How Huuuge Got its Start
Just like in Vegas, it’s easy to get lost in the flashing lights and spinning wheels, but it’s the little moments that make Huuuge Games great. In the last few seconds, a player in Huuuge Casino has shared some of their winnings with another player that’s low on chips. Thousands of conversations are going on in game rooms. And a league has celebrated reaching one of their goals with players spread across the Americas, Asia, and Europe. They might not even all speak the same language, but our players are connected by taking risks and celebrating Huuuuge wins together.
This is the power of social gaming. We make games on our platform that are easy to play, great for small breaks, and are a lot of fun to bond over with new friends. In a big way this is the core of mobile gaming. We’re not about inventing new complicated games with ten minute tutorials and tough learning curves, but to put the fun one tap away and let our players get straight to winning together.
Today Huuuge Games has become the #1 fastest growing and most innovative developer in Social Gaming, and we’re attracting new gamers to the genre thanks to our deep focus on social mechanics.
In a way, we’ve been around for a long time. But the Huuuge story is just getting started.
Believe it or not, our core DNA goes back to the start of mobile gaming, way before we were known as Huuuge Games. In 2002, five years before the iPhone would be launched, our CEO Anton Gauffin founded a mobile gaming company in northern Finland called Gamelion. These were the days where Nokia phones were indestructible, mobile games other than Snake or Tetris were a new concept, and Gamelion’s team was already at that time pushing the envelop by developing games like the first mobile 3D Fifa Soccer (EA Mobile) and the many more games team developed for the funky but not so great mobile devices of that time.
The company grew and Gamelion quickly opened an office in Poland in order to take advantage of the technical talent needed to build more games on more and more phones. Over the years we kept expanding and developing new games on the latest mobile and traditional gaming platforms, and in 2007 we received an offer to merge with BLStream. Together we aimed our sights high and an IPO looked like it was on the horizon until we drew an unlucky card after the financial markets crashed with the fall of Lehman Brothers.
It wasn’t the end of the world — Gamelion continued to grow its knowledge and publish games, and the team created titles like Monster Shooter, Allies in War, SpeedX3D, DoodleFit, and Crazy Hamster that were delighting millions of players around the world, but commercially did not make it to the top-grossing charts. In 2014, seven years after selling the company, Anton received the opportunity to spin out Gamelion into an independent company again, and he took it, entering the company into its most exciting chapter in its history.
Taking huge and exciting risks is part of our DNA. After setting out on our own again, in a way our company was back to where we started twelve years earlier. On the positive side, the team was reunited and we gained the speed and agility of a small company. But looking at our financial numbers it was also painfully clear we would run out of money in just over a month. Tough decisions had to be made. And fast.
Gamelion at that time was investing itself into two big projects — Allies in War, a MMO competing with Clash of Clans and Game of War, and Slots: Journey of Magic. Allies in War had just gotten into app stores and it was a project close to our hearts — we had spent a ton of time and resources developing an tech engine we call CLAW, and we had also built an innovative MMO platform to facilitate the real-time gameplay. It was the guts of the game, and it was cutting edge.
But despite that technical investment, our Slots game was showing better promise thanks to our team’s dedication to the genre. If you looked at our office, Las Vegas slot machine manuals ordered from Amazon were all over our desks, and players were responding strongly to the art and polish of our games.
Back then our slot games looked nothing like Huuuge Casino today, we only had only handful of slot machines and yet we quickly created another social casino app called Cats and Dogs. We had connected with a great audience that was hungry for more and we realized we were on to something big. We kept building on what we learned and quickly launched God of Sky — Zeus (today still one of our favorite slot games) and kept listening to what our players wanted.
The hardest thing a game developer can do is abandon a game you still believe in, but a compromise was made. We decided to stop development on Allies in War, but take the MMO experience and expertise we gained during development of Allies in War and put it into our casino games to reinvent the genre with real-time gameplay. With a MMO approach and the best art and design on the market, we would bring a new depth of real-time gameplay to the Social Casino genre. Today it’s the only free-to-play Casino platform that is real-time and truly social, therefore we can build a whole new level of social features that are meaningful for our players.
It was a new beginning for our game development company, and it would be Huuuge.
With a new name we were able to enter a new chapter in our life but still keep the core that made our company great. Top among that is the mentality of the comeback — the fierce underdog attitude that we have no plans of abandoning, even after we become the world’s # 1 real-time social gaming platform. Our company sets our sights high enough that we should always be an underdog, and if we get knocked back, we come back 10 times more focused and driven.
That’s because extreme challenges can produce remarkable results. Players in Huuuge Casino know as well as we do that your risk is relative to your chip stack. More than once we’ve had a lot to lose, but bet big, and kept doubling down every time we had a win. We know on a deep level how to take initiative and push ourselves to solve the best challenges for our players.
That fits in with another of our core philosophies, that you never can stop learning. Huuuge Casino is an entirely different beast from DoodleFit, which launched on phones that nowadays are hard to find on Ebay. We’ve learned not only does the company need to adapt as an organization, but our best employees are the ones that invest in themselves and keep learning. That’s why we’re committed to providing one of the best workplaces for game developers who want real responsibility and who can learn and grow with us.
And it goes unsaid that team spirit has been crucial to our success. Our company operates through strong, independent teams that have clear goals, and we would be nowhere without the amazing people we work alongside every day. We believe so strongly in this concept that we’ve adapted it into our game; we’ve created leagues where gamers can play alongside each other on a regular basis. And as a result, our players have made real friends and get a lot more fun out of playing towards a common goal.
Looking back it feels like everything we’ve done since 2002 has led us to where we are today. From starting as a developer of Nokia phone games, we’ve struggled, learned, taken risks, and reinvented ourselves over and over again to become the most innovative and fun player in the Social Casino space. But we’re not done yet — our goal is to become the absolute #1 real-time social gaming platform and we’ll be fighting like an underdog until we get there.
You might have heard we’re expanding to new offices and are growing quickly. The Huuuge story is far from being finished yet. If you want to be a part of it, take a look at our careers page, and remember: big risks mean big rewards.
Huuuge Games creates superior social gaming experiences. Learn more at HuuugeGames.com