Qiiwi Interactive is a Swedish multi-platform social games developer with game studios in Alingsås, Sweden and Nicosia, Cyprus. Focusing primarily on trivia and puzzle games, Qiiwi’s games are available for both mobile (iOS/Android) and desktop play, primarily through Facebook. Titles include “Backpacker®”, the “Words in a Pic” series, “Magic Gifts” and more. Qiiwi’s current operations started in 2012 when MEDA Group AB and RQ Games AB merged. The MEDA Group AB consisted of myself, Andreas Bergström, Daniel Svensson and Marcus Dale Rundberg. We worked together on mobile trivia games and our first mobile game called ”QuizMe®”. People nowadays work in Qiiwi. RQ Games AB, was at the time, a company that conducted quiz competitions on the internet where players could compete for real money. Through the merger, the company’s skills were strengthened in several areas while providing us with a gigantic questionnaire material, which we greatly benefited from, in several of the games we have made today.
How many staff do you have currently on the team and do you find it difficult to find quality local and international staff?
We currently have 17 staff working at Qiiwi and we have gaming studios in Alingsås in Sweden and in Nicosia in Cyprus. In Cyprus, there is good access to skilled mobile game developers and designers, and we intend to grow our local presence in the future.
Do any of the staff and or management team hold any shares within the company?
The management team at Qiiwi has approximately 21% ownership in the company. Recently a stock option program for senior executives and employees in the company was completed and it was subscribed to 100%. For my own part, it is natural to invest further in Qiiwi and the exciting journey we are on. As the stock option program has been subscribed to 100%, the company has received additional funding that will enable us to accelerate our expansion and investments.
During your time at the company, what has been your greatest achievement thus far?
The biggest success so far is Backpacker®. Although the game title is still at a very early stage, we see that we have a game that we can scale up on international markets like the United States and Germany. We have a very active player community within the game all around the world, which means that we also have the possibility to grow the game with interesting localized content which is extremely important when creating trivia games. I don’t see any limitations with what we can achieve with this game and we intend to continue focusing on Backpacker® for several years and with more game titles under the same brand.
What are your medium to long-term goals and have these goals been consistent for some time?
Our vision is to manage the development and publishing of our games entirely on our own which leads us to control our business 100% from prototype. This is a goal we have had for a long time and something that we actually achieved on September 1, 2018 when we took over the responsibility for marketing around the game Backpacker®. This means that we are responsible for the development and publishing of all our games in our portfolio.
What sets your company apart from those within your industry? Whats your X-factor per say?
We have a very exciting time in front of us with continued optimization and expansion of the game Backpacker® , we have just started. Our vision with Backpacker® spans over several years and more games and we will shortly introduce more ways to grow the games revenue streams.
I also want to mention our acquisition in Cyprus, “Milliplay Ltd”, which means that we have several exciting match-3 launches on the go; “Magic Gifts, Magic Gifts 2, Magic Potions Castle and an upcoming match-3 metagaming title”, that is currently in the development stage. We also have created a good company platform for Qiiwi which is cost-effective. This allows us to invest in more projects and increase our growth rate in the future, while maintaining a low running-cost. As we create a much more powerful game portfolio, we also increase our ability to deliver a higher lifetime value per player through effective cross-marketing between our games. Something we will focus on in the future is to send players between our different games and genres on the right occasions based on analysis and data validation.
Could you please share with us your favourite memory and or event since you joined the company?
My favorite memory is the acquisition of Milliplay Ltd in Cyprus. We want to increase our growth rate considerably and create the conditions for cost-effective scaling for Qiiwi and launching more game titles with long lifespans, while still being able to manage existing titles.
With Milliplay in Cyprus, we have gained a powerful team focusing on the match-3 genre for several years, and we are therefore entering one of the most profitable segments of mobile gaming with a clear plan to do something innovative in the field and to stand out.
In Cyprus, there is also good access to skilled mobile game developers and designers, and we intend to grow our local presence in the future. Personnel costs in Cyprus are estimated to be about 40% lower than the corresponding cost of similar competencies in Sweden, which means that we also create a way to cost-effectively implement new initiatives which can open up new revenue streams to Qiiwi while maintaining a continued low running-cost.