21st June 2012:
NaturalMotion Games is announcing its Series B funding from Benchmark Capital, totaling $11 million. The rapidly-growing mobile social games developer and publisher will use the funds to open its U.S. headquarters in San Francisco, scale the company, and further invest in its revolutionary mobile technology.
NaturalMotion made its mobile social gaming debut with its chart-topping game, My Horse, using a disruptive strategy: pairing console production values with mobile usage patterns. The company aims to create games that can be played in short bursts, but at the same time provide beautiful and rich experiences with long-term progression. The Oxford-based company’s method has garnered worldwide attention with its first six games reaching the top 10 of the Apple App Store globally.
“We believe that users want rich, believable experiences on their mobile phones and tablets,” said Torsten Reil, CEO of NaturalMotion. “Just like animated movies have moved from Snow White to Toy Story, mobile games are moving from 2D farming games to high-quality 3D experiences. These games connect with users on a deeper level. We are excited to partner with Mitch and the Benchmark team to build the leading publisher in this space.”
NaturalMotion is also opening a new Bay Area office – setting up shop in one of San Francisco’s fastest-growing tech hotbeds, SoMa, among giants like Zynga, GREE and DeNA. The company plans to fill the space with a substantial number of new hires, primarily engineers, artists and product managers.
“Tablets and mobile devices are on a collision course with traditional game consoles, not just for share of customers’ day, but also in terms of the quality of the interactive experience,” said Mitch Lasky, General Partner at Benchmark Capital. “With remarkable games and digital toys built on industry-leading 3D animation platforms, NaturalMotion is well-positioned to be a leader in this space.”
Lasky will be joining NaturalMotion’s board, alongside previous Series A investor, London-based Balderton Capital.
NaturalMotion creates the majority of its mobile titles using its proprietary simulation technology, first debuted in Rockstar Games’ Grand Theft Auto IV.