Industrial Toys, led by Bungie Studios? co ? founder Alex Seropian, has raised $5 million in Series A funding with the help of Accel Partners. The tablet and mobile gaming startup plans to develop tablet games for the more serious players. Vas Natarajan from Accel joins the startup?s board, saying that the huge platform shift in gaming creates opportunities to build large, independent gaming companies.
Creating Opportunities for Gaming Companies
Accel has already placed its bets on the likes of Clash of Clan ? maker Supercell and Angry Birds ? maker Rovio. However, Natarajan said there is still room for a tablet ? focused game developer that focuses more on core gamers than casual ones. He added that core gamers have been, in some ways, a bit underserved.
Midnight Star Beta
The startup plans to launch a beta version of Midnight Star this summer. It is a science fiction shooting game developed for smartphones and tablets. The game?s story was authored by John Scalzi, while the art work was done by Mike Choi. Industrial Toys is also working on an interactive graphic novel named, Midnight Rises.
Company president Tim Harris described the Midnight Star as reimagining shooters on tablets. Their goal is to develop a gameplay that looks intuitive and natural. Seropian compared the process to the development of the first Halo game for Xbox. There is only one difference seen: the Industrial Toys team did not attempt to emulate the joystick. Players are required to touch the screen to zoom and fire.
Midnight Star is basically a free ? to ? play game, where the company makes money with in ? app purchases.
Industrial Toys has funded itself for two ? years worth of seed money. However, Seropian said that the funding raised from Accel allows them to do more and be in the game for long term. Apart from the initial release of Midnight Star, the startup plans to put additional content and more titles for the game.
Natarajan said that this is the first gaming company that he has funded at Accel, attributing the decision to broad interest across the company. He even joked that nine of the firm?s partners go through a knife fight to see who takes the lead on a large gaming deal.