Curse, Inc.

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Curse, Inc.
Type Privately Held
Industry Computer Games
Founded 2005
Founders Hubert Thieblot
Headquarters Huntsville, Alabama, U.S.[1]
Key people Michael Comperda
Chief Technical Officer
Fabien Bonte
VP, Content
Brandon Byrne
VP, Finance
Donovan Duncan
VP, Marketing
Jack Inscoe
VP, Product
Nathan Lindberg
VP, Sales
Franck Thieblot
VP, Monetization
Products Curse Client, Gamepedia, Curse Voice, Video Game Websites
Website http://www.curse.com/

Curse Inc. is an online game portal and network of gaming websites founded by Hubert Thieblot in 2006. The company is headquartered in Huntsville, Alabama, and has offices in San Francisco, New York City, Los Angeles, Brighton, UK, and Berlin, Germany. Claiming to be the "number one resource for core online gamers,"[2][3] Quantcast estimated monthly unique traffic in 2013 in excess of 30 million visitors.[4] Curse has several primary functions, the most notable of which include an add-on and modification service called Curse Client[5] for such games as World of Warcraft, Rift, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Terraria, Kerbal Space Program, and Minecraft, a collection of over 500 gaming wikis (many of which are official) known as Gamepedia, and a Voice Over IP (VOIP) service called Curse Voice.

Curse also supports various professional teams for League of Legends and Call of Duty,[6][7] which in addition to various high-profile wins have garnered sponsorship from companies such as Nissan,[8][9][10] Alienware,[11][12] and Cooler Master.[13][14][15]

While Curse initially offered modifications and add-ons alone through their Curse-Beta website, offerings have expanded to include Wiki services, the Curse client, CurseForge, CurseVoice, Union for Gamers, BukkitDev, and in-house content produced for YouTube.

History[edit]

2006–2010[edit]

Curse was born out of founder Hubert Thieblot's "hardcore" love of World of Warcraft.[16] After leaving school, Thieblot began to turn his passion into a business, launching CurseBeta in 2006,[17] offering up add-ons and modifications. In short order, the site exponentially increased in traffic and popularity.[18][19] In 2007, a Series A round of venture capital investing led by AGF Private Equity granted Curse $5 million USD, and in 2009, Curse disclosed an addition Series B round led by Ventech Capital, AGF Private Equity, and SoftTech VC (Jeff Clavier) in the amount of $6 million USD, bringing total funding for that year (with an additional $3 million USD in revenue) to $11 million.[20] As the funding for Curse increased, so did its offerings, as it proceeded to develop several high-profile sites in-house,[21][22] while acquiring larger sites with already established communities and content.[23]

2010–2014[edit]

In 2011, Inc. 500 ranked Curse Inc. as the 405th fastest growing company in the United States,[24] and the San Francisco Business Times ranked it 22nd in their list of the "Top 100 Fastest Growing Companies in the San Francisco Bay Area".[25][26] On December 14, 2012, Curse released its much-anticipated Gamepedia[27] wiki service, designed as a direct competitor to Wikia. The service was launched out of beta testing with 90 wikis, including sites for Minecraft, DotA 2, World of Warcraft, and more, with 244,332 articles from over 410,000 users.[28]

In April 2012, Ernst & Young named Thieblot as a semifinalist in their "Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year" program for Northern California.[29] By June 2012, Curse's monthly worldwide traffic was reported by Quantcast as being in excess of 21 million unique visitors.[30] On June 26, 2013, Curse announced in a press conference that it would relocated their chief headquarters to Huntsville, Alabama, leaving their sales office in San Francisco.[31] On May 7, 2014, Curse introduced Curse Profiles,[32] an integrated social media system in Gamepedia offering a wide range of features. The service allows users to add wikis to their favorites list, earn Wikipoints and Levels, display personal statistics (such as global editing leaderboards, amount of edits, etc.), and change and set global preferences; the service also introduced a new user page system, a change from the MediaWiki standard user pages, including a new commenting system. Curse has expressed a long-term interest in expanding content and communities as their prime concern.[33][34]

Curse sites and services[edit]

Curse Client and CurseForge[edit]

Curse Client is an add-on and modification management service from Curse, with current support for World of Warcraft, Runes of Magic, Rift, World of Tanks, Skyrim, and Minecraft.[35] The client functions as a lightweight alternative to traditional add-on management tools, and features synchronization across multiple personal computers, add-on setting backups, and a privately developed security system. The client is supported by a website called CurseForge,[36] which allows for the uploading and reviewing of plugins, add-ons, and modifications.

Curse Voice[edit]

Curse Voice is a Voice over IP (VOIP) client produced in-house by Curse.[37] Intended to replace other VOIP solutions for games such as League of Legends, the client boasts a robust feature set, including an in-game voice overlay, an auto-match making service for automatically connecting you to the members of your team, and the use of URL links to join sessions. The client was originally rejected by Riot Games,[38] who felt that the timers included for various spawn times could be considered cheating, but Curse has since removed the offending content[39] and brought the software in line with the terms of service for League of Legends.

