Awem was founded in 2002.
For the first three years, the company worked on a shareware model and was made up of students who wanted to learn how to make games. We released a few simple arcades: Pacboy, Battleman, Star Defender, Bombardix, Xoid and Blade Master.
At the end of 2004, Star Defender 2 was released, and its quality caught the attention of publishers. The royalties from the game allowed us to form a legal entity in 2005, move from a rented apartment into an office, and start making games on a higher level.
We released a few more midcore-games: Alien Stars, Star Defender 3, Star Defender 4, and continued developing relationships with publishers. We started moving into the more promising casual-game market.
In 2007, we released Cradle of Rome, the world’s first match-3 game with meta-gameplay. Users did not simply play match-3, like in other games available at the time. They gained resources from level to level and could use them to build their own city, which then provided new levels and new game mechanics.
This innovation initiated an immense success for Cradle of Rome. The game stayed at the top of casual-game publishers charts for an entire year. Over its entire lifetime, Cradle of Rome was downloaded more than 10 million times! It was a great achievement for a team of just 10 people.
Cradle of Rome’s success gave a start to the company’s rapid growth. Over the next 4 years, we grew to 70 people.
Awem continued working on match-3 games and also tried the hidden-objects genre. We released Cradle Of Persia, Romance Of Rome, Golden Trails, Golden Trails 2, Golden Trails 3, Letters from Nowhere, Letters from Nowhere 2, and Cradle Of Rome 2. All of these projects were high-profitable.
In 2011, the casual-game market started to stagnate on PC and Mac, due to the influence of new Social and Mobile platforms.
We spent the next 3 years switching our production to Mobile platforms and setting up a marketing department. We started by porting our PC games, but it didn’t bring the expected profit. Our first attempts to create something new and specifically designed for mobile platforms failed. We had to cut the number of active projects from 7 to 2, optimize everything we could, and take a loan to keep the company going for another six months.
Early 2014, we were working on two projects: Letters from Nowhere Playground in collaboration with publisher’s producers (this project eventually failed) and Cradle of Empires.
In Summer 2014, we released Cradle of Empires on iOS. The product immediately showed good metrics, reaching the Top-10 Grossing charts in many countries, and caused Awem’s growth. As a next step, we expanded to Android and Mac right away.
In 2022, we reached the 120-employee milestone, constantly continuing to look for the brightest talents to become a part of our team in the offices or remotely.
Today, we continue an active development of Cradle of Empires which remained stable over its lifetime, and prepare a new product for launch.