Just as it seemed like iOS and Android gaming was getting mature and maybe a tad boring, veteran game developer Bo Daly amassed a super evil mega-team of super evil mega-game developers to build a new startup called Super Evil Megacorp.
They just snagged former EA executive Kristian Segerstrale (pictured below) as their new chief operating officer and picked up $11.6 million in a new round led by General Catalyst. Segerstrale, who left EA after leading its transition to digital, free-to-play gaming, had been working on the board of Clash of Clans-maker Supercell before it sold a little more than half of itself in a $1.53 billion deal to Japanese carrier Softbank and developer Gung-Ho. Before that, Segerstrale was a co-founder of early social game developer Playfish.
Super Evil Megacorp is entering the ring at a time where production values for mobile games have gone up enormously. The top-grossing titles are no predominantly longer simple, casual games and Daly, along with several other teams, are betting there’s a market for console-quality titles.
As Daly says, the company is trying to bring back the feel of “epic LAN parties” from the 1990s. Oh yeah.
“We’re a bunch of engineers who are highly steeped in game design with the technical ability to build very high-production-value triple AAA titles,” he said.
They’re teasing a MOBA, or multiplayer online battle arena game, called Vainglory.
Daly says the size of the round is to give the team plenty of runway to think about the evolution of touchscreen gaming over decades, instead of months.
Indeed, the team has quietly spent the past two years building a proprietary game engine technology that enables them to handle an enormous numbers of players in real-time. While the team consists of veterans from Blizzard, Rockstar and Riot, the company has social, free-to-play DNA with Segerstrale and other Supercell alums.
Segerstrale, who had been helping out the company from time to time, chose to jump back in the ring because of the market opportunity.
“We’ve been used to seeing short session game play on mobile devices for awhile,” he said. “But actually, a lot of gamers want to spend one to two hours every evening actually playing games. Right now, the only places to do that are on consoles and the PC.”
With the round, General Catalyst’s Adam Valkin joins the board. Other investors include Raine Ventures, Playdom and Signia Venture Partners co-founder Rick Thompson, CrossCut Ventures’ Clinton Foy, Segerstrale’s Initial Capital and China’s ZhenFund.