a new office has had a positive impact on our work structure. The new office space is designed to promote a modern working model and creativity, with dedicated areas for idea-sharing and entertainment. It also helps us to be smarter with our spendings and allows us to re-invest in our employees rather than a huge office space. It has also improved the overall work environment, providing a comfortable and inspiring space for our employees. However, we also recognize the benefits of remote work and have implemented flexible work arrangements. We believe in striking a balance between remote work and office presence, as it allows us to leverage the advantages of both. It gives our employees the freedom to work in a way that suits their preferences and promotes work-life balance.
4. With your position as a major player in the browser and mobile games market, can you give us some insights into what you anticipate about the market?
As a major player in the browser and mobile games market, we anticipate continued growth and evolution in the industry. With the rise of technologies such as cloud gaming, augmented reality, virtual reality and AI, we expect to see new opportunities for immersive and interactive gaming experiences. The gaming industry will continue to thrive, driven by advancements in smartphones and the increasing accessibility of high-speed internet. Additionally, the integration of social and competitive elements in games will remain a key trend. We will continue to adapt and innovate to stay at the forefront of these market trends. No matter the technological advancements, we believe that at the very core of a successful game is a team of creative and passionate people, this is why nurturing and valuing talents will continue to be one of the major challenges.
5. As a part of Yoozoo Games, with offices on multiple continents, how do you see the German games industry compared to other countries such as China, Sweden, or Poland?
The German games industry holds a unique position within the global gaming landscape. Germany has a rich gaming tradition, with a strong focus on high-quality game development and technical expertise. The country boasts a vibrant ecosystem of game studios, talent, and supportive institutions. In comparison to other countries such as China, Sweden, or Poland, the German games industry has its distinct strengths.
China is known for its massive player base and market potential, talent-wise as well. There are more than 100 gaming companies listed on the stock market and they attract capital from global investors. There are more than 1.5 million people working in the industry. This makes hiring quite efficient; it usually takes no longer than one month to hire new talent for a specific position.
Sweden is using the strength of the capital market and did a lot of M&A in the past few years. We observed lots of those acquisitions in the last 5 years happening in Germany, including Embracer, the Stillfront group and MTG. There are more than 20 gaming companies listed in the stock market there, and the capital is quite a bit more active than in Germany.
Poland has emerged as a key hub for game development with several successful studios in the EU. Their people, their government and capital market clearly know about the importance of gaming and are proud of what they have achieved. For me, they see gaming as one of the most important parts of their culture. Each country has its own strengths and opportunities, and at Bigpoint, we appreciate the diversity and global nature of the gaming industry here in Hamburg. The gaming community here is more like a family, I like the vibe and am thankful to Gamecity Hamburg for connecting the dots for us. For the gaming industry in Germany as a whole, I think we need more investment, no matter if it is capital-wise or talent-wise. I can see that the government is trying its best to provide funding for this industry as well, which is very good to see.
6. Where do you see Bigpoint in the upcoming years?
In the upcoming years, we see Bigpoint continuing to lead the way in the gaming industry. There is still a lot of work needed to be done. We aim to expand our player base and reach even more gamers around the world. With our focus on innovation, we will develop groundbreaking games that push the boundaries of what is possible in interactive entertainment. We will explore emerging technologies and platforms, leverage them to deliver immersive experiences across various devices. We also envision Bigpoint playing a role in shaping the future of gaming through strategic partnerships and collaborations with other industry leaders. Our goal is to remain at the forefront of the gaming industry, and to deliver memorable and engaging experiences for players worldwide.