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Directive Games is coming out of stealth today and announcing it has raised $3.5 million in a first round of funding for its mobile game studio. Its mission is to make triple-A-quality games on mobile, akin to what Super Evil Megacorp accomplished with Vainglory on tablets.
The Hong Kong-based company was founded late last year by game veterans Atli Mar Sveinsson, Matthias Gudmundsson, Andreas Axelsson, Wang Hao, Yohei Ishii, and Andrea Cesaro. It has offices in both Shanghai and Reykjavik, Iceland. They’re part of the migration of game developers from console games to mobile devices. Mobile gaming is expected to grow to $30 billion and surpass console revenues, according to market researcher Newzoo.
“We have a lot of veterans,” Directive Games CEO and cofounder Atli Mar told GamesBeat. “We believe that mobile has huge potential, not only in terms of numbers but also in the quality of games. The foundation of what makes a great game — game design and narrative — is still the same. We don’t think mobile has been tapped properly.”
The funding was led by Beijing-based GSR Ventures (which also funded China’s FunPlus) and Europe’s Opea Holding. Other backers include Philippe Ventures Ltd and other angel investors in Hong Kong and Europe.
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The company’s founders have a lot of game experience, working at companies such as CCP Games (the maker of Eve Online), DICE, Square Enix, Ubisoft, and Tencent. Atli Mar worked at CCP Games for a long time.
“When it comes to mobile, the feedback from mid and hardcore gamers is that they are largely unsatisfied compared to other platforms. What makes it worse is that when you look at the charts, they are mostly populated by few names and franchises,” Atli Mar said. “This is a sign that true creativity and innovation remain untapped by all but a small handful of companies. We strongly feel that there is a strong and energetic movement of developers willing to shake up this environment, and we want to be the centrifugal force in this. With the team that we have assembled, we aim to lead the charge and revitalize the landscape.”
Atli Mar said that the company isn’t yet announcing what game it is working on or whether it will build its own game engine. He said that the company will focus on “unparalleled entertainment experiences” with original intellectual properties. More details will come later this year.
The company has 14 employees.
“We’re not going to grow big in numbers of people,” he said. “We want to stay lean.”
He added, “We can’t wait to show our game.”
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