Veteran-Staffed Startup Raises Capital to Make Mobile Games

There's a new competitor in the free-to-play mobile game-making market: Cloudcade, a startup that's raised $1.55 million in funding to date from China-focused venture capital firm IDG Capital to produce its first game.

Cloudcade has brought on game industry veterans like ex-Ubisoft VP Johan Eile and former Deus Ex: Human Revolution programmer Nicolas Babin to work on a real-time multiplayer tablet game with the intent of eventually releasing it across mobile, web and smart TV platforms worldwide.

It's proving to be a popular target market -- this year we've already seen the public launch of veteran-staffed mobile game startups like Super Evil Megacorp and the NY-based Turbo.

Cloudcade was itself founded last year and its staff is split between San Francisco and its Montreal studio, where cofounders Di Huang and Mathieu Rouleau are respectively based.

"With China now the largest mobile market, for gaming or otherwise, there presents a huge opportunity for an emerging market leader in games development," Cloudcade CEO Di Huang told Gamasutra via email. "It's a delicate balance, finding the right mix of UI, gameplay, content, storyline and art to make sure that the game is suitable for a global release in the future."

Huang's statement is roughly in line with market research reports that China's mobile game market is booming; Blizzard's own cross-platform free-to-play tablet game Hearthstone has done brisk business for NetEase, Blizzard's Chinese partner.

For its inaugural game, Cloudcade is trying to build a free-to-play fantasy shop simulator on a modified version of the Unity engine. Huang pitches it as something roughly along the lines of "The Sims meets FarmVille" in a shop setting, and seeks to build a viable networking system that will permit players to engage in real-time cooperative and, eventually, competitive cross-platform play.

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