Wooga created a series of successful and unique mobile app games, so-called casual games, including June’s Journey®, Pearl’s Peril® and Switchcraft®.
Please introduce yourself and your startup Wooga to our readers!
We are a Berlin-based mobile games developer established in 2009 and have created a series of successful and unique mobile app games, so-called casual games, including June’s Journey®, Pearl’s Peril® and Switchcraft®. In 2018, Wooga® was acquired by social games company Playtika® from Israel. Our Hidden Object game “June’s Journey” has now reached US$500Mln in Lifetime Revenues since its launch five years ago, which we are very proud of.
Why did you decide to start at Wooga?
I have been working in the Gaming industry for quite some time now, with other stations based outside of Germany. Yet, Wooga was the natural choice for me, as I was and still am extremely driven by the team’s energy and the whole basis on which we create our story-driven games for our users.
What is the vision behind Wooga?
We want to inspire the players of our story-driven games to have joy while playing, equally to our employees having joy while creating these experiences. We are all used to watching movies and series, which are all built up by a storyline. Our users can use their own imagination and creativity to build their own story, which is very rewarding.
How difficult was your start and which challenges you had to overcome?
I joined Wooga right at the beginning of the Pandemic and was one of the first employees who had to be onboarded remotely. I did not know my fellow Management Team members before joining and we all experienced in the past 2 years that building trust when only working remotely takes much more time and effort from everyone involved. My predecessor Jens Begemann founded the company and did an outstanding job running it for more than a decade. I am following in big footsteps.
Who is your target audience?
Our games are made for players who enjoy a gripping narrative while playing through beautifully made game content. Around two thirds of our players are women.
What is the USP of your company?
Next to really driving the story-driven gaming category, we are very proud of an extremely diverse team that has become a huge family. Also, the company has been increasingly promoting environmentally friendly and climate-active messages in its games. We gamers have a big heart for our planet, and we want to demonstrate and prove that. Our players have shown that they want to actively take responsibility. Wooga has been a climate-neutral developer of mobile games since 2020.
Can you describe your typical workday ?
All Management Team members kick off every day with a daily check-in to align where we might need each other’s input and learn what is top of mind for all of us. Generally my focus is to work “on the company” and with that ensuring that all teams can perform at their best, which comes with regular internal interactions with game teams but also publishing and operational teams as well as our mother company Playtika in Israel. Since the Pandemic my typical workday is packed with calls, which probably many people can relate to, so that I aim to end my day in time for family dinner and bed-time stories for my two young children.
Where do you see Wooga in five years?
Wooga four years ago was one of the first gaming companies that set out to focus on story-driven casual games, and since then we are proud to have grown into one of the industry leaders in this category with the growing global success of June’s Journey. We have a strong foundation in story driven casual games, with casual games that push the boundaries of the story-driven category – crafting compelling player fantasies where the player is the star and their actions drive the narrative forward.
Wooga also, so far, in 2022 has already hired 80 new employees and currently employs around 300 Woogas, including 42 percent of women, a particularly high proportion for the gaming industry. These points have made us strong and we want to continue on that journey.
What 3 tips would you give Company leaders?
Focus on building a strong foundation – this will make the organization more effective in achieving its vision and goals as well as more resilient when dealing with any unexpected internal or external situations
3 core parts of a company’s foundation I focus on is:
The company vision and with that the direction we’re headed as well as our desired impact
Having a clear vision creates more alignment and engagement: The people who identify with the vision will opt-in and feel more engaged, and the people who are not aligned with the vision will opt-out and leave.
It also enables more autonomy: If everyone understands where we’re going, then they can operate independently.
The culture and values and with that our rituals and expected behaviors towards one another
Establishing a strong culture built on clear values gives people guidance and sets common expectations for behavior. How should we behave? How do we expect others to behave when achieving results?
This compliments the vision and leads to both stronger relationships between employees and stronger connection to the company vision
The people and talent and with that our strengths and weaknesses in terms of skills and how to improve
Focusing on talent mapping based on what we need in terms of skill & mindsets from all of our employees, to achieve our vision and establishing robust talent development processes that allow us to mold the organization’s capabilities to best fit what we need in order to achieve our vision.
Thank you Nai Chang for the Interview
Statements of the author and the interviewee do not necessarily represent the editors and the publisher opinion again.