Here at Gamezebo, we get a lot of press releases. As I type this to you right now, I’m swimming in press releases. Wearing a bathing suit made of press releases. In all seriousness, though, not everything can make the cut. But when the already fast-growing game startup by the name of Peak e-mailed to tell us that they were in fact growing explosively? I took notice. Why? Because now they’re outpacing Facebook themselves.
Based out of Istanbul and San Francisco, Peak Games is the biggest success story you’ve never heard of. In the year and a half since they’ve started, the company has amassed 30MM monthly active users (MAUs), 9.7MM of which play on a daily basis. For those playing the home game, this already makes them the third-largest social gaming platform in the world, behind only Zynga and King.com.
And who do their numbers put them ahead of? Oh, a couple of names you might have heard of. With their nearly 30MM monthly active player, Peak touts more user engagement than Foursquare, and even Pinterest, a recent Silicon Valley golden child renowned for its own explosive growth and engagement. Not content to finish there, however, Peak points out that by getting there in just 270 days, they’re faster growing than social giant Twitter and - you guessed it - the Facebook platform they’re hosted on. And so the student has become the teacher.
They got here, by their own accounts, through thinking local to go global.
“By tapping into the Turkey and MENA (Middle East & North Africa) markets, Peak has seen substantial growth rivalling that of top global companies,” says new advisor Ali Kutay, former CEO of Oracle-acquired tech companies WebLogic and GoldenGate, in a prepared statement. “The Peak team recognized a need for culturally relevant games in these regions and is delivering titles that fit local lifestyles.”
Titles like their flagship release, Okey, a traditional Turkish tile game that’s proven to be a country-wide phenomenon, capturing roughly 1 in every 2 Facebook users in the nation. These areas, it seems, in and around Eastern Europe and the Middle East are starved for properly localized browser gaming, and so naturally there exists the potential to digitize the games people love and recognize. To create the new solitaires.
“The Turkey and MENA regions hold huge potential with a burgeoning economy and an expanding, young population,” said Sidar Sahin CEO of Peak Games. “Peak Games understands the importance of tailoring games for people in emerging markets and is already continuing this approach across additional high-growth areas around the world.”
All numbers aside, I could take or leave the anecdotal statistics. That Peak has technically grown faster than Facebook and currently holds more users than Pinterest is ultimately immaterial. The platforms to which it’s comparing itself are far different and, frankly, far more enduring. As a hit-drive business, social games’ highs are only mirrored in the parabolic lows (I’m looking at you, Draw Something!). What’s arguably noteworthy about Peak, however, is the way they leveraged an underserved area, tapped into its passions, and created an incendiary growth rate without having to do much heavy lifting. As social gaming is accused of being on the verge of bubble times, it will be interesting to see if more developers take note and begin branching out into the Turkeys and MENAs of the world, applying teams to the search for the next Okey.
Or perhaps we’ll soon here of Peak Games being rebranded as Zynga Turkey.