September 23, 2011 / 4:16 PM / 6 years ago

Wooga aims to top gaming charts: CEO

HELSINKI (Reuters) - Owners of Wooga, the German social gaming firm, want to build the company into one of the top gaming firms globally by 2020 and they are not looking for a quick exit, its co-founder said in an interview.

"We are focused on building a big business," Wooga co-founder and Chief Executive Jens Begemann told Reuters in the interview on sidelines of Arctic15 startup conference in Helsinki. "I am not doing this to become a millionaire."

Wooga is already the third largest games developer on Facebook after Zynga and Electronic Arts ERTS.O, and ahead of Disney (DIS.N).

Wooga's top titles -- Diamond Dash, Bubble Island and Monster World -- each have around 10 million active players.

There has been a spate of M&A in the sector, with Electronics Arts acquiring Wooga's rival PopCap for up to $1.3 billion in July and last year Disney spent $763 million on smaller rival PlayDom.

Zynga, the top maker of Facebook games which has plans for an initial public offering, has been valued at around $14 billion by third parties in regulatory filings.

Zynga's IPO plans along with the major acquisitions in the sector have put traditional gaming firms and investors searching for other hot up-and-coming video game publishers like Wooga.

"Everybody in this industry is getting emails from usual suspects," Begemann said when asked whether Wooga had been approached, but he declined to elaborate.

In May, Wooga raised $24 million from venture capital firms Highland Capital Partners, Tenaya Capital, Balderton Capital and HV Holtzbrinck Ventures. Begemann said there were no plans to raise more during next six months.

Begemann said "low single digits" percentages of players pay for additional features. "Free to play is a big, big trend," he said.

Zynga has said less than 5 percent of its players generate revenues for the company.

Begemann said in the medium-term Wooga would focus on creating more engaging, more social games, while also rolling out its games for mobile platforms.

"Our users are going mobile," he said, adding the firm was working on bringing its top title Diamond Dash to Apple's (AAPL.O) iPhones and iPads.

Editing by Jane Merriman

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