Huuuge Games: Connecting People With Mobile Games
Almost every owner of a cell phone has used it for playing games. While traveling, or enjoying your break at work, or even while waiting for someone, mobile games are always there for a little entertainment.
But can mobile games be more than just a game to pass some time? Anton Gauffin believes they can, and with his company for developing games, Huuuge Games, he started producing mobile games with a twist. Not improved graphically, not making them more complex or anything, his idea was simply to make them social. Mobile games that you can play in real-time with other people. This new concept was widely accepted.
Being in the gaming development business for a very long time, Anton started his new project Huuuge Games with a mission of developing a social experience from playing games on your phone. If you’re intrigued to know more about how Huuuge Games came to be, continue reading the story behind Anton Gauffin.
The founder of Huuuge Games, Anton Gauffin was born in Finland. He was introduced to computers from a very young age. His father bought Anton one when he was a kid, and the little curious boy was spending a lot of time on it. Anton’s favorite thing to do on his computer was, of course, playing games. Even though computer games were pretty simple back then, young Anton was still mesmerized by them and relished in playing.
He was also interested in becoming a businessman and owning his own business from a very young age. Being a 6-year-old boy and talking like that sounded cute and funny to the grownups around him. But, luckily for Anton, that wasn’t just some kid talk that would eventually get lost among other interests later in life. Anton kept that mindset throughout his entire life.
Anton was a very intelligent kid and had plenty of interests, but his main interests were technology, computers, the internet, and, of course, games. He even learned English by himself from all that time spent on his computer. Everything in his childhood was revolving around video games. He was doing well in high school, and logically, Anton decided to continue his education and go to college. He applied for one of the most respected universities in Finland, the University of Jyvaskyla, and he got accepted. At the university, he studied Economics and Information Science.
Anton was a good student. At the same time, he was working as an internet consultant for Elisa, a telecommunication company. But something important happened to him there. He met a guy that has developed a video game. It was a popular game, with 50.000 people playing it across Finland.
Anton was so impressed that he wanted to start developing his own games, so he teamed up with a developer and they started working together. The developer was taking care of the technical part, while Anton was tackling the issues of the business matters.
Anton founded a game-developing company called Gamelion in 2002, with him as the CEO. The company focused on mobile games, since there were not many games for mobiles back then, and the mobile phones were not as advanced as they are now. So, Anton saw the opportunity for a lot of improvement and innovations in that field.
Getting the engine running was pretty hard for Anton at the beginning. Young Anton still had no funding. He had to bootstrap the company, do a lot of work, sleep at the office, and do different other things that would eventually help him get the company up and running. It took a lot of sacrifices but Anton was so passionate about it that he never thought about giving up. Eventually, it turned into a success, with the company growing and making a boom in the mobile games industry.
In 2005, Anton opened an office in Poland as he was hoping to cross paths with talented programmers for his company. Venturing to Poland turned out for the best for Anton, as he managed to meet and hire a few very capable people there.
But unfortunately, the market suffered through a financial crash, and the unlucky Anton had to sell the company. He sold it in 2007, but he did not go back to Finland, he decided to move on to Silicon Valley, California.
Gamelion continued developing games successfully. The video games were played by thousands of people around the world.
Seven years after he sold Gamelion, Anton got a chance to acquire it back and he wouldn't miss it for the world. He came back to Poland to find most of the team still working together, and he was delighted about it. He wanted to make a big change in the concept of mobile gaming and make an impact. In 2014, the formerly known Gamelion was rebranded to Huuuge Games.
Anton remained on the idea to make mobile games social. He envisioned a gaming community, where the games are simple to play and yet, entertaining enough for players to keep coming back. The main difference between the already existing mobile games and Anton’s was the social features he wanted to implement in gaming. Real-time playing with friends, or meeting new friends through the dynamics of playing mobile games. Anton’s team boosted his confidence by offering great support for the idea.
However smooth things were going, Anton still faced similar problems as he did when he initiated his first start-up. No funding whatsoever, added to having a limited budget was becoming a huuuge threat to the survival of the company. Anton’s company almost went bankrupt in the first couple of months.
Being resilient enough, Anton did not get discouraged. He was already equipped with patience and perseverance from his previous experience when he started a company. He knew that working hard is the only way to achieve his goals, so he was ready to sacrifice himself. Otherwise, he wouldn’t have left sunny California to come back to Europe. His passion was stronger than anything, so he was determined to make Huuuge Games huge.
The Next Level
Reaching the next level meant that Huuuge Games had to overcome some serious hurdles. Starting as a company that wanted to change the look and feel of video games, Huuuge Games did manage to persevere and shake off some serious competition.
Playtika, Plarium, and NetMarble Games are some of the top competitors facing Huuuge Games. Not only did Huuuge Games stand hand-in-hand with mobile games giants, but it also became large enough that it acquired another gaming company, called Playable Platform.
Things started turning for the better for Huuuge Games in 2015, one year after Anton started his project. The company launched a multiplayer casino, called Huuuge Casino. It was a platform for playing various casino games with other people in real-time, but without real money, just for the fun of it. It was a big success and Huuuge Games finally got some attention.
The same year, the company attained its first funding when Korea Investment Partners decided to invest $4M in Huuuge Games. More investment came in the next two years, reaching the total amount of $57M invested in Huuuge. This helped the company to expand and made it easier to achieve its goals. Anton’s company started shooting for the stars, reaching more and more places and connecting more and more players.
Anton always had a passion for startups and wanted to help other entrepreneurs develop their businesses, too. He proudly calls himself a serial entrepreneur. He knew how hard starting your own company can be, and how much it meant for companies to be able to raise some fundings. So, Anton decided to be an investor in startups himself. Since 2017, he has invested around $7M in 5 different companies.
Game Not Over
Anton Gauffin, the founder and CEO of Huuuge Games now lives in Berlin. The company is based in Poland, holding offices in Warsaw, Szczecin, and Bydgoszcz, but also owning offices in 7 other cities around the world - in Amsterdam, Las Vegas, Tel Aviv, Dublin, Limassol, London, and Helsinki.
Huuuge Games is an employer to more than 600 employees from 27 different nationalities. The company’s games are played in 195 countries around the world, with more than 200 million player connections. The number of daily active players exceeds 1 million. The company’s plan is to continue developing games with a vision to make mobile gaming a fun social experience.
The story of Anton Gauffin is an inspirational one. Combining his two biggest passions that he had since he was a kid, video games and entrepreneurship, Anton is now the CEO of a company for video games that he founded. It couldn’t have turned out better for him. All the obstacles and challenges were worth overcoming to make his dream a reality.
Winning in video games is fun, but for Anton, winning the game of life was the most important, and that he did with a bang, a huuuge bang.