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Melsoft Games: The successful mobile casual games developer


Melsoft, a successful mobile game developer, was founded in 2007 and is well known for its games Family Island and My Café. The company is continually developing its products, making the impossible appear achievable, with over 200 million downloads in 190 countries around the world.

“We enjoy finding people who share our interests and working together to create beautiful things. We appreciate it when our acts have a positive impact on people’s lives.” Andrei Yarantsau, CEO at Melsoft

Why did you choose Cyprus as a base for your business operations, and why is the island well-suited for global expansion?
“Cyprus is a country that allows for open and efficient international business, such as mobile game development, publishing, and IP licensing. The island has managed to create a clear and transparent tax system over the last few decades, integrating strong European norms with the IP Box regime.
In 2015, Melsoft transferred its headquarters to Cyprus (as part of the Wargaming Group of Companies) and was purchased by Israeli firm Moon Active in 2020. The island’s advantageous geographic location and proximity to Israel, make it ideal for business meetings. We have never regretted our decision to move to Cyprus.”

family island

What needs to change for Cyprus to become a leading technology hub, and are there any challenges?
“We were actively advised and informed of the rules, regulations, and work ethics in our new environment when we first started working in Cyprus. However, not every company has the time or resources to go into all the nuances of licensing or other bureaucratic procedures that can be simplified or accelerated by automating and shifting all business-government interactions online.
It is also worth noting that, in addition to numerous financial advantages, the experience of countries that have established thriving high-tech parks indicates the following key success factors: Extraterritorial principle (no obligations to be physically present in some geographic area of the country), easy relocation and visa-free entry, significant simplification of paperwork and bureaucratic barriers, and a certain loyalty to experiments in emerging IT areas, such as blockchain.

Cyprus offers many benefits to IT professionals, including strong intellectual property law and IP box regimes, no language barriers since English is widely spoken, one of the lowest taxes for IT companies in the European Union, personal income tax discounts that start at a certain salary level, excellent education, prospects for admission to local and international universities, medical care, pleasant climate, recreational activities, cuisine, and excellent networking opportunities. However, the island must work on strengthening its internet services, particularly those dealing with official organisations, as previously indicated. In certain areas, the rental market is fragmented, making it difficult to obtain inexpensive accommodation, and public transportation is restricted.

As the adage goes, ‘When a great man stands on a land for a minute, the land becomes not just a great place for a moment, but a magnificent landmark.’ In other words, people are the most crucial factor in any business’ and economy’s overall performance. Teamwork, experience, expertise, transparency, and honesty are all crucial traits in the environment that Tech Island companies and entrepreneurs want to build. People that operate in this value system will bring new investments and, most importantly, new talented people to Cyprus, making the island a significant landmark.”

What motivated you to join TechIsland?
“Tech Island is a perfect theoretical and practical fit for us. We enjoy finding people who share our interests and working together to create beautiful things. We appreciate it when our acts have a positive impact on people’s lives. Tech Island is progressively establishing an atmosphere that will attract specialists from all over the world to live and work in Cyprus, however, creating best-in-class gaming studios from the ground up takes several years and major financial commitment.
There are many contributing factors that influenced our decision to join Tech Island: a shared vision for Cyprus to become a leading tech hub, a supportive ecosystem that helps multinational companies of all sizes, a sense of identity and purpose to grow the region’s business and economy, and a sense of identity and purpose that emerges from relationships and trust between companies and entrepreneurs.”

What are the differences between IT companies and Game Development studios?
“An IT product usually solves a specific user problem, such as “the consumer should be able to purchase a ticket with this app.” From a technological standpoint, a game is akin to an IT product, and it should entertain a large audience. And this is where the situation changes dramatically, because defining “fun” is a difficult task.
In this sense, games are like the film industry in that no one can predict whether a film will be a tremendous success or not until it is released.
Mobile gaming, on the other hand, is a $200 billion per year industry that must be predictable. Every day that a game is delayed in its release might result in millions of dollars in lost revenue or marketing expenditure.
Therefore, the key distinction between Game Development and IT companies is that in Game Development, you should be able to combine the incompatible – the result’s uncertainty and predictability.

my cafe cover

It is also no exaggeration to suggest that top-games are at the forefront of technology. The current game is a complicated client-server, high-loaded, real-time technological product on the development side. On the marketing side, you will have to produce and A/B-test a lot of creatives, as well as develop advanced AI-reach models for LTV prediction of cohorts of consumers you are buying from numerous networks. Experts in ad, in-app, and subscription monetisation will be required. Not to mention the beautiful graphics and special effects developed by 2D artists, 3D modellers, animators, sound engineers, and a variety of other professionals.
Finally, people require a fantastic game that they will enjoy playing. If you are lucky, and your game designer has done a wonderful job, players will be eager to devote months or even years to the game. To create a terrific game, you will most certainly need a strong experienced staff, excellent game design, and a little luck.”

What can we expect from Melsoft in the future?
“Melsoft’s business approach is to create and distribute mobile games. We strive to make each of our games the best in its genre. Family Island’s history demonstrates that we can successfully combine teams and products in Melsoft and achieve substantial success. If you have a game idea, a MVP, or a prototype, please send it to us. We look forward to collaborating with people and creating something both wonderful and rewarding.”

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