FlowPlay Celebrates 10 Years of Creating Immersive Games and Online Communities, Building a Passionate Company Culture
FlowPlay, creator of the most powerful immersive gaming platform, today marked the company’s 10-year anniversary, celebrating a decade of passion, innovation and community. Since its founding, more than 75 million people worldwide have been touched by FlowPlay’s massively multiplayer games, which foster deep connections between players and cultivate passionate online communities. In commemoration of the milestone, FlowPlay announced a $60,000 donation to the Technology Access Foundation (TAF) Academy to support the future of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education in Washington state.
FlowPlay was co-founded by CEO Derrick Morton and CTO Doug Pearson under a community-first philosophy – which is evident across the company’s values and its products. FlowPlay has maintained its philosophy, even amidst shifting market landscapes, digital transformations, and a video games industry often characterized by extremely demanding working conditions. Starting out with $7.2 million in angel and Series A funding, FlowPlay achieved profitability within its first few years and continues to grow, currently employing more than 60 people. Since launching its flagship social casino game Vegas World in 2012, FlowPlay’s 200 percent year-over-year growth has led to inclusion on numerous fastest growing company lists, including raking as 10th in Washington state on the Deloitte Technology Fast 500. The company ranked 232 nationally, and was the only video game company in Washington to make the list.
“As entrepreneurs, we set out with big ideas and ambitions, but little certainty about the reality of our long-term viability,” Morton said. “There were many challenges along the way, but Doug and I were passionate about the vision and remained determined to see the company through. Reaching profitability in 2010 was a huge milestone for our company, as is reaching our 10-year anniversary, which is something only a handful of startups achieve. We really credit our success to FlowPlay’s company culture and the commitment to success that runs deep among every one of our employees.”
“From a technical perspective, building FlowPlay’s platform was a tremendous undertaking, one that required an investment of more than two years and millions of our initial startup dollars,” Pearson said. “We wanted to take the appropriate steps that would ensure our platform was flexible enough to withstand market changes and adapt to advancing technologies and trends. The passion our team put into creating our technology continues to pay off on a yearly, monthly and even daily basis as we build out our mobile and white-label businesses, and leverage the technology to enter new markets.”
FlowPlay’s history of innovation, growth and community is defined by key milestones including:
- NOVEMBER 2006 – Founded, combining Derrick’s business acumen and vision in the digital entertainment industry with Doug’s deep technology development expertise and a mutual passion for games.
- FEBRUARY 2008 – Alaskan Way office opens, welcoming the company’s first 15 employees.
- APRIL 2008 – Launch of ourWorld as the first virtual world for tweens, breaking the mold for social, online games for kids.
- NOVEMBER 2010 – FlowPlay achieves profitability and crosses 5 million users two years after launching ourWorld. Hits first profitable month with 23 percent month-over-month revenue growth, validating corporate vision for creating online communities merging Flash games with social communities.
- OCTOBER 2012 – Vegas World launches, expanding the company’s platform to enter the social casino market with the industry’s first free-to-play massively multiplayer online game (MMO).
- MAY 2013 – Vegas World community takes on a life of its own, as players begin to develop deep friendships, romantic relationships and support systems that live on and off the screen. More than 1 million players now make up the Vegas World community and the first virtual couple gets married in real life.
- NOVEMBER 2013 – FlowPlay releases white-label, enabling major brand partners to tap into the Vegas World model for custom branded social casino games.
- JULY 2014 – New Pioneer Square office location opens to accommodate growth, featuring a meditation room, workout space and gym equipment, full bar, game room and collaborative, open floor plan.
- DECEMBER 2014 – Philanthropic program kicks off, with an in-game fundraising program in support of Girlstart, a non-profit dedicated to increasing girls’ interest and engagement in STEM. Effort receives enthusiastic participation from the Vegas World community and helps raise $26,000 for the cause.
- JANUARY 2015 – FlowPlay enters the fantasy sports industry with launch of its first social sports wagering game, Vegas World Sportsbook. Company recognizes the market potential as daily fantasy sports (DFS) rises to popularity in the U.S., and eventually grows suite of offerings to include five sports-themed, free-to-play games including 5 Card Draft and Dynasty Football.
- DECEMBER 2015 – Vegas World tops social casino charts, achieving the highest monetization rates on desktop as part of the $4.4 billion social casino industry, according to statistics reported by SuperData Research.
- FEBRUARY 2017 – FlowPlay celebrates 10 years and gives $60,000 to TAF Academy, raising its total philanthropic contributions to more than $200,000.
“FlowPlay is one of those rare companies that places employees as a top priority while growing profitably in a brutally competitive market,” said Michael Schutzler, CEO of Washington Technology Industry Association and FlowPlay board member. “FlowPlay is a valuable asset in Seattle’s online gaming ecosystem. They are inventive, successful, and a super fun place to work.”
One of the key tenets that separates FlowPlay from other technology companies, particularly in the games industry, is its emphasis on helping staff find fulfillment and a positive work-life balance. With less than 5 percent employee turnover in the company’s decade in business, FlowPlay’s lack of a management layer and unconventional perks like two work from home days each week, has cultivated an engaged and loyal workforce. As the company looks forward to its next 10 years, its team plans to continue innovating in existing and emerging markets and grow the staff, while staying true to its roots of nurturing community inside its walls and within its products.