Diamond Dash amassing 100,000 downloads a day on iOS, reveals Wooga CEO Begemann

Mobile and social strategy a no brainer

Diamond Dash amassing 100,000 downloads a day on iOS, reveals Wooga CEO Begemann

Wooga's move into the mobile market has been well documented, and it's also about to ramp up.

Almost a year on from the launch of Diamond Dash on iOS, the firm has rolled out fellow Facebook hit Bubble Island on Apple's platform.

It's a move that reflects the current trend of social studios moving away from web-based only strategies to ones that also accommodate mobile marketplaces.

We caught up with CEO and founder Jens Begemann to find out how the German studio is finding life after its move on mobile.

Pocket Gamer: Its almost a year since Wooga made its smartphone debut with Diamond Dash on iOS, with further titles having following. Launching Bubble Island must be a sign the transition is going well? Jens Begemann: Diamond Dash for the iPhone and iPad was a big success for everyone at Wooga.

We've had 30 million downloads since launch last December, and that figures grows by 100,000 downloads a day. That kind of sustainable growth, especially in such a competitive market, is really important for us to achieve.

Bubble Island for mobile builds on everything we learned from Diamond Dash and we're very optimistic that it will see a similar level of success.

What kind of design challenges are there when bringing a Facebook game to smartphones?

Obviously there's finding the right control method for touch.

With Diamond Dash that was a challenge, but perhaps with Bubble Island it was even more so. Bubble Island is a comparatively fast game compared to other bubble shooters and we thought adapting that fast gameplay for touch controls couldn't be done.

Earlier this year we had a breakthrough and that was a key moment for us.

A lot of social studios seem to be shifting focus from platforms such as Facebook to iOS and Android in particular. How do you see Wooga titles standing out in this rush?

We're very wary of just releasing a title at the first possible moment.

The games we have released since 2009 have all had a level of polish that we hope becomes synonymous with Wooga and that kind of mindset has transferred to our approaching in making games for mobile.

Ultimately, does Wooga's future lie in mobile?

Smartphones and tablets are going to be the future of computing and entertainment. The whole world is going mobile and gaming is going to become a bigger part of people's everyday lives.

Currently at Wooga, our team is split 50/50 between Facebook and mobile development, with Facebook and the social connectivity that it allows us to embed within our games being a core component of those mobile titles.

Thanks to Jens for his time.
Keith Andrew
Keith Andrew
With a fine eye for detail, Keith Andrew is fuelled by strong coffee, Kylie Minogue and the shapely curve of a san serif font. He's also Pocket Gamer's resident football gaming expert and, thanks to his work on, monitors the market share of all mobile OSes on a daily basis.