Social gaming company KamaGames was founded in 2010 and since then, has built a reputation as one of the top social casino operators in the market. In 2013, they set up their headquarters in Ireland and have been here ever since. We caught up with KamaGames’ Managing Director Andrey, who is originally from Moscow, to find out more about why he chose Ireland and why he loves living here.
Changing the Game
KamaGames specialises in social casino games, which are essentially casino games with no actual real world gambling or exchange of money. And as legend has it, the company really came to people’s attention when their first game, “Pokerist Texas Poker” became a massive global success. “When we started, it was 2010 and social gaming was starting to grow,” Andrey explains. “Mobile gaming had recently begun to take off and we were one of the first to market with Pokerist. Although there is certainly more to our success than luck and good timing, there were definitely a lot of talented people in the right place at the right time!”
Since then, the company have expanded their range of games and enhanced their existing ones. “We have 81 million users across the globe and 1 million daily active users,” Andrey notes. “We’re on almost every big and small platform, like Google, Facebook and Apple, as well as a number of leading Mobile Messaging platforms too including Viber and Tango.”
The company’s flagship game Pokerist has already been translated into 29 different languages and was the No. 1 grossing game in the App Store in 89 countries. Despite their success, KamaGames have continued to innovate by expanding their range of games to include Roulette, 3D BlackJack and the newly launched Baccarat.
Andrey was heavily involved in the business’s decision to set up in Ireland, and conducted extensive research before picking the location. “The main reasons we set up here were that it was European, was English-speaking with a common law, and had access to strong technical people,” he says. He was also surprised by the weather. “Before I first came to Ireland, I was thinking it was going to be rainy or colder,” he remembers. “But I was surprised because there is no more rain here than anywhere on the continent. Actually, the climate is great.”
Living in a Tech Hub
Andrey’s lifestyle outside of work is also a key highlight. While he was previously an urbanite, he now enjoys the seaside surrounds of the Irish Sea from his base in Howth. And he makes no secret of his delight, telling us: “I spent years living in a city, so I am enjoying living in a small house by the sea with fresh seafood. It’s a great country for working and living. You can find everything here and it’s so balanced. It’s got friendly people, fresh food, and a good lifestyle.” Ireland’s relatively small size also means you’re never far away from the action, and a journey of just 25 minutes takes Andrey into the city where he can network with some of the best in tech. “You get to work in this tech centre with such an entrepreneurial environment and you can meet influencers here from multinational companies,” he explains. “It gives you an opportunity to work with really talented people and to create new ideas.”
Advice for anyone Considering Moving to Ireland
Andrey recommends anyone interested in coming to Ireland to take a look at the quality and quantity of the tech companies here. “If you look at the map, you can see the number of tech companies concentrated here. That hasn’t happened accidentally. It means something,” he says. And the opportunity to network with the best in the business is something Andrey makes the most of. “There are plenty of tech meetups to attend. The ones I attend are typically the ones held by Google or Facebook. If you wanted to participate in start-up events every night you’d always have a choice,” he says.
Andrey has one final piece of advice for anybody considering a move to Ireland. He says: “Do it and you will never regret it.”