Canada isn’t just the home of major blockbuster publishers and developers, it’s also home to some of the fastest-growing social-gaming studios.
As part of that trend, Toronto-based Big Viking Games reported today that it has attracted $21.75 in funding from Canadian financial institutions. The Royal Bank of Canada led the round with $18 million in financing alongside Export Development Canada and $3.75 million from BDC Capital’s Growth and Transition division. Big Viking plans to use that cash to expand its efforts building HTML5 games for the web that load instantaneously for players around the world.
Big Viking already has 100 employees, and that makes it by far the biggest independent Canadian studio. That team has already produced games like YoWorld and Fish World, which millions of players have tried over the last several years. And now the company wants to reinvest in its HTML5 strategy.
“Starting in 2012, we made the decision to make significant investments in HTML5 instant games,” Big Viking cofounder Albert Lai said in a statement. “We saw the potential of the technology and how it will define the future of mobile gaming and entertainment. Others have moved away from HTML5 due to the technical investment required, but we believe that open standards and more powerful devices will pave the way for a massive shift on mobile phones and tablets.”
HTML5 gaming grabbed headlines several years ago with the promise that it would enable developers to publish high-quality mobile games to the web without having to go through the Apple App Store or Google Play.
“While our focus on HTML5 has paid off with our Triple-A instant games that can be distributed on many powerful mobile platforms, such as messenger applications, we weren’t sure we could find the right investors that understood our vision in the early days,” said Lai. “Now that we have multiple million-dollar-budget titles in the works to distribute on new and upcoming platforms, investors can see how our business strategy is on track to change the future.”