Gameforge founder creates Flaregames gaming startup (exclusive)

Klaas Kersting, the founder of the highly successful Gameforge online game firm in Europe, is back with a new gaming startup called Flaregames, VentureBeat has learned.

The Karlsruhe, Germany-based company is focused on mobile reality games that mesh the real world with virtual worlds through location-based gaming on smartphones and tablets.

Kersting is known as the founder and former CEO of online game publisher Gameforge. His new company has been operating in stealth mode for the past several months.

Kersting has assembled a team of experts and will be demoing the company’s first title at the Gamescon game event in Cologne, Germany, later this month.

“Flaregames’ vision is to create outstanding mobile games that involve the real world and feature deeper interaction than simple check-ins,” said Kersting, in a statement.

He added, “We see our games as the fusion of the real world and virtual world while delivering an entertaining experience woven into the daily routine of our players’ lives.”

At Gameforge, Kersting built a company from scratch to more than 400 employees and $150 million in annual revenue. In five years, the company gained 200 million registered users of its downloadable online games.

At the new firm, Kersting’s co-founders include Andreas Suika, former lead game designer for Ubisoft Blue Byte, whose titles sold several million units. Suika is responsible for the overall game design of Flaregames’ titles as Creative Director. Also joining Flaregames is Georg Broxtermann, formerly of GPS Mission, as business development director. Bob Wallace, former chief strategy officer of Ensemble Studios (maker of Age of Empires), is joining the board and is consulting on strategic direction.

Flaregames has 16 people and is adding more. The company was starting in April 2011. Other co-founders are Matthias Schindler, Börje Sieling and Cem Aslan. Rivals include Rovio, Booyah and Greyarea. The company has raised $1 million from Kersting and it plans a new round in the fourth quarter.

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