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Independent game studio Hammer & Chisel has raised an $8.2 million Series A to help launch Fates Forever, a multiplayer tablet game inspired by the popular free-to-play PC game League of Legends. Benchmark’s Mitch Lasky, who was the first investor in LoL developer Riot Games, led the round. Hammer & Chisel CEO Jason Citron founded social-mobile games platform OpenFeint, which was acquired by Gree in 2011 for $104 million and shut down in 2012. Fates Forever is slated to launch in early 2014.
Scopely, the Los Angeles-based social gaming developer network, announced on Thursday the company’s first five independent developer studio partners: Double Fine, Big Cave Games, Highline Games, Rocket Jump Games and ZupCat Games. Led by CEO and co-founder Walter Driver, Scopely aims to better cultivate, develop and distribute releases from select developers to give them a better chance against the major studios like Zynga, Gree and others.
News ByteChartboost, which has developed technology that enables developers to promote each other’s games inside of their apps, has raised $19 million in capital. Sequoia Capital led the round, and existing investors TransLink Capital and SK Telecom Ventures, also participated. The San Francisco company said its platform is now being used by more than 12,000 games from companies like Crowdstar, Gameloft, Kabam, Gree, TinyCo and more.
News ByteExecution Labs, a new incubator focused on the development of mobile games, has launched in Montreal. Participating companies will get funding, shared work space and access to the founders, mentors and marketing partners like GameStop, in return for a revenue share and equity stake. The co-founders are Jason Della Rocca, former director of the International Game Developers Association; Alexandre Pelletier-Normand, former head of deployment at Gameloft; and Keith Katz, former VP Monetization at OpenFeint (now Gree). The incubator has raised more than $1 million from investors, including BDC Venture Capital, Real Ventures and White Star Capital.
News ByteApp Ant Studios, known for its game Dino Life on Google Play. App Ant Studios’ current team will join Gree’s San Francisco office, including its four founders, who will take leadership roles in game development and engineering. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The Japan-based company has made a couple other high-profile acquisitions to help it enter the U.S.