Supercell Backer Seeds New Game Studio Gumbug

Mobile gaming veterans have formed new studio Gumbug Ltd., raised funding and will launch their first game “Dustland” later this year.

The seed investors that supported gaming powerhouse Supercell Oy are backing Gumbug Ltd., a new mobile gaming studio headed by veterans from Space Ape Games Ltd. and Mind Candy Ltd., The Wall Street Journal has learned.

At $700,000, the infusion led by London Venture Partners isn’t huge, but it is enough for the London-based team to expand operations and is another sign that Europe’s gaming ecosystem continues to be strong.

Gumbug Chief Executive and founder Simon Hill told The Wall Street Journal that Gumbug’s first game, “Dustland,” will launch before the end of 2015. The free-to-play puzzle game, which he described as a team “experiment in finding our feet,” will be followed with what he said will be a more ambitious project to elevate the and stickiness of game play by creating a highly social community of mobile gamers.

Mr. Hill’s “insight and strategy for Gumbug caught our attention quickly as we realized we had to back him and his team,” said London Venture Partners’ Paul Heydon. “They are building their own tech to be able to predict LTV (lifetime value) by user and territory.”

Gumbug’s launch follows a spate of high-profile exits by European gaming startups, including King Digital Entertainment Ltd., which went public last year with mixed results, and Natural Motion and Mojang, which were acquired for $527 million and $2.5 billion, respectively, in 2014.

Read the full article about Gumbug and why London Venture Partners focuses on Euroepan gaming startups at Dow Jones VentureWire.

Write to Lizette Chapman at Follow her on Twitter at @lizette_chapman