Idle Games Raises $10 Million to Support Higher Quality Social Games

Idle Games has spent the past two years developing its first Facebook game as part of the belief that social games will require the same high production standards more commonly found on today’s consoles.

Of course, higher quality means bigger budgets.

To that end, the San Francisco company is announcing today that it has raised $10 million in a second round of capital.

The investment comes from Idle co-founder Rick Thompson, the former chairman and co-founder of Playdom, the social games company Disney acquired last year. Thompson previously led Idle’s initial round of $9 million.

In a recent interview with Thompson, he told me, “I think developers are having to retire old practices and will have to provide experiences that people do enjoy. What I am saying is that the bar is being raised and the established players are having a harder time reacting to the environment, and it’s hard to let go of that. The innovation is coming from emerging players.”

But even the established companies are starting to see that players on Facebook are becoming more discerning.

Zynga announced on Tuesday that its upcoming release on Facebook, called CastleVille, will be one of the first social games to have music recorded from an orchestra, which is more typical of console productions.

Today, San Francisco Mayor Edwin Lee is scheduled to visit Idle Games’ new 36,000-square-foot offices as part of a campaign to increase the number of tech jobs in the city.

Jeff Hyman, Idle Games’ CEO and co-founder, said in a release, “We believe that Facebook games will only thrive by delivering the highest quality entertainment experience to users. That’s why we’re taking a new approach to Facebook game design with an emphasis on delivering a truly social experience, while raising the bar for creativity, quality and innovation.”

The company’s first game, Idle Worship, will launch soon. In the game, you are a god vying for the worship of friends, strangers and the indigenous population of Mudlings. The game will allow players to play synchronously, meaning that you’ll be playing together with friends in real time.

For a peek at what they consider quality, watch this trailer:


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