We (Thibaud Durousset and Aurélien Nicoleau) met in 2015. We exchanged our disappointement regarding the video games market, where success relies heavily on marketing budgets and not enough on intrinsic games qualities. The majority of independent developers, especially the ones who create games for a niche audience, are struggling against the biggest ones; most of the time their only chance is to be featured either on big press websites or by famous YouTubers.
Thibaud is a gamer, engineer & business manager, Aurélien is a game designer. Together we decided to dedicate ourselves full-time and invest our own money to give a chance to each video game to meet its target audience, in order to help every independent developer around the world. The plan was to root out the evil: solve the discoverability issue.
Aurélien worked to understand what people want when they are searching video games and over the years he has managed to build a precise psychographic segmentation of the players, based on motivations that lead players to play games (inspired by the work of Wizards of the Coast to understand Magic: The Gathering players). We released a test (under maintenance) and gathered precious insights that the press has talked about (such as Polygon or JeuxVideo.com ).
We chose Piwag as a name, which means "Please I Want A Game". A short one, easy to pronounce in most languages, and with a signification that makes it simpler to remember for everyone.
After many tries on creating a search and recommendation engine based on Aurélien's model, we discontinued it in 2019 due to the emergence of too strong contestants (Amazon, SteamLabs, GOG Galaxy, open-source Playnite) and lack of money to compete with them. So we focused on the Google Play Store on Android, as this is the place with both the greatest number of games and problems, but no one to fix them.
We met Pierre-Élie Arnaud, a development engineer, who decided to join the team and work with us on an Android app to solve the problems one by one, step by step.
In 2020, the first version of Piwag app is released and fully functional to solve the most obvious flaws of the Play Store; and if people support our work (using our app, rating us well), it would give us the opportunity and motivation to implement a lot of ideas we have to improve Piwag and go further!