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Thursday, June 30, 2022

Ex-Rovio Team Gets Funding To Create A Game That "Will Live On For Decades"

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Boomlagoon, a company formed by Antti Stén (Ex-Rovio Lead Server Architect) and Tuomas Erikoinen (Ex-Rovio Lead Game Artist, yes, he drew the Angry Birds) just received a round of funding by a rather impressive duo – Jari Ovaskainen and a seasoned games investor London Venture Partners, represented by David Gardner.

Ovaskainen was the founder of Iobox, which was sold to Telefonica for €215m while David Gardner is best known for being the former CEO of Atari, and EVP & COO of Electronic Arts. Notably, they both invested in Supercell as well.

Additionally they have also joined forces with Ilkka Halila (Ex-Rovio Web Game Programmer), who joined the team as a Co-Founder and CTO. Boomlagoon is being very secretive about their next game, but that makes it so much more interesting to try and figure out what they are up to.

Some things that we do know is that it’s going to be HTML5 based and involves some sort of conflict between two groups of characters (UPDATE: The first title from Boomlagoon is going to be a mobile game).  Of course, they are going to be cartoonish and have a lot of personality. Some say that they have some sort of kitchen equipment on their heads, we can’t be sure but there is definitely a lot of conflict to be found in the kitchen. To find out more, we got into an interview with the CEO, Antti Stén:

AS: So, what’s the money for? Are you going to get more people on board or focus on marketing and business development?

Stén: The seed money is what is needed to get our game launched and pay for all the energy drinks Tuomas keeps inhaling during the hours at the office.

AS: Ha! Hope all that energy will make sure the game launches faster. How did you get LVP and Jari Ovaskainen on board, what was it that hooked them?

Stén: I can’t speak for them, but from what they said publicly, they really liked our style and thought we were onto something great. If I were an investor, that’s what I’d look for too: Are these the kind of people who can make great things happen? Is the thing they are doing potentially great? They seem to think so about us.

AS: Let’s talk about long-term. Where do you see the gaming industry and Boomlagoon in five years?

Stén: Ask me again in five years 🙂

Seriously though, the gaming industry has been growing since I can remember. Wiser people are predicting it keeps on doing so, and we have no reason to think otherwise. There’s room for us to grow – no doubt about it – we just need to keep up with the gamers. Luckily we don’t have any technical limitations with Ilkka Halila being our CTO, which fits perfectly with our attitude of trying out new things and making great, approachable games out of crazy ideas.

Simply put: The game industry will be a lot bigger in terms of number of people and selection of platforms, and so will we.

AS: Do you currently have plans for just one game or are there a couple on the pipeline?

Stén: Currently we’re only three people, so the number of our development tracks is not hard to guess. We will make more games for sure, but we only make quality. We don’t like the business model where you launch as many games as possible and hope that at least one of them will be successful. It takes the soul out of game development and makes it a job, where you just want to get your projects “out of the way”. We don’t want a job, we want to make great games!

AS: P.S. Rovio made 51 games that failed, before coming up with Angry Birds

AS: You mentioned elsewhere that the game is like a cartoonish World of Warcraft. Any chance to get at least a little bit of a hint? Does that mean it will be an RPG or at least have an element of levelling your characters?

Stén: Yes, it’s cartoonish. WoW might be a bit far-fetched comparison. We’re not currently revealing much about the game.

AS: Given that we saw a character sketch, it looked a bit like a legendary game – Worms? Anything in that direction?

Stén: Yes, it’s a lot like Worms in the sense that it will live on for decades and will be regarded as one of the greatest games of all time! 😉

So it seems that the investors and the team are definitely excited, after all there is no shortage of talent in the team. Whatever it is that they are building, I am definitely excited to try it out. We are definitely going to keep an eye on Boomlagoon and report back once we know more about the launch date and the game itself.

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