When we last checked in with the with Ironstar Helsinki, we talked about the Finnish company’s mobile virtual world, MoiPal. Well, it looks to be growing as the social developer is expanding its web and mobile title into Facebook. With, currently, 200,000 registered users total, this latest expansion marks one of the first steps toward Ironstar’s goals of greater international growth.
Targeting the younger demographic, MoiPal has made most of its revenue through the sale of virtual goods (primarily through mobile payments – SMS text payments in Europe and Zong in the United States). While the company has been doing all right, it isn’t quite where it needs to be to reach its stated goal of 1 million users in 2009. As was seen with our recent look at the mobile MMO, TibiaME, international growth is the greatest avenue towards the goal Ironstar has. To help it, the company will be hiring a brand new CEO, Tiina Zilliacus.
Moving on to the overseeing of the MoiPal service and its technical elements, the current CEO, Joakim Achren, says that they are looking to reach the level of international users it desires through Zilliacus’ experience in consumer services and digital commerce. Furthermore, Archren believes that it will be Facebook that will be the medium in which they get there.
As Achren states in a post from ArcticStartups, Ironstar has long followed Facebook as a social gaming and distribution platform with particular notice paid to the popularity of social developers such as Zynga and Playfish. With the millions of users attracted by said developers’ games, such notice is hard to pass by, and Archen hopes for Ironstar to reach a similar level.
Wrought with many of the exploratory features, avatar customization, and the overall care of your digital self that had made the mobile rendition popular, this new Facebook version could very well help in the goals that Ironstar Helsinki is after. However, such numbers will not be easy to come by right away considering the distribution challenges that come with such a large space, saturated with thousands of applications. That isn’t to say that the move won’t pay off for Ironstar, but Facebook or no Facebook, 1 million users in less than four months is going to be a tall order.