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
(www.characterarcade.com) and SCI FI Channel's Game Center site
(www.scifi.com/gamecenter/), 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
"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.
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
www.bigpoint.com, 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
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.