|Type||Limited Liability Company|
|Industry||Interactive Entertainment, Casual Games|
|Headquarters||Berlin, Germany; San Francisco, USA|
GameDuell is a major cross-platform games community headquartered in Berlin, Germany. With more than 125 million registered players across all platforms the company counts among the leading casual and social games providers in the Western world. Founded in 2003 by Kai Bolik, Michael Kalkowski and Boris Wasmuth GameDuell offers a portfolio of over 70 casual online games, mostly developed in-house, such as Fluffy, Maya Pyramid, Bubble Speed, Jungle Jewels and game classics like Hearts, Solitaire and Pool. Over 60 web games are directly playable on the company’s game website www.GameDuell.com. Besides that the company offers games for Facebook, for tablets and smartphones. GameDuell employs a staff of over 200 experienced team members, most of them in their Berlin headquarters.
The GameDuell GmbH was founded in December 2003 by Boris Wasmuth, Kai Bolik and Michael Kalkowski and published its first German web games in 2004. In 2007 GameDuell entered the French market with the first translated games. Following the launch of localized game versions in several other European countries such as United Kingdom, Spain, Netherlands and Sweden, the company entered the North American market in 2008 and opened an office in San Francisco. GameDuell meanwhile offers its games in seven languages: German, French, English, Dutch, Swedish, Danish and Spanish.
In 2009 the company published its first Facebook game Bubble Popp. With Jungle Jewels the company released a first iOS mobile game for iPads and iPhones in 2010, which was followed by an Android version in 2011. In January 2012 GameDuell moved to its current headquarter office in Taubenstraße 24-25 in Berlin-Mitte, Germany.
Kai Bolik, Co-Founder and CEO
As a serial entrepreneur, Kai Bolik contributes the strategic vision and management experience to GameDuell. Earlier in his career he worked in various management positions at Bertelsmann and as a strategic consultant at the Boston Consulting Group.
Boris Wasmuth, Co-Founder and Marketing Director
Boris Wasmuth is a serial entrepreneur who founded dooyoo.de in 1999, one of Europe's leading consumer sites. Prior to working with GameDuell, he worked for BMW, Henkel and Bertelsmann. Boris Wasmuth is also member of the board at media.net Berlin-Brandenburg.
Michael Kalkowski, Co-Founder and Creative Director
Michael Kalkowski started his ventures as one of the founders of dooyoo.com. Before he worked as an international product and marketing consultant. He holds several business degrees from Germany and an MBA from Eastern Illinois University (USA).
According to AppData, as of February 2012, GameDuell games on Facebook had almost 4 million monthly active users. GameDuell has over 125 million users including app installs and currently offers: 7 mobile games on the iOS and 5 on the Android platforms, 17 on the social network site Facebook and over 60 on its own branded website. Games are currently available in 7 different languages on its branded website.
The Company received over $17 million (€11 million) in funding from Wellington Partners in an effort to accelerate its expansion into other European countries and the United States. This was in addition to the earlier funding from Holtzbrinck Ventures and Burda Digital Ventures in 2004.
GameDuell Game Website and Community Platform
The GameDuell web platform is the central hub for a community of over 125 million players worldwide. Players find over 60 games on gameduell.com directly playable in the web browser. Instead of playing alone at their computer, players meet in the central game lobby of each game and start multiplayer matches against human opponents. The GameDuell matchmaking system always suggests players of the same experience and skill level to guarantee a fun experience and fair play. After their initial registration players can create avatars for their account, make friends through a buddy system, challenge other players or start closed game rounds and compete for awards and rankings. A chat function allows for direct communication in most GameDuell games.
Community Features Overview
- Game lobby with unique matchmaking system and fair play guarantee
- Messaging System & chat communication in most games
- Player avatars with image editor and several hundreds of items
- Friends System
- Monthly and all-time high-score rankings
- Player Awards
On the community platform Gameduell.com, players find a comprehensive portfolio of over 60 web games. From action arcade games, over online versions of popular card and board games to logic games GameDuell caters to the taste of all kinds of casual fans. Some exemplary titles are:
Potion Panic is an enthralling combination game in which two figures engage in a sorcerer’s duel. Players slip into the role of a wise magician or an impulsive witch and try to put a hex on their opponent. They swap flacons of magic ingredients on the game board to form same colored groups of three or more. Combining them wisely they are able to brew potions that will reduce the opponent's energy level to zero and win the match.
