We first covered Game Closure this spring when it opened its private beta to the world to test out its new cross-platform HTML5 game engine and SDK. The startup has since gone on to work with multiple private and public partners to bring cross-platform, multiplayer HTML5 games to the App Store, Android Marketplace, Facebook, and beyond. According to Game Closure Co-founder and CEO Michael Carter, the startup has also attracted interest in its technology from game studios involved in the Project Spartan launch and expects activity to ramp up after project details are (expected to be) announced at F8 next month.
Game Closure’s new game development environment and SDK makes it easy to create, host, and deploy HTML5-based cross-platform, multiplayer games, starting with iOS, Android, and Facebook. This along with the interest the startup has had from game studios led to its quiet announcement today that it has raised its first round outside of investment. While the founders are being tight-lipped about the actual numbers, the list of investors is certainly impressive. Investors and angels participating in the startup’s seed round include, SV Angel, Yuri Milner, Joi Ito, Charles River Ventures, Benchmark Capital, Greylock Partners, and General Catalyst Partners.
With advisors like Joi Ito, who was on the board of Japanese gaming giant DeNA during it’s primary growth phase, and currently advises Zynga and Twitter, (and runs the MIT Media Lab), Game Closure is starting to add some important pieces that will set it in good stead as it scales. What’s more, the startup is beginning to swim in a hot market. Single player games are beginning to experience distribution pressure from competitive games that launch on multiple platforms, as seen in Zynga’s recent Word’s with Friends cross-promotion to desktop, a play that has already moved 11 million MAU from a previously mobile-only title onto desktop Facebook.
This trend is already resulting in game studios work to launch titles which are interoperable with Google, Apple, Facebook, and every other platform. At the least, this is something Facebook fears, as evidenced by their terms of service changes regarding cross-promotion, though for now Facebook still allows publishers to cross promote from the web canvas to 1st-party games on iOS (with which developers are currently finding great success).
In light of all this, Game Closure is going after speed of execution as its main target, as Carter said that the company prides itself on its SDK’s ability to turn an idea into a game in under 2 weeks, without having to worry about the so-called “platform wars”.
Also of note: Game Closure is an entrepreneuers-in-residence company for the StartX Stanford Accelerator (formerly SSE Labs), and will be presenting at StartX’s upcoming demo day, where the Stanford accelerator’s portfolio of thirteen summer session companies will be unveiled.