The founders of new online gaming company Red 5 Studios are celebrating an $18.5 million round of financing today from Benchmark Capital and Sierra Ventures. Bill Gurley from Benchmark Capital is joining the board. The company previously raised working capital from WEBZEN pursuant to a game development deal earlier this year.
Red 5 Studios was founded by some of the key people behind Blizzard’s World of Warcraft, which claims over 6.5 million users. CEO Mark Kern told me that they broke away from Blizzard because they had a difference in opinion over the appropriate strategy for the next generation on online games, and that he’s aiming for Red 5 Studios to be “the Pixar of onling gaming” by creating games that are distributed and promoted by others. Look for their first titles to be launched in a year or so, initially through WEBZEN.
If you are a top gaming talent, Kern tells me, they are hiring. The company also sent us conceptual artwork, which we’ve included below because it looks absolutely awesome. No idea if and when this might be incorporated into a game.