Crazy Eights is a typical representative of GameDuell’s highly popular online versions of classic card games. Up to four players try to play out all the cards in their hands. Only cards matching the card on top of the pack can be dropped. Throwing tens allows to place two cards in a row, with an ace the next player is skipped, jacks turn the direction and with an eight players can choose the next color. Using their sets smart, players will be able to give their opponent’s a hard time and win the match.
Hidden Gizmos is a hidden object game in which players need to find various items in a picture. Starting into the game they assume the role of a shopkeeper, whose mission is to locate all kinds of objects. The most important customer is already waiting to send them on a journey around the world. Time is running – the faster players can gather all items, the more points they can collect for their highscore.
Exemplary Social Games operated on Facebook
Maya Whiz is a Facebook game in which players match pairs of same-colored tiles as fast as they can. Clearing one level after the other they earn coins to unlock all 16 areas and 134 levels of the maya world map. In weekly tournaments players battle for the best highscore. Besides the Facebook game, GameDuell offers similar web and mobile versions of Maya Whiz on its community platform.
Jungle Jewels Jungle Jewels is a match three puzzler where players swap jewels vertically or horizontally to form groups of three or more same-colored jewels, collect coins and discover mystical masks in a temple. Besides the Facebook version Jungle Jewels is also available for iOS and Android mobile devices and as a browser game on GameDuell.com.
Exemplary Mobile Games
In Little Diggers, players help a group of explorers to collect antique items. Within 60 seconds they try digging as deep as they can through layers of colored stone rows. Different boosts help them to unlock new epochs, collect coins and drill deeper into the earth.
In Fluffy players shift and slide rows and columns inhabited by little birds to form groups of three or more like-colored ones. Featuring cuddly artwork and design the popular mobile game entertains with three different game modes. Besides the Android game version, GameDuell also offers Fluffy Birds as a browser game on its web platform.
In Maya Pyarmid it’s up to mobile players to find their way into a secret treasure chamber. By combining the right cards and solve all puzzles they clear their path to create their very own maya pyramid. More than 70 unique levels in 28 stages are awaiting players in adventure mode. GameDuell offers Maya Pyramid as iOS version for Apple mobile devices and as a browser game on GameDuell.com.
Since 2010 GameDuell has established the TechTalk event series, where renowned technology pioneers share their know-how with the Berlin tech community. Senior technology experts like Werner Vogels, CTO of Amazon, Dr. Torsten Lodderstedt, member of the OAuth working group of IETF and tech manager at Deutsche Telekom, Matthias Weßendorf, member of the Apache Software Foundation, working for JBoss/Red Hat, Jeanfrancois Arcand, developer of the Atmosphere framework, or Ed Burns, specification lead for JavaServer Faces at Oracle, introduce the audience to their working fields and inspire the discussion with their perspective on trend-setting technology sectors.
Every six months GameDuell invites the one hundred most influential and successful founders of the Berlin startup community to an exclusive networking dinner. At Berlin 2.0 the founders of the most promising tech and internet companies meet for a casual exchange.
At regular intervals, GameDuell opens its doors and allows students and interested professionals a look behind the scenes. In the course of their Inside GameDuell event series team members and selected guests explain how games are being designed and created in the team.
Skat & Rommé Masters
Since 2006 GameDuell hosts the largest Skat tournament of the world every year. The event series is organized in exclusive partnership with the German Skat Association DSkV e.V. Throughout the year players of the popular German card game compete in qualification rounds on the GameDuell web platform. Additionally to the Skat Masters, GameDuell launched the Rommé Masters tournament series in 2009. Only the best players of both games qualify for the live finals in Berlin where they compete face-to-face for valuable trophies. The final round is recorded and televised on German TV. For the French card game Belote and German Doppelkopf GameDuell is offering similar large-scale tournament series online.
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