For the better part of this year, a company from Siberia named Kama Games has more or less left Zynga’s poker franchise in the dust on iOS with its own poker app (pictured below).
But times are changing and Kama Games’ needs to be more than a one-hit wonder, especially with Zynga willing to pay tens of millions of dollars on both acquisitions and marketing to climb the charts.
So Kama Games has picked up the IP behind three games: Mall Party, Epic Gladiator and City Friends. It mirrors a move in industry as companies with early hits like Gamevil, TinyCo or Glu Mobile try start partner programs or funds to find other titles they can grow their base of daily actives with.
Kama Games, which didn’t disclose the prices it paid, isn’t taking any talent with them from the original developers. “We want to promote and improve them [the games],” Pavel Egorkin, a senior vice president at the company, tells us.
Mall Party was built by Social Expeditions and has 200,000 daily active users, thanks to Kama’s marketing, while City Friends was built by Funverse and has 70,000 daily active users. Critical Hit Software built Epic Gladiator.
The company likely has some cash to do it. Its Texas Poker app, which based on its consistent ranking among the top 10 grossing games, could be earning $2 to 3 million a month, according to sources familiar with the matter. Kama Games declined to comment on monthly actives or daily actives for that app.
Egorkin says Kama Games is on the hunt for more titles, especially those that use the free-to-play model with sales of virtual currency. He said Kama picked those three apps because they fit that criteria.
“They have right monetization scheme, which we can improve easily. And they have right price,” he said. “We are talking with different companies, about stats and prices, so we can choose.”
Kama has 30 employees and is based in Vladivostok (that city on Siberia’s eastern seaboard facing Japan). It was founded by Evgeniy Olomsky, who has no background in game development and actually runs a supermarket chain in Eastern Russia.
The company hasn’t taken any venture funding. “We need no funding right now, but maybe we will think about it if someone gives us interesting offer. Funding would not be about money for us. It would be about resources, experience and possibilities.”
He added, “We want to grow big, have a huge amount of applications and be one of the most successful game developers.”