Getting a first customer is always a big deal for a startup. So game engine maker MaxPlay, which is pushing its software as a modern and cloud-based take on the game engine, is happily announcing that it has scored Canadian studio Finger Food Studios as its first customer.

MaxPlay, which came out of stealth at our GamesBeat 2015 event, is hoping to disrupt rival game engine makers such as Epic Games and Unity Technologies. It has been refining its technology for a couple of years, and now it has announced a partnership with Finger Food Studios, which has signed a studio-wide license for MaxPlay’s Game Development Suite.

San Francisco-based MaxPlay uses modern cloud technology and learnings from web-based enterprise software to bring the traditional stand-alone game engine up to speed. Game engines are vital to the whole ecosystem of games, as they enable developers to speed up the process of making games and iterate on prototypes. They allow designers to reuse technologies that have been invented before and make game development more accessible to a wider group of creators.

MaxPlay spun out of Technicolor and it has raised $17 million to date.

“We are thrilled to partner with Finger Food Studios, a forward-thinking and like-minded development studio that is innovating both in games and the new frontier of toys-to-life,” said Sinjin Bain, MaxPlay’s CEO, in a statement. “Finger Food Studios has partnered with such companies as Activision on Call of Duty and Skylanders as well as with Sphero, a connected-robotics company responsible for the Star Wars BB-8 app-enabled droid. The MaxPlay GDS platform has a service-oriented architecture (SOA) uniquely engineered to give developers the ability to extend and modify the platform to include future technologies in entertainment, connected robotics and consumer electronics,” said Bain.

Finger Food Studios has worked on titles such as Skylanders on mobile.

Above: Finger Food Studios has worked on titles such as Skylanders on mobile.

Image Credit: Finger Food Studios

MaxPlay argues that its GDS is the only game development solution that combines a service-oriented architecture with a high performance runtime engine to give developers the power to collaborate, create, and operate games more effectively in today’s increasingly complex, global, multi-platform environment. Since multiple developers can work on the same file at the same time, it has been compared to Google Docs.

John Riccitiello, chief executive of Unity, didn’t directly comment on MaxPlay in a talk at the VRX virtual reality event that I moderated on Tuesday. But Riccitiello did say that it’s not that productive to have four or more people working on a Google Doc together, since people can get in each other’s way.

“MaxPlay is strategically aligned with our philosophies towards the future of both game and next generation project development. The Maxplay GDS solves real problems that developers face every day in areas such as remote collaboration, iteration time and device performance. Its service-oriented architecture is uniquely engineered to help us develop interactive properties,” said Ryan Peterson, CEO of Finger Food Studios, in a statement. “MaxPlay GDS is the only platform that will allow us to help create value across our entire range of businesses and clients.”

Peterson added, “The GDS platform also enables us to extend workflows and libraries of our toys-to-life connected experience technology to other developers and partners through MaxPlay’s service oriented architecture.”

Finger Food Studios, based in Port Coquitlam, British Columbia, has more than 80 employees.