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Former Z2 employees raise $3.3M for new Seattle game development studio Lightfox Games

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(Lightfox Video games Picture)

A bunch of gaming business vets simply raised $Three.2 million for a brand new Seattle studio referred to as Lightfox Games.

Lightfox CEO Ryan Hanft-Murphy. (Lightfox Photograph)

Based final 12 months by former Z2 staff, the 5-person firm is targeted on cell video games. Its first product is Super Battle League, a Three-on-Three real-time party-based sport the place gamers battle one another and the surroundings.

Lightfox is led by CEO Ryan Hanft-Murphy, who was vice chairman of engineering at Seattle gaming startup Z2, which was acquired by Sweet Crush maker King in 2015. Hanft-Murphy stayed on with King and was govt producer till final 12 months when he left to assist begin Lightfox.

“This firm is the fruits of a lifelong ardour for us and we’re extremely excited to deliver on extra like minded people to assist us develop,” mentioned Hanft-Murphy, who has shipped greater than 30 titles over the previous 17 years.

Different Lightfox leaders embody:

  • Jordan Arnold, head of product who was a senior product supervisor at Z2;
  • Rex Downham, head of participant expertise who was a consumer expertise designer at Z2;
  • Tony Tewes, head of artwork who was the lead artist at Z2;
  • Haseeb Malik, head of development who was a senior director of promoting at King and most not too long ago was a advertising director at Epic Video games

Tremendous Battle League is stay within the Philippines as an early alpha launch, with an enlargement to extra nations deliberate for subsequent 12 months.

Lightfox hopes to copy the wealthy social expertise from PC hits resembling World of Warcraft and design it for shorter gameplay periods on cell.

March Gaming, which launched a $60 million fund this 12 months, led the seed spherical, which included participation from Hiro Capital and 1Up Ventures.

Gregory Milken of March Gaming mentioned there may be “big demand for compelling synchronous, real-time aggressive expertise on cell.”

“We consider the Lightfox providing captures extremely compelling mechanics and gameplay sometimes discovered solely in for much longer session core platform video games,” he mentioned in a press release.

Gaming exercise and gross sales are up this 12 months amid the pandemic. U.S. cell gaming income hit $5.eight billion within the third quarter after a record-high $6 billion in Q2, in response to information from SensorTower. Gaming firm Roblox simply filed for its IPO this week; the corporate’s gross sales are up 170% this 12 months.

(Graph by way of Sensor Tower)

Gaming large Activision Blizzard, which acquired King for $5.9 billion, shut down Z2 last year as a part of bigger layoffs.

Z2 was based by former Microsoft developer Damon Danieli and led in its preliminary phases by gaming veteran David Bluhm. Lou Fasulo was CEO for 4 years; Fasulo teamed up with former Z2 staff to launch Seattle studio Starform Games in 2018.

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