BukkitDev[edit]

One of the larger sites in the CurseForge network, BukkitDev is a collection of Minecraft plugins for the Bukkit development platform, a platform which has become the de facto standard for Minecraft plugins[40] within the last few years. As of May 2014, BukkitDev hosts 13,570 plugins and 8,337 unique users.[41] The Bukkit system has proven so effective and widespread, that on February 28, 2012, Mojang, the makers of Minecraft, hired the developers to improve Minecraft's support of server and client modifications and plugins.[42]

Kerbal CurseForge[edit]

On May 6, 2014, CurseForge introduced Kerbal CurseForge as an official repository of modifications and add-ons for the popular game Kerbal Space Program.[43] On May 6, 2014, developers Squad announced the partnership;[44] Squad COO Adrian Goya said of the service, “Modders have helped make Kerbal Space Program a more open, more rewarding game experience for our players. Curse is an important partner because their team is passionate and experienced in caring for and growing online game communities, such as our amazing playerbase for Kerbal Space Program.”

Additionally, Curse's Author Platform Evangelist Bryan McLemore[45] stated, "We've got a great platform and a tremendous team that will be supporting the amazing modders for Kerbal Space Program. We also expect the millions of gamers who frequent Curse every month to see Kerbal Space Program as a great addition to our existing community." Kerbal CurseForge already boasts 94,300 downloads from its central repository.[46]

Curse Network[edit]

Curse owns and operates multiple high-traffic gaming websites, including Marriland, MMO-Champion, Arena Junkies, Reign of Gaming, LoL Pro, Minecraft Forums, Minecraft.fr, Guild Wars 2 Guru, and FPS General. Curse has also acquired the first person shooter statistics and science website Symthic which focuses on the statistical analysis of data from FPS games, including such details as weight, accuracy, and weapon drift. Curse partnered in 2014 with GOG.com to provide a free game from their library for premium Curse members.[47]

Gamepedia[edit]

On December 14, 2012, Curse launched Gamepedia, a wiki hosting platform dedicated to games and written by gamers. The site has since increased in popularity, with over 500 wikis, many of which official, and, as of May 2014, 668,487 contributors, with 2,171,316 edits. Gamepedia hosts a number of official wikis, which are endorsed and supported by the game developers themselves. High profile wikis such as The Official Witcher Wiki, Minecraft Wiki, The Official Terraria Wiki, DoTA2 Wiki, and Leaguepedia have hundreds of thousands of edits across thousands of accounts, and are often used as the de facto reference point for new and experienced players alike.

Union for Gamers[edit]

Starting in March 2012, Curse partnered with YouTube content producer and grand theft auto veteran Athene for a YouTube partnership program,[48][49] offering a wide range of features and tools.[50]

Curse has stated that the Union for Gamers has a "user-first approach", offering 100% revenue share (where the content producer receives 100% of video profits), a non-capped contract (there is no maximum amount of money that could be paid out to content producers, unlike capped contracts, where, regardless of the amount your video earns, you can only earn up to a certain amount), no lock-in (content producers are free to terminate their contract whenever they choose), and no requirements for upload schedules or Curse endorsements.[51]

Union for Gamers also offers several tools to content producers, arranged in a dashboard format.[52] The dashboard includes summary boxes which track income, video data, referrals, and previous month comparisons, and a graph feature for revenue and traffic comparison. Tied into the dashboard is a referral system, allowing for additional income to be passively generated by referring parties. Additionally, Curse provides content producers with a knowledge database and support system, exclusive access to Curse logos and video clips,

YouTube[edit]

Curse also produces video in-house for their official YouTube channel. The lineup includes Curse Weekly Roundup, the Minecraft Update, the WoW Weekly Recap, the League Update, and the Pokémon Update. Curse also provides live coverage of game industry events including the Penny Arcade Expo, Gamescom, MineCon, BlizzCon, and the Eve Online Fanfest.

