A group of game developers have left jobs at companies like Remedy, EA and Microsoft to launch Futurefly, a Finnish startup that aims to build mobile apps with built-in gameplay mechanics.
The Helsinki-based company, which is currently nine people strong and includes folks with credits on projects like Death Rally and Habbo Hotel, describes its inaugural project as a "game-changing messenger" app that's "like WhatsApp, but fun."
The pitch is unsurprising in light of the fact that mobile messenger apps like LINE, WeChat and Kakao Talk have evolved to become vibrant game distribution platforms in their own right; now Futurefly has financial backing from both angel investors and Tekes (the Finnish government funding agency established to back innovative ventures) to build its games-first competitor.
"We are on a mission to disrupt the consumer app space with games on the top of our minds," Futurefly chief product officer Oskari Hakkinen recently told Develop. "We are designing consumer apps with playable mechanics as part of the primary input mechanism."
If Hakkinen's name sounds familiar, it's because prior to joining Futurefly he served as Remedy's head of franchise development on titles like Alan Wake.