Tunnel Ground is set to expand into the US market in the summer with a new business model based on games and comics.

Game companies are all looking for an edge these days to compete in the App Store charts. Looking at Rovio and the ex-Rovio teams, you hear over and over about character driven free to play games to hopefully monetize on product tie-ins. Rovio famously calls themselves an Entertainment company (not a gaming company) but another angle on this model is Finnish “multimedia” company Tunnel Ground which is using a comic book and mobile game model.

The game is tied in to a printed comic book, where players get access to QR codes that provide more features and story to Void of Heroes, their game. This tie-in also provides a sales channel for earlier comics published by Cosmic Times, Tunnel Ground’s American partner. Fulfillment of these comics are delivered to the player’s home by Amazon.

For those of you who like mech battles, the game and comic looks pretty sweet. The comic is done in a painterly and cinematic style utilizing the latest in digital art techniques, while the game gives you some good mech battle action.

The company is targeting the U.S. next, but it’s worth mentioning that tunnel Ground’s partner in the Middle East and North Africa is MBC, a media giant with operations in 19 countries.

“Funding from Tekes and Finnish investors enabled us to develop a technology platform for sharing games on mobile devices and smart televisions, for example. We also developed our business model in order to establish new partnerships in the comic and game sectors. Technical advances and our new business model enable us to build massive, complex items of content that offer us and our partners the best possible opportunities for making a profit,” says CEO Jukka Planman on the Tekes blog.

If you’re looking to see a digital download of the comic or get the games, you can find the links on this page.