Online gaming company Miniclip (finally) realizes potential of mobile games

You might say the company’s just a tad late to the party, but Miniclip has finally seen the light and is expanding its casual gaming empire by entering the world of mobile games.

With a self-declared user base of more than 57 million casual gamers worldwide and a library of more than 600 online games, it’s a wonder really that the London-based company hasn’t made the move sooner.

After all, Apple’s App Store for one now offers roughly 250,000 apps, many of which are of course casual games and have been available for years.

Be that as it may, being late doesn’t necessarily mean the company isn’t capable of booking some early successes. With a distribution platform as sizeable as its gaming website is, Miniclip happens to have a very powerful marketing tool in its hands to enable its brand new mobile games division to turn into a real money-maker.

Led by former Skype product manager António Sérgio Varanda, the new business unit will develop, publish and distribute its most popular online casual games for mobile operating systems, notably starting with iOS and Android with support for more OSes planned.

Miniclip’s first iPhone app, Fragger (iTunes link), was the #2 ranked paid app in the US App Store for two weeks and reached the #3 position in the store’s overall top grossing app (at a price of $0.99). The game was also a 10 paid app in 42 countries.

The free version of the game has been downloaded more than 2 million times, the company says. The company added that the game will be getting a sequel and an iPad-compatible HD upgrade before year’s end, and that other titles will be released in the fall.

Founded in 2001, Miniclip is privately owned and privately funded with its original headquarters in Switzerland and offices in six countries.