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Red Rover raises $5M for a multiplayer survival game


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Red Rover, a new game studio with offices in Norway and England, has raised $5 million for its multiplayer survival game.

The company’s goal is to create truly captivating multiplayer experiences and shake up the survival genre, said Red Rover Interactive CEO Fred Richardson, in an interview with GamesBeat.

“It’s nice to be public and open,” he said.

The new firm started a year ago and it has offices in Oslo, Norway, and Newcastle, England. It was started by games industry veterans who collectively worked on series such as Conan Exiles, Dune Awakening, DayZ, Avakin Life, Crysis 2, Ryse and Ghost Recon.

Fred Richardson is CEO of Red Rover.

Red Rover wants to work with successful multiplayer titles to catapult the survival genre to new frontiers, placing player agency and drama front and center. Long term, the studio wants to “create the most novel and engaging multiplayer experiences on the market.”

“We believe multiplayer interactions are fundamentally more powerful than PVE ones,” said Richardson.
“This is something most persistent online games don’t leverage, often being built as single-player experiences that support many players. We plan to lean into this, starting with the survival genre which we are intimately familiar with, taking it in a genuinely new direction.”

Richardson previously worked at Funcom for about 13 years, winding up in the CTO role. He also worked at Ubisoft Reflections. Others include COO Joe Stevens (Lockwood Publishing, Ubisoft Reflections), design director Marek Zilavy (Bohemia Interactive, Funcom), technical director Daniel Ratzer (Funcom) and art director Sebastian Zimmermann (Nordeus, Jagex, Crytek).

Joe Stevens is COO of Red Rover.

Red Rover Interactive is focused on cultivating mid-sized, close-knit, co-located teams. This begins with the foundational team of 17 members, most of whom have collaborated previously, leveraging their significant shared experience.

The company is working on an original intellectual property. Richardson said the investors were aligned with the studio’s vision.

“They had belief in us from very early on,” Richardson said. “They thought we had a really good chance of succeeding.”

The company plans to do playtests within months to get feedback on its ideas early in development.

“One of the motivations was to move away from the triple-A model with hundreds of people distributed,” Richardson said.

From a creative standpoint, the studio aspires to produce titles designed for infinite engagement, perfectly suited to the age of content creation.

The studio has already secured significant seed investment from Behold Ventures and The Games Fund, as well as other participating investors such as Lifelike Capital, GEM capital, Acequia Capital and a suite of angel investors. The company is hiring.

“We started the company on this very strong belief in the power of multiplayer and the current state of online games,” Richardson said. “Over the years, there was a massive gap in the market. We fundamentally believe the survival space is poised for breakout growth. There is a very large addressable audience, but there are no dominating titles as of today.”

Richardson looks to the past of games like League of Legends and Fortnite. He believes the PvP multiplayer space with deep social interactions is poised for a similar breakout.

“We started noodling on the ideas around how we could merge the best of session-based multiplayer games with the persistent online space or specifically the survival space,” Richardson said.

He’s thinking about games like DayZ, Conan Exiles, and other games.

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