Peak climbs into social gaming’s top tier, eyes Asia

Pop quiz: can you name the top three social gaming companies? Yes, Zynga (s ZYNG) is at the top, followed by, but in at number three is a name you may be less familiar with: Peak Games.
Numbers from AppData confirm that the company is right up there, and according to Peak Games itself, the company now has six million daily active users for its own games and 3.7 million for the third-party games it publishes. That means it trumps Berlin’s Wooga (8.6 million DAUs) and even Electronic Arts (9.1 million).
If you’re still asking who Peak Games are, you probably don’t live in Turkey, the Middle East or North Africa (MENA). The Istanbul-based company, which is only a year-and-a-half old, has many highly successful games in the region, such as Tavla Plus and Pyramidville.
Pyramidville? That would be a clone with an Egyptian twist, right?
“It would be a fair assessment,” co-founder and chief strategy officer Rina Onur told me. “Peak Games is both a developer and a publisher. We’re not just focused on creating titles – our main focus is the region. We’re here to provide any type of game for any type of gamer in this region, so we take successful games from around the world and get publishing rights.”
It’s not a bad strategy. 40 percent of Peak’s users are in the MENA region. If the gamers in that part of the world want a version of Farmville with “Arabic-looking people”, as Onur put it, so be it.
MENA in mind
But it’s Peak’s in-house stuff that’s more interesting, particularly its versions of local classic board games such as Okey. The latest self-developed title was Lost Bubble, which already has two million daily active users – the game was launched in 15 different languages, including Turkish and Arabic.
“The number of gamers from this region is going to increase very significantly, which is enough to take us higher in the rankings,” Onur suggested.
But that’s not to say Peak will be relying entirely on the Middle East and North Africa for growth. On the contrary, Onur revealed plans to “replicate what we’ve been doing in this emerging market region and take it to other regions”, namely south-east Asia, “in the upcoming months”.
The company’s bringing two new faces onto its board to help out with the expansion: angel investor Ali Kutay (former CEO of WebLogic and GoldenGate) and Robert Unsworth (a business development guy, formerly at Digital Chocolate).
Interestingly, Peak is staying away from Latin America at the moment, and that’s largely because Facebook (s FB) – a key platform for the firm, alongside browser and mobile– is only now taking over from Google’s Orkut. Onur and her firm want to wait for that process to play out, then re-evaluate the scene.
“When it happens, then great, but right now we’re not confident we’d see the user levels or the monetization levels we’re seeing in our market,” she said.