Finnish gaming looks Seriously interesting
Seriously Digital Entertainment is set to launch its first mobile game in October. Already the Helsinki-based company has raised more than 3.6 million euros in seed funding.
“We are in a fortunate position of having a very talented team and a strategy that is very forward thinking and unique in the market where we are building a brand, mobile-first,” says Philip Hickey, vice president for Marketing and Communications.
In the game, players collect the tiny inhabitants of the world of Minutia and build up their special powers to battle against the voracious slugs of Mount Boom. The executives hope the game will lead to a broader entertainment franchise.
“A game has got to be a lot of fun and it needs to keep people coming back for more,” says Hickey.
“The difference between long and short-term is building a brand and an emotional relationship with a story or likable characters. “
Keep them coming back
In addition to the Best Fiends app, Seriously will also launch an animated short, original music, videos, limited edition artwork, a brand book and stickers for messenger apps. For the music, it has partnered with Despicable Me-composer Heitor Pereira while Angry Birds Toons series producer Søren Fleng has produced the short film.
The company’s games will be free to download with players given the option to pay for in-app purchases.
“The key metric for us is retention. People come back after one day, they come back after seven days and they come back after 30 days. We treat games as a service with additional content so that there is a reason to keep coming back.”
The shift from traditional to mobile platforms dominates company thinking. Seriously intends to exploit the opportunities afforded by the boom in mobile and tablet gaming and is convinced a mobile-first strategy is the way forward.
“It is also about the way people interact with the brand, says Hickey. A brand built on mobile-first is always in somebody’s pockets. Traditional brands are built very visually and with audio but with mobile and tablet you are experiencing the brand with touch.”
“We want to bring a Hollywood type sensibility and creative look and feel to games on mobile and tablet and there is not a lot of that out there right now.”
Series of games
Seriously, which was founded by two former Rovio executives last August, expects Best Fiends to be the first in a series of animated games around the Best Fiends franchise.
“Best Fiends is going to be out and about and on its path to success, says Hickey when asked how he sees the company in two years’ time. In addition, one or two other games should be developed by then or in the pipeline. “
At the moment 14 people work for the company but it hopes to expand. Game development takes place in Helsinki, but marketing, communications and business development is handled in Los Angeles.
Seriously is backed by Los Angeles-based Upfront Ventures, Nordic-based Sunstone Capital and Daher Capital, based in Beirut, Lebanon.
It raised more than 1.9 million euros in seed funding in June after closing a 1.7 million euro round of financing last year.
Text: Vincent Landon
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