It’s looking like a good time to be a game developer in Finland. Especially if you’re looking for Eastern investment.
Finnish game developer Reforged Studios just got $2.5 million from the large Chinese technology company, NetEase. Western audiences may know NetEast for its Fantasy Westward Journey series of PC and mobile games as well as being the Chinese publisher of Blizzard titles, which include Starcraft II: Heart of the Swarm and World of Warcraft.
Correction, 10:17 a.m. on 10/28: Reforged is in Los Angeles and Helsinki, not Brisbane.
This came on the heels of Frontier Singapore investing $1 million into Koukoi Games yesterday.
The new cash hitting Reforged Studios should push multiple projects that the developer is working on, including a title the studio is only referring to as “an epic army battler.” Reforged Studios itself is actually a two location operation, with an office in Los Angeles — and the mothership located in Helsinki, Finland.
The company is formed by talent from several different, high-profile developers. The three cofounders include Tuomas Pirinen of Electronic Arts (producer on the Need for Speed franchise) and Games Workshop (Warhammer Fantasy Battle); Teemu Vilen, formerly a product manager at Riot Games (League of Legends) and CCP Games (EVE Online); and Marko Kylmamma, also former technical lead at Riot Games (League of Legends), and senior software engineer at Blizzard (World of Warcraft).
Three other notable additions to the development team include lead gameplay engineer Jukka Kokkonen (Trine and Shadowgrounds), art manager Eric Hartz formerly of Kixeye and LucasArts, and creative designer Andy Chambers (Warhammer 40K and StarCraft II).
That’s an impressive roster of talent, even though the development house doesn’t have a current portfolio of previous games. According to Amy Huang, assistant vice president of NetEase Capital, the experience of the individual team members is all they needed to finalize signing the check. “The leadership and talent that came together to form Reforged Studios really attracted us as a strategic investment in a Western game studio.”
How does this investment in Reforged Studios play into NetEase’s larger plans? “We continue to aggressively pursue our vision for globalization and expansion westward based on our successes in Asia, and the Reforged partnership is a key step for us in that direction,” Huang said. “We warmly welcome Reforged Studios to join our portfolio of top development talents from around the world.”
There’s no word, as of right now, when and where Reforged Studios’ “epic army battler” will pop up.