Enteraction Tries to Foster a Social Game Industry in Britain

In recent months, we’ve been finding more businesses that help create social games for others, instead of building everything for in-house use as Facebook’s largest developers do. One of the latest to hit our radar is Enteraction, a new studio in the United Kingdom.

Enteraction is the product of frustration. When Andy Rogers, then an executive at British broadcaster ETV Media, started trying to find a developer to work on branded games using IP from ETV’s shows last year, he couldn’t find a single company that was willing to do the work.

ETV eventually decided to just create its own studio, but the problem shifted — the company couldn’t find any homegrown studios to acquire, or any Silicon Valley developers willing to move to London.

“In the UK it’s really obvious that the social gaming business is very similar to the online gambling business,” says Rogers, who is now CEO of Enteraction. After giving up on Californians, Enteraction decided to instead hire developers from top gambling sites like BetFair.

The result so far is a group with about 20 employees and a game development platform called GameShaper. With its platform, Enteraction plans to both develop games of its own, and enter partnerships with companies that have their own IP — like ITV, a large British media group with which Enteraction has created its first game, Corrie Nation.

Rogers hopes that Enteraction will become expert at partnering with big companies who are looking for someone that can speak their own language. “We’re under no illusions, this is rapidly moving to something like the TV or film business,” says Rogers. “It’s a hit driven business. Not all of these games will fly, we make that clear to our partners. What we need to prove is that we’ve got all the studios and people in place.”

Our own look at Corrie Nation, which is based on a popular British show suggests that Enteraction has some ground to cover — the game feels rough in places, compared to those recently released by veteran companies.

But if Rogers is right in thinking that his company is one of the only, especially in Europe, to offer third-party social game development studios, Enteraction won’t be wanting for practice.