During the Webrazzi Summit, we chatted with Omer Ersoy from ArcadeMonk, a social and mobile Turkish gaming company, about their stategy towards entering the Arab world.
When asked how the company has managed to scale in Turkey, Omer, who launched the company along with Alemsah Ozturk, said that building their own games on Facebook was the key. ArcadeMonk is building games for Facebook and mobile, and recently launched their first game in Arabic, Bubble Pirates.
Ersoy dicusses how ArcadeMonk is localizing their games for Arabic speaker, competing with Zinga on Facebook, and pivoting to mobile while monetizing through in-app purchases.
Launched just two weeks ago in Arabic, Bubble Pirates is a lot like the popular browser game Bubble Canon, but includes a storyline, "boss battles," and multiplayer online tournaments. They are using a freemium model, and have had most of their success on their home turf, Turkey.
With over 1.2 million downloads worldwide since August, Bubble Pirates is steadily growing in popularity - they have seen over 10,000 downloads in the Arab World in just one week.
The gameplay is simple and starts off very easy - players shoot colored bubbles from a pirate's cannon to eliminate floating bubbles of the same color. The game gets progressively harder as players move around the map, and the multiplayer function makes it a unique title, comparable to an US- or European-developed Facebook game. They are also developing a mobile version of the game for early 2013.
Noting ArcadeMonk's familiarity with and proximity to the Arab World, Ersoy says, "The competition is really hard with the American companies with humungous budgets. So we'll do what we do best; we'll create relevent content for the region."