Jesper Kärrbrink’s Green Jade Group shuts down
Green Jade Group has ceased operations after the game developer led by industry veteran Jesper Kärrbrink was unable to achieve the necessary level of profitability.
Benedict McDonagh, co-founder of the company, made the announcement in a LinkedIn post on 8 April.
The company, founded as Green Jade Games in 2017 by former Mr Green CEO Jesper Kärrbrink and McDonagh, merged with Las Vegas-headquartered iGaming supplier GameCo in October 2022.
McDonagh shared a touching account of the inception of Green Jade Group, sparked by Kärrbrink’s desire to “change the face of gambling content”.
“New game ideas came from everywhere and we killed more concepts than we incubated,” McDonagh recounted.
“With no one to copy, it was left to us to learn what could work, what absolutely doesn’t work, and what gives us hope for the future, and being on the journey through this adventure I can tell you was an epic experience,” he said.
Lack of top earners
The company grew to include over 20 nationalities from five continents and became known for its real-money arcade games.
However, McDonagh revealed that the company “didn’t iterate to a base of good earners quickly enough”.
While he expressed his disappointment with the closure of the company, he also celebrated the achievements of Green Jade Group.
“We built a world-class platform, with features no one else has replicated, integrations with amazing aggregation partners, gained licences in the UK, Greece, and Malta, and boasted 100% uptime I think, practically forever,” McDonagh said in the post.
Benedict McDonagh: “The stresses of the job, which more than once knocked me off my feet, were never people related, in fact, the reason I was able to stay so positive and hopeful that we would ‘turn it around’ and make the money needed to continue and win was because of those with whom I worked elbow to elbow.”
McDonagh also acknowledged the talented individuals who joined Green Jade both home and abroad.
“People make the culture, and there wasn’t a day in five years where I didn’t look forward to going into the office,” he said.
“The stresses of the job, which more than once knocked me off my feet, were never people related, in fact, the reason I was able to stay so positive and hopeful that we would ‘turn it around’ and make the money needed to continue and win was because of those with whom I worked elbow to elbow,” he added.
He concluded his post by pledging to continue to champion those who want to do things differently and to applaud everyone who succeeds, now that he knows just how difficult it is to succeed.
McDonagh’s post received numerous comments, including one from Tim Heath, founder of Yolo Group and an investor in Green Jade Games.
Yolo Investments first purchased equity in Green Jade Games in 2019 and increased its position in 2021.
Heath said: “Building a successful and profitable game supplier company is incredibly difficult these days, and I can say wholeheartedly you guys gave 110% every day.
“You guys tried to do something different and were not scared of being different, hence you can hold your head very high,” he added.
The game development market has become increasingly competitive in recent years, with several new studio launches.
However, at the same time, studios are struggling with the growing need for game certifications in different markets, which has become an essential but expensive part of their business.