So can we all agree that the future of gaming is mobile, and if you’re not building fun apps for your game studio, you’re missing out on a huge potential audience and huge monetization opportunity? If there’s any lesson from the success of Rovio’s Angry Birds or OMGPOP’s Draw Something, it’s that people love nothing more than putzing around on their mobile phones when they’ve got nothing better to do. And so that’s why startups like Zipline Games are so exciting.
Zipline recently raised an additional $750,000, adding to a nearly $2 million seed round that includes Seattle-based investors such as Founders Co-Op, Benaroya Capital, Groundspeak, and Pioneer Venture Partners. The Seattle-based game studio has 16 employees and hopes to use the funding to create more games and to increase development of its Moai mobile gaming development platform.
Zipline has created popular mobile games like Wolf Toss and Slots Tycoon, which are available for iPhone and Android devices. But in addition to its own games studio, Zipline has created a platform called Moai which games developers can use to build advanced mobile games.
Moai uses the Lua programming language to build cross-platform mobile- and cloud-based apps. It also provides all the tools developers need to power their games in the cloud — stuff like storage, leaderboards, achievements, and notifications.
According to founder Todd Hooper, Moai isn’t for anyone to quickly develop games. In fact, the company’s aim is to provide the tools needed by more advanced game studios — which have mostly built for consoles — and provide them the tools necessary to make really compelling mobile game experiences.
That’s a pitch which seems to be resonating, as the platform has been chosen by a number of gaming studios to create apps that have appeared in top 20 lists on the Apple App Store, Google Play, and Chrome Web Store. Double Fine Productions, for instance, which raised $3.3 million on Kickstarter in March, is using Moai to build its Double Fine Adventure game. And the recently released StrikeFleet Omega from 6waves also leverages the platform.
The Moai team is hoping to get even more game developers signed up, and Hooper said the company has some pretty exciting partner announcements coming up soon. So there’s that. In the meantime, game on.