Hattrick Limited

Hattrick Celebrates 20 Years Online

Milestone for the online football manager pioneer


Gibraltar, UK -- (ReleaseWire) -- 08/31/2017 --Today marks 20 years since football manager game Hattrick went live for the first time. Since then, Hattrick has evolved into a unique text-based football universe, populated by one of the most dynamic communities on the Internet. Today, 250 000 active users compete in 128 leagues all over the world, on a site translated into 55 languages.

When Hattrick went online for the first time on August 30, 1997, there was no indication that this would grow to become one of the largest online games on the web. That first season, Hattrick consisted of 16 test teams, each run by a human manager who can pick a lineup, set a training for the squad, and not much else. 20 years on, two of those users are still in the game - together with 250,000 other active users from all over the world.

- We wanted to make it a game that you would want to play for a long time, to build your team over time and connect with your players and the other managers. And it really become that game, says Johan Gustafsson, one of the founders of Hattrick.

Hattrick went on to become one of the defining browser games of the late 90's and early 2000's. The key to the game experience is the slow but steady building of a team in a persistent world that would never reset.

Being a free game is something the founders promised early on, and always stuck to. But it was not always easy to live up to.

- During the Dotcom boom we could never convince anyone to finance us, despite the fact that there was so much money floating around, says Johan Gustafsson. Then came the crash and the advertising money dried up as well. We had a booming game that demanded more and more server capacity but we couldn't pay for for it.

- But in the end it was an advantage for us. We became a freemium game already back in 2002. We asked our users to pay for optional features that would not give them any advantage in the game, and they supported us in that move. It was a really novel idea at the time and it's what made it possible to run the game another 15 years.

Since the relaunch of Hattrick as an international league in 2000, Hattrick expanded quickly. Starting at 2700 users in Sweden in late 2000, 50.000 users was reached in 2002 and 250.000 users in 2003. In 2008, the game peaked at nearly 1 million users.

- The shift to smartphones and Facebook changed things for traditional browser games, and it took a few years for us to understand that we should not try and change what we are to look like all the new games that came through those platforms, says Johan Gustafsson.

For more information about Hattrick, please visit http://www.hattrick.org or contact Johan Gustafsson at johan@hattrick.org.