Hasan Burak Demir RC 16 tells the RCQ about how it all started.
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Hasan Burak Demir, along with his university classmate Umut İsmetoğlu, established Zerosum Games in 2019, while a junior at Boğaziçi University studying management. The acquisition of this relatively new company by Zynga, one of the world’s leading game groups, is a massive achievement. Demir explains their story:
“The mobile gaming market was booming in 2019 due to a genre called hyper-casual. We chose to be in this genre. Quickly bringing the right talent and ideas together in just a year, we achieved extremely positive results. Barista Life, our first hit game, in which you play as a barista in your own café, was based on the longing people had globally to go to a café during the pandemic. It hit the top charts in 42 countries around the world and became the fourth top game on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.
“The success of Zerosum grabbed the attention of the biggest players in the gaming space, like Zynga. They approached us with their M&A strategy and made us see the synergies and higher potential we would be able to create together. Thus, we accepted the acquisition offer and after a period of due diligence and negotiations, Zerosum became a part of the Zynga family, which was publicly announced in November 2021.”
The team at Zerosum Games is expanding and already working on new mobile games for the world and especially the US market. Their focus is on fun mobile games that you can play in a few minutes while waiting for the bus or in line for coffee. As the mobile game market is highly competitive, having the right team producing the right product at the right time is crucial. Therefore, they are on the lookout for young and talented new friends who want to develop mobile games in Turkey to join their team.
Demir credits RC for being the driving force on this incredible journey: “RC had such a positive influence on who I am today as a person. I still remember how carefully I tried to learn everything during our classes and learn from the experiences of our great teachers who dedicated their life to teaching. RC taught me invaluable skills, but most importantly to be a student for the rest of my life. There was always that passion to create a business and make it very successful, which I believe Robert College helped me to discover and taught me to follow.”
Demir’s advice to RC students is to work hard, learn and absorb everything RC offers: “The high school years are very early to discover what you want to do in life. I was in the same spot that you are just a few years ago, but I can assure you that an even better life is just around the corner after you graduate from such a great school like ours. Just stay focused and work hard to find your passion, because the harder you try to reach it, the easier it will come to you.”
Published February 2022