Interview with Hendrik Klindworth, CEO of InnoGames
With around 150 million registered players around the world, InnoGames is one of the biggest developers and publishers of online games. It all started with Tribal Wars and now they have under their belt very well-known titles, such as Forge of Empires, Tribal Wars 2 or Grepolis.
This week we got the chance to sit down and talk with the CEO, Hendrik Klindworth, and we are sure you’ll find interesting what he had to say.
- We appreciate you taking out time in your surely busy schedule to answer our questions. First of all, could you introduce yourself to our readers?
My name is Hendrik Klindworth, I am the CEO and one of the founders of InnoGames. I was programming our first game Tribal Wars while going to university. I quit university later to focus fully on game development and creating InnoGames.
- First of all we must ask something our readers wanted us to ask: what’s a typical day of a CEO?
Each day is different: Typically I start with writing down the most important goals for my day. This helps me to stay focused. As a CEO you get a lot of emails and other inquiries, there is a high risk that you otherwise spent the whole day with just reacting instead of acting.
A lot of time I spend with gathering information. Talking to people, attending meetings, reading reports and looking at player feedback. You need a lot of information for good decision-making.
Playing our and other games is also part of my typical day. :)
- Almost ten years since InnoGames was founded, more than ten if you consider the release of Tribal Wars. That’s a long journey, no doubt. What do think when you look back? What would you say to someone who wants to follow your steps?
Great experience and I am thankful I had this opportunity. Sometimes it was hard work to move things forward and sometimes we just had luck that helped us.
To follow I would recommend to look for a nice niche segment as browser games was back then. Grow in that niche and then expand step by step.
- From the very beginning you decided that browser-games were your path. Now you are one of the most important companies in the genre. What’s your view on the current situation of browser-based games?
Although the mobile market is rising, browser games are still very popular among many players. In fact, many of our long-term fans really appreciated us releasing an entirely new browser-only game this year with Elvenar. What we also see is that a lot of players enjoy the freedom that games like Forge of Empires provide with supporting all their preferred devices, be it smartphones, tablets or on the browser. With so many companies strongly focusing on mobile, we want to strengthen our position in browser as well. I also think there will continue to be players playing mostly in the browser for a long time to come.
- In the particular case of your games, you are making them available on both mobile platforms and computers, something players appreciate for sure. Will it always be like this? Do you see InnoGames developing games exclusively for mobile devices?
We will definitely continue developing browser-only games in the future, and we will also start publishing mobile-only games from 2016 on. When we start the development process of a game, we like to look at what we want to achieve with it and which specific group of people will enjoy the game. As much as we like cross-platform, it is simply not needed for every type of game, so we will continue to decide game-by-game if we want to include it.
- Talking about developing games, what’s next after Elvenar? Are you already working on a new project? 2014, Tribal Wars 2. 2015, Elvenar. 2016… Should we expect a new game next year?
We aim at publishing more than one game next year. We won’t share any details just yet, but as said, our first mobile-only games are already in development.
- Just one more question: where do you see InnoGames in 10 years?
In the next 5 years our goal is to become one of the most top 10 developers on mobile platform while keeping our strong position on browser. Respected by players and the whole industry for high level of game and service quality.
10 years is a very long time to estimate, but you can expect us to play an important role on another platform then.