Curse historically broadcast livestreamed content on their Own3D channel until Own3D ceased operations as a company on January 31, 2013.[53]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Berry, Lucy (27 June 2013). "Curse to relocate from San Francisco to Huntsville". The Huntsville Times. Retrieved 27 June 2013. 
  2. ^ Curse, Inc. company overview at Bloomberg Businessweek
  3. ^ Curse Inc. Reaches 21 Million Unique Visitors Per Month at Globe Newswire
  4. ^ http://www.curse.com/about
  5. ^ http://www.curse.com/client
  6. ^ http://www.teamcurse.net/divisions/league-of-legends/team-curse
  7. ^ http://www.forbes.com/sites/johngaudiosi/2012/08/07/first-look-inside-the-curse-league-of-legends-beverly-hills-gaming-house/
  8. ^ http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2013-08-16-nissan-enters-esports-arena-with-team-sponsorship
  9. ^ http://www.teamcurse.net/news/27204-whats-in-the-briefcase
  10. ^ http://themittani.com/news/team-curse-gets-partnership-nissan
  11. ^ https://na.alienwarearena.com/groups/curse/
  12. ^ http://www.forbes.com/sites/johngaudiosi/2013/03/20/dell-invests-in-league-of-legends-team-curse-with-alienware-sponsorship/
  13. ^ http://gaming.coolermaster.com/en/esport/team/Curse/
  14. ^ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kcCKvF0Wucg
  15. ^ http://www.curse.com/news/curse/49328-curse-cooler-master-agree-to-2-year-extension-on
  16. ^ http://techcrunch.com/2009/12/22/curse-gaming/
  17. ^ http://www.curse.com/news/curse/2090-welcome-to-the-curse-beta
  18. ^ http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/curse.com
  19. ^ http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/hh321695.aspx
  20. ^ http://www.crunchbase.com/organization/curse
  21. ^ http://news.americasarmy.com/curse-com-hosts-aapg-wiki/
  22. ^ http://corporate.gameforge.com/en/press-release/gameforge-announces-media-partnership-with-curse-com/
  23. ^ http://techcrunch.com/2010/07/19/curse-mmo-champion-wow/
  24. ^ http://www.inc.com/profile/curse
  25. ^ http://www.bizjournals.com/sanfrancisco/fastest-growing-private-companies-2011.html
  26. ^ http://www.bizjournals.com/sanfrancisco/blog/2011/10/slideshow-the-fastest-growing-bay.html?s=image_gallery
  27. ^ http://www.gamepedia.com/
  28. ^ http://www.curse.com/news/curse/47215-curse-launches-gamepedia-marvel-heroes-wiki
  29. ^ http://www.marketwatch.com/story/ernst-young-announces-curse-inc-ceo-hubert-thieblot-is-an-entrepreneur-of-the-year-2012-semifinalist-in-northern-california-2012-04-16/rescue?SourceUrl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.marketwatch.com%2Fstory%2Fernst-young-announces-curse-inc-ceo-hubert-thieblot-is-an-entrepreneur-of-the-year-2012-semifinalist-in-northern-california-2012-04-16
  30. ^ http://finance.sfgate.com/hearst.sfgate/news/read/21621817/Curse_Inc._Reaches_21_Million_Unique_Visitors_Per_Month
  31. ^ http://www.al.com/business/index.ssf/2013/06/curse_1_of_worlds_largest_vide.html#/0
  32. ^ http://www.gamepedia.com/news/315-announcing-curse-profiles-wikipoints-levels-and
  33. ^ http://www.sbnonline.com/component/k2/14-northern-california-editions/24113#.U4ipbfldUuw
  34. ^ http://www.forbes.com/sites/johngaudiosi/2012/12/07/curse-ceo-hubert-thieblot-doesnt-see-a-bright-future-for-starcraft-ii-in-america/
  35. ^ http://www.curse.com/legacycontent/installing-and-using-the-curse-client
  36. ^ http://www.curseforge.com/
  37. ^ http://www.curse.com/news/curse/49517-curse-voice-welcome-to-open-beta
  38. ^ http://forums.na.leagueoflegends.com/board/showthread.php?p=46870550#46870550
  39. ^ http://nerdreactor.com/2014/05/06/curse-voice-removes-timers-keeps-chat/
  40. ^ https://forums.bukkit.org/threads/bukkit-the-next-chapter.62489/
  41. ^ http://dev.bukkit.org/bukkit-plugins/
  42. ^ http://www.minecraftforum.net/topic/1063986-bukkit-officially-joins-mojang/
  43. ^ http://www.curseforge.com/announcements/kerbal-space-program-and-curse-join-forces/
  44. ^ http://www.gamasutra.com/view/pressreleases/217092/Kerbal_Space_Program_Cursecom_Partner_Together_For_UpdatedModding_Community_Website.php
  45. ^ http://forum.kerbalspaceprogram.com/threads/79012-Kerbal-Space-Program-Curse-com-Partner-Together-For-Updated-Modding-Community-Websit
  46. ^ http://kerbal.curseforge.com/projects
  47. ^ http://www.gog.com/news/announcement_partnership_with_cursecom
  48. ^ http://www.curse.com/news/curse/44509-introducing-the-union-for-gamers-a-new-way-to
  49. ^ http://www.arenajunkies.com/news/446-curse-and-athene-partner-to-bring-union-for-gamers/
  50. ^ http://wonderpierrot.blogspot.com/2013/12/curse-union-for-gamers.html
  51. ^ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sDE3LrbFucg
  52. ^ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e7vg91RHIeA
  53. ^ http://www.gamebreaker.tv/game-industry-news/own3d-tv-shutting-down/