Social-gaming veterans are launching a new initiative to combine game-development talent with some of the most popular brands in Hollywood.

Midverse Studios revealed today that it is starting a program called Invest+Publish, which has the mobile-gaming company putting money into developers and helping them launch their games. Industry veterans Rizwan Virk and Mitch Liu founded Midverse after their time with social-gaming giant TapJoy, and now they want to use their experience to help gaming startups grow. One of the ways it intends to do that is by helping its partner studios work with big-name properties.

“The mobile gaming eco-system has become very crowded,” Midverse president Mitch Liu said. “For emerging developers to reach their full potential, they need help — not just financial, but also strategic — and existing mobile publishers aren’t doing the job.”

To kick off the program, Midverse is already investing in two studios: Game of Thrones: Ascent developer Disruptor Beam and Afterland studio Imaginary Games. Ascent is a social game that invites players to experience the world of the popular HBO show. Afterland is a stylistic mobile care game set in a magical carnival.

“As one of the members of the Invest+Publish program, we’re looking forward to working with Midverse Studios, a partnership that will complement our community-centric approach to mobile game development,” Disruptor Beam chief executive Jon Radoff said. “Our first major game, Game of Thrones: Ascent, has already been hugely successful on mobile platforms, but we are looking to expand our reach even further with future games and with Midverse’s counsel.”

“Midverse is an excellent partner for Imaginary Games because of their deep expertise in user acquisition and strategic positioning for visibility on mobile,” Imaginary Games co-founder Chris Powell said. “With their business focus and our creativity, we’re looking forward to partnering together through Invest+Publish to navigate through the publishing process as we bring Afterland to market.”

Midverse will help both Disruptor Beam and Imaginary with player acquisition and retention. This is specialty that is getting more difficult as behemoths like Supercell (Clash of Clans) and King (Candy Crush Saga) push up the costs of mobile advertising.

“Both Imaginary Games, with their original IP, and Disruptor Beam with their major licenses including Game of Thrones and Star Trek, are doing incredibly innovative things with mobile content,” Midverse chief executive Rizwan Virk said. “We look forward to making more announcements along these lines as we onboard more Invest+Publish partners in the near future.”


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