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Red Rover, a new game studio with offices in Norway and England, has raised $5 million for its multiplayer survival game.
The company’s goal is to create truly engaging multiplayer experiences and disrupt the survival genre, Red Rover Interactive CEO Fred Richardson said in an interview with GamesBeat.
“It’s good to be public and open,” he said.
The new company started a year ago and has offices in Oslo, Norway and Newcastle, England. It was started by gaming industry veterans who collectively worked on series such as Conan Exiles, Dune Awakening, DayZ, Avakin Life, Crysis 2, Ryse, and Ghost Recon.
Red Rover wants to work with successful multiplayer titles to catapult the survival genre to new frontiers, putting player agency and drama front and center. In the long term, the studio wants to “create the most original and engaging multiplayer experiences on the market”.
“We think multiplayer interactions are fundamentally more powerful than PVE ones,” Richardson said.
“This is something that most persistent online games don’t leverage, often designed as single-player experiences that support many players. We plan to look into this, starting with the survival genre that we know intimately, taking it in a truly new direction.
Richardson previously worked at Funcom for about 13 years, finding himself in the role of CTO. He also worked at Ubisoft Reflections. Others include COO Joe Stevens (Lockwood Publishing, Ubisoft Reflections), Design Director Marek Zilavy (Bohemia Interactive, Funcom), Technical Director Daniel Ratzer (Funcom) and Art Director Sebastian Zimmermann (Nordeus, Jagex, Crytek) .
Red Rover Interactive is focused on building medium-sized, tight-knit, co-located teams. It starts with the core team of 17 members, most of whom have collaborated before, leveraging their significant shared experience.
The company is working on original intellectual property. Richardson said investors were aligned with the studio’s vision.
“They believed in us early on,” Richardson said. “They thought we had a very good chance of succeeding.”
The company plans to do playtesting in a few months to get feedback on its ideas early in development.
“One of the motivations was to move away from the triple-A model with hundreds of people spread out,” Richardson said.
From a creative perspective, the studio aspires to produce titles designed for endless engagement, perfectly suited to the era of content creation.
The studio has already secured significant seed investment from Behold Ventures and The Games Fund, as well as other participating investors such as Lifelike Capital, GEM capital, Acequia Capital and a suite of angel investors. The company is recruiting.
“We started the company on this very strong belief in the power of multiplayer and the current state of online gaming,” Richardson said. “Over the years, there has been a huge void in the market. We fundamentally believe that the survival space is ripe for explosive growth. There is a very large addressable audience, but there are no dominant titles to date.
Richardson looks to the past of games like League of Legends and Fortnite. He thinks the PvP multiplayer space with deep social interactions is ripe for a similar escape.
“We started thinking about ideas of how we could merge the best of session-based multiplayer games with the persistent online space or more specifically the survival space,” Richardson said.
He thinks of games like DayZ, Conan Exiles and other games.
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