Disclosure: The organizers of Slush paid my way to Helsinki. Our coverage remains objective.
HELSINKI — Next Games, a high-profile mobile-game studio in Helsinki, announced today the first in an ambitious four-part series of mobile titles. The company revealed that it will publish Compass Point: West, a 3D action-strategy game set in the Wild West, in February 2015.
Next Games made the announcement at Slush 2014, the startup and tech event in Helsinki. The title is another big investment in addition to its upcoming mobile-game version of The Walking Dead, the hit zombie apocalypse television show. The project is ambitious because it’s part of a four-part series, which is common in console games but is relatively rare in mobile releases.
Next Games says that Compass Point: West is based on a rich story, a fun line of characters, and a colorful world set in the Wild West. Players will collect cards to round up brave heroes and engage in epic shootouts against Orville Driller, a devious oil baron, and his henchmen.
You have to conquer the Wild West and defend your own outpost alongside a tough town sheriff and various sidekicks.
“With Compass Point: West, we explore the action-strategy genre from a fresh, new angle by introducing an original card mechanic rarely seen in these types of games as a part of the game’s core loop. The universe we are building will line up a wide range of characters with quirky personalities in our interpretation of the Wild West,” said Joakim Achrén, chief product officer and co-founder of Next Games, in a statement.
Next Games is one of numerous startups in Finland. Founded in 2013, it has drawn its talent from established studios such as Rovio, Disney, and Supercell. Next Games has 45 employees.
“We are building this game up as a service that will offer months of fun. We have invested heavily on character development and story. This game will mark a great starting point for the Compass Point series and an important milestone for Next Games,” said Teemu Huuhtanen, chief executive of Next Games, in a statement.
Next Games raised $6 million earlier this year from investors, including Lionsgate. Huuhtanen and Lionsgate game chief Peter Levin are speaking during a session at Slush. Next Games also recently acquired developer Helsinki Gameworks. That acquisition should lead to more game announcements in the future.