SOURCE: Bigpoint

December 03, 2008 09:00 ET

Bigpoint, Europe's Leading Multiplayer Game Publisher, Expands Into US Market With Rapid-Fire Launch Schedule

Bigpoint Content to Launch on USA Network and the SCI FI Channel Gaming Sites

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - December 3, 2008) - Bigpoint, a leading global publisher and developer of multiplayer online games, has made its first big move since its EUR 70 million majority buyout by The Peacock Equity Fund -- the joint venture between GE Capital's Media, Communications & Entertainment finance business and NBC Universal -- and GMT Communications Partners in June. Thom Kozik, a veteran gaming executive, was recently brought on board to head Bigpoint, Inc., its North American subsidiary and to drive the launch program for a variety of Bigpoint's most successful titles in partnership with USA Network and the SCI FI Channel.

Bigpoint, operates free-to-play, browser-based online games that require no downloads or additional software. Accessible from anywhere in the world, Bigpoint offers high-quality gaming graphics previously available only through PC and console games. All age groups and salary levels can enjoy the 20 long-running multiplayer games in different genres for free with a premium membership upgrade option. Hot gaming titles include action packed Seafight and Dark Orbit, which host a combined 15 million registered users.

Building on Bigpoint's global success with more than 40 million registered gamers, the company will leverage its NBCU partnership and incorporate its most popular games on USA Network's "Character Arcade" Web site ( and SCI FI Channel's Game Center site (, with other NBCU properties to come.

Bigpoint will aggressively grow its game catalog into 2009 with additional new titles developed by the company's in-house studio, as well as select licensed IP. The new titles will reflect a growing trend for a more traditionally casual online gaming style. One example of this are unique Bigpoint games designed to cater to the networks' licensed properties, including "Top Model," a game featuring elements from the internationally popular "Next Top Model" television franchise.

Bigpoint will extend its partnership to work with additional NBCU properties, but will also continue the company's success in developing opportunities with a variety of global media companies. These include Viacom's MTV, as well as Yahoo!, where Bigpoint already has games available internationally.

"We are ready to take on the large, brand-focused US market," said Bigpoint founder and CEO Heiko Hubertz. "Thom Kozik brings a remarkable combination of deep industry experience throughout the entertainment, technology and gaming industries, coupled with the ability to rapidly build world-class teams and operations. We are delighted to have him leading our campaign in the North American market."

Mr. Kozik, whose 24-year career has included running start-ups and executive positions at Microsoft and Yahoo!, was carefully chosen for the role because of his track record of integrating fast-growing European gaming companies into the US market.

About Bigpoint

Founded in 2002, Bigpoint is Europe's dominant developer and publisher of multiplayer, browser-based online games. The Company has developed and deployed 26 games, which are available on its own portal at, as well as globally through partners, including AOL, Yahoo, Lycos, MTV, WildTangent, and others. Bigpoint has more than 200 employees globally and is headquartered in Hamburg, Germany. Based in New York City, Bigpoint, Inc., is the North American subsidiary of Bigpoint GmbH.

About Thom Kozik

As Managing Director for Bigpoint, Inc., Thom Kozik brings a long history of innovation to the role. Mr. Kozik is a pioneer in Web-based gaming, having produced the industry's first episodic Web games in support of Paramount Picture's "Mission: Impossible" franchise in 1996, through his firm MindShare Media. MindShare also produced innovative Web game designs for clients such as Discovery Communications and Fujitsu Interactive.

In 2003 Mr. Kozik launched All-Seeing-Eye, a Finland-based gaming technology company he acquired and subsequently sold to Yahoo!, where he then led Business Development, and the relaunch of the company's video game business. Following Yahoo!, Mr. Kozik served as President of Wazap, Inc., the US subsidiary of Berlin-based Wazap GmbH, a successful vertical search engine and social network for gamers.