Socialpoint: Where Gaming Meets Social Media
The gaming industry has had its fair share of revolutions and transformations. But no one caused the stir-up in the gaming market quite like Dragon City and Monster Legends - two legendary games created by Socialpoint.
A leader in the gaming realm, Socialpoint was founded in 2008 in Barcelona by Horacio Martos and Andrés Bou. The aim was simple - to create online free games for none other than Facebook.
Socialpoint specializes in developing strategy games designed for cell phones and a wider global crowd of aficionados. Based in Barcelona, one of Europe’s technology hubs, Socialpoint quickly rose from a startup to an industry giant.
Remaining true to one’s original dream is a lonely journey, but definitely pays off in the end. Dive into the incredible story of two men who joined forces and talents to create a gaming space for the world, not just for every PC, but also for every social media user.
The Founders of Socialpoint
Socialpoint was first co-founded in 2008 by Horacio Martos and Andrés Bou. Both inventors hold Bachelor's degrees in Computer Science from the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya and were classmates at Uni. Andrés Bou also holds a Master's Degree in Entrepreneurship from the École de Management de Normandie.
The duo led the company from the very beginning and grew it throughout the years, ultimately reaching more than 300 employees, all based in Barcelona.
Besides the two creators, Marc Canaleta is another company co-founder who has been a vital part of the Socialpoint journey from the beginning. He holds a Bachelor's degree in Computer Science from the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya.
The Socialpoint team was aware that Facebook games were not only free to access but would still have low microtransactions. However, the team decided to create the games as free to use, realizing the Facebook market is enormous, and the number of players will continue to grow. And as the users grew, so would their popularity. As for the revenue, the company intended to acquire it from additional in-game purchases and social media advertising.
Another convincing factor for the Socialpilot founders was the difference between Facebook's social games versus traditional video games. A social-media-based game would offer a quicker and more immersive experience that gets the user's attention and is fit for gamers from all walks of life.
Making this happen was challenging, but the newly graduated founders decided to take the risk regardless. They had strong education and knew a thing or two about succeeding. As a testament to their grand efforts, in 2010, the company reached 8 million users and had a few casual games under its belt already.
Their first major release was the strategy game Social Empires, which became one of Facebook's 10 most successful games. Other games followed suit, but one of the most popular and catchy creations from Socialpoint was Dragon City, initially released on Facebook before releasing on iOS and Android devices.
The Dragon City Era
Dragon City is a strategy game that continuously delivers new content for the players, which seems to be the key to its success. In the game, players have more than 1,600 different dragons to train, collect, breed, and use in a battle. The game is the real evidence of the success story of the company.
But the team and the founders knew that adding something new to the game is what would keep users engaged. So, every month, the game introduces seven new events to take part in, alongside ten new dragons to choose from.
What’s even more important for the game and the company is the ultra-motivated team behind the product, which earned the company around 20 million players. And that alone wasn’t quite enough since the team also knew that growing and adapting to the competitive market was a must as well.
Looking in the Face of the Storm
Socialpoint faced a setback concerning the company’s Live Operations department, which threatened to hurt the user experience and game flow. To mend the issue, the company was encouraged to introduce new and improved technological tools, as well as invest more in their operational departments.
Another challenge the Socialpoint team had to face and resolve was the communication and alignment of their team, which now expanded to 50 people. Luckily, the founders worked around the issue and managed to balance out the roles and obligations of each employee they had.
And to further ensure its longevity on the market and avoid potential collapses, Socialpoint also put extra effort into its marketing campaigns. This ultimately helped them reach out to wider audiences and retain high-quality players.
The Social Point team thinks out of the box when creating unique video games that keep players engaged. After the worldwide success of Dragon City (with 200 million downloads), another successful game story followed - Monster Legends. By this time, the company has earned over 5 million daily users and expanded its forces to 250 employees from 25 different nationalities.
Their 2016 games, World Chef and Dragon Land, successfully converted the classic console experience into highly innovative 3D mobile gaming. This ensured a smooth user experience and added an as-realistic experience for gamers of all ages.
As part of its huge success, Social Point was awarded 2nd place at the Entrepreneur XXI Awards, hosted by La Caixa in 2012. The company was also named one of the 20 fastest-growing mobile startups by Mattermark. A new logo for the company was released in December 2019, and Social Point became Socialpoint.
Fundraising and Monetization
To monetize their game releases, Socialpoint used a ‘freemium’ model. That said, the games they offer are free to download, and the revenue comes from the additional in-game purchases and advertising.
Investors immediately recognized the financial potential of the company. The first investor, Nauta Capital, backed the company with $2,4M in capital. Additional funding also came from IDInvest Partners, BBVA, and Greylock Partners, with a total capital of over €10M.
After years of growth, Socialpoint became part of Take-Two, a cash-rich business open to making acquisitions. It is headquartered in New York City and develops and publishes products principally through Rockstar Games, 2K, Private Division, and Zynga.
Socialpoint was officially acquired for $250M, which included $75m in shares and $175m in cash. Take-Two Software is among the best in the world for creating leading, triple-A console/PC games and applies those same strategies to mobile PvP.
Socialpoint Grows On
Socialpoint is one of the interactive entertainment industry's premier publishers. They are globally recognized as creators of some of the most successful and beloved entertainment experiences on consoles and PC.
Socialpoint also invests in the children's future. They partnered up with the Spanish schools initiative to address dropout rates and low achievement in Spanish schools and to prepare youngsters for higher education and future work in the digital sector.
Their global presence in the online gaming market grows as well. Today, the company boasts 12 years of experience, 600 million downloads (7% of the whole world's population), and 2,500 game characters created. As part of their future plans, Socialpoint is on the constant lookout for new talents to join their innovative workplace in the heart of Barcelona.
Starting from the bottom was incredibly rewarding and worthwhile for the Socialpoint team. With a solid effort, revolutionary gaming ideas, and the helping hand of social media, Socialpoint changed the industry’s face on a large scale. And given their intuitive sense for creating and breaking barriers, the world is tremendously curious to discover what’s next on their to-do list.