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Boonty founders sell original business to focus on casual games portal Cafe.com

By on January 13, 2009
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In a blog post today, Roman Nouzareth announced that Cafe.com had sold digital distribution specialist Boonty to Nexway.

Boonty was the original business of Cafe.com, founded in 2001 to offer digital downloads of premium games. The plan was to get publishers to licence their back catalog and for ISPs, portals and other websites to take Boonty’s white label e-commerce platform to sell downloadable games. After initial resistance, the company grew to offer games from companies such as Atari, Eidos, Sega and others.

In 2008, Boonty launched Cafe.com, a casual gaming portal wrapped inside a social network. The business has taken off, reaching 5 million monthly visitors and monetizing them with micro-transactions and rich media advertising.

Nexway is an ecommerce provider that offers white label solutions to ISPs and portals with a wider variety of software and entertainment products. The sale accelerates Nexway’s expansion into the downloadable games market.

More significantly, the founders of Boonty have decided to get out of the paid-for digital distribution of games and to focus all of their attention on their casul portal. Not only that, but the cash from the sale will be reinvested in Cafe.com. Their faith lies in social free games, not premium paid-for games.

About Nicholas Lovell

Nicholas is the founder of Gamesbrief, a blog dedicated to the business of games. It aims to be informative, authoritative and above all helpful to developers grappling with business strategy. He is the author of a growing list of books about making money in the games industry and other digital media, including How to Publish a Game and Design Rules for Free-to-Play Games, and Penguin-published title The Curve: thecurveonline.com