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A decade of browser game history: OGame online 10
Karlsruhe, 2.10.2012 – It all started with the space strategy game OGame: single-handedly developed and programmed by the now CEO Alexander Rösner in 2002, the browser game laid the foundation for the leading provider of online games in the western world. The success story began over ten years ago with the first German server, ‘ Universum 1’, which is still played on very actively to this day. As a result of the rapid economic success, the hobby-project launched on October 3 rd 2002 quickly became an actual profession. The online game built the foundations for the formation of Gameforge GmbH a few months later. With this, OGame is not only the first online game of the now internationally active Gameforge AG with around 600 employees and 20 online games, but it is also one of the most popular and long-lasting browser games of all time. The free, online game which is directly playable in a browser was one of the founding games on the browser game market and was also at the forefront of the success in the free-to-play business model. That is why OGame has a place of honour as one of the most successful games of its kind in the Berlin Computer Games Museum. Players can register at any time on www.ogame.org and start playing without download or installation necessary.
After its beginnings in the German language version, in 2004 English, French and Spanish versions followed and then, amongst others, Russian, Polish and Turkish versions were released in 2005. In years 2005 and 2006, Gameforge also entered the Asian market with the launch of Taiwanese and Japanese versions. 2006 then included the launch of a Brazilian version alongside further European language releases; 2009 brought Mexican and Argentinean versions and in 2008, a version for North America was launched. OGame has also been playable across the Middle East as an Arabic version since 2010. The popular browser game currently runs in 29 language versions and is available anywhere in the world where there is internet. Space conquerors from all over the world are cavorting in around 350 parallel-running game universes. Gameforge operates the corresponding IT infrastructure from Miami and Frankfurt in order to deliver the best service for online gamers worldwide. Around 60 million players across the world have registered for OGame, and on a daily basis, hundreds of thousands of them are busy concerning themselves with the construction of their space fleets and with intergalactic trading.
“Ten years ago, no one would have thought that the market for online games would grow in the way it did and that so many fantastic products would be produced”, said Alexander Rösner, CEO of Gameforge, today. “When I was developing OGame at that time, it was to be the game that I always wanted to play. I am happy to see that the result is not only still enjoyed by me, but also still excites people all over the world.”
OGame moves with the times
Over the last 10 years, OGame has constantly been built on and expanded in tight contact with the fan community. Alongside the expansion of various new features, the strategy title left the space dock of Gameforge’s internal development department in 2008 with a comprehensive re-design, including a new tutorial. In the course of the coming weeks, OGame will start out into the mobile future with a tablet version. With the iPad optimisation of the online game, strategy fans will then also be able to log in to the same world as PC players whilst on the go to continue their game progress.
10 years of OGame – 10 weeks full of surprises
On the occasion of the anniversary the OGame community will be rewarded over the next ten weeks with numerous events within the game as thanks for their years of loyalty. These will be first announced shortly before each event, in order to keep the excitement running right till they take off. Community Manager Martin Liedtke: “it is impressive, just how active the community of OGame still is ten years on from the start of the first universe. Every developer wishes they could receive such support for their game. The ten-week event action is our way of saying thank you to the players.”
“The best thing about OGame is that the game has managed to maintain its own charm even after all these years”, said Rouven Schaube, Product Director at Gameforge. “Naturally we are always thinking about how we can create the balance between traditions that the players are fond of and new, modern content in order to keep up with the times. But we have managed to protect this prevailing mood that players love OGame for from day one on over the years – not least thanks to the amazing support we have received from the community.”
OGame is a completely free-to-play online strategy game, set in a science fiction universe. At the time of its release in 2002, it was one of the first ever German browser games. The gameplay of OGame unites construction simulation and real-time strategy. The game begins with players taking control of a planet. With the mining of metal, crystal and deuterium the player’s own empire will grow and thrive; other players can be attacked and their resources looted from the debris of their planets. The economic trading with resources has a significant influence on a further, important aspect: research. Researching new technologies allows players to build more and more powerful spaceships, for example. Cooperative play and trading are just as important in OGame as the war-like conquest of infinite galaxies. The player can form alliances with allies in order to go up against other planets together. They can also work together to share resources and, in wartime, fleets with one another. In existence since 2002, OGame is celebrating its 10th birthday this year and can be counted amongst the browser game originals. Players can register for free at www.ogame.org and play there without need for download or installation.
With an impressive portfolio of around 20 titles and over 380 million registered players, Gameforge is the leading provider of massively multiplayer online games (MMOGs) in the western hemisphere. The internationally active corporate group, based in Karlsruhe, offers its online games in more than 50 languages. Its portfolio includes client-based game worlds such as AION, TERA, Europe’s most successful MMOG Metin2, 4Story, Runes of Magic, Elsword, Wizard101 and RaiderZ as well as browser-based online games such as the classic OGame, award-winning Ikariam and mobile games. The company employs approximately 600 staff members at its Karlsruhe and Berlin locations. Gameforge was founded by its CEO Alexander Rösner in 2003.