Playray online gaming expands to Belgium

Playray is expanding to Belgium through a newly formed partnership of its parent company Apaja Online Entertainment with media companies Corelio and MTV Networks. With the addition of this partnership, localized Playray services will be available in 16 countries.

Apaja Online Entertainment, headquartered in Helsinki, Finland is privately held. Online gaming services were originally offered in 2001 under the brand name Aapeli. Registrations in Finland currently exceed 10% of the country’s physical population and 20+% of the online population. Subscriptions to Playray, avatar creation, and game access are all free. Registrants may purchase non-monetizing chips usable for virtual world purchases, extended level gaming, and game downloads.

New registrations from Belgium and web traffic to Playray sites in France and Holland indicated a clear demand for localized services. “Registrations for our first localized site in Finland and to our global site quickly exceeded 20% of our country’s online population and continued to grow with visitors from other countries,” said Kim Lindholm, director of business development. “When we analyzed these registrations, it became clear that Playray had a much broader appeal than just Finland and younger age groups.” Building on this success, Apaja Online Entertainment began a program of worldwide expansion by creating Playray sites with local appeal but always accessible to visitors anywhere in the world. “Our registrations now exceed 2.6 million and continue to grow every day. We are confident that Belgium will contribute to the growth and continued success of Playray,” commented Lindholm.

Surveys of Playray registrations reveal that social aspects of the site are as important as the games being offered. Opportunities to create personal image avatars, build personal profiles, form groups, post messages and chat online allow members to promote individual identities within the global Playray community. Games of intuition, skill and knowledge that incorporate multiple levels of difficulty attract a dedicated following of people ranging in age from eight to 80. Avatars, personal profiles and most games are free to subscribers. Credits, available for purchase online, may be used for game downloads, extended online game levels, casino games and virtual world purchases.

Current and potential Apaja partners have come to recognize the revenue potential associated with online gaming when learning that, worldwide, one-third of active members are over 35 years old. “Playray’s appeal and success are absolutely unique in the non-gambling online gaming world,” says Lindholm. “It’s inspiring teenagers and grandfathers competing for high score while chatting about the game. In the Playray community, we don’t just entertain, we help people build relationships, learn, and engage in friendly competition.”

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Published by Reinout te Brake

Reinout is a games investor and strategic business consultant specializing in the games industry. Reinout established his credentials through his own successful investments, start-ups, consulting and (advisory) board positions that led through time to strong bonds with key stakeholders in this fast paced industry. He is known for his outstanding results in the gaming industry. He has worked with many game studios around the globe and is therefore well known in the international gaming industry. Check out his games podcast;

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