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Free-to-play newcomer Next Games reaps $6 million in funding

Helsinki-based free-to-play studio Next Games, founded by former Rovio, Disney and Supercell developers, has raised $6 million in its first round of public funding.
Helsinki-based free-to-play studio Next Games announced today that it has raised $6 million from investors during a recent Series A round of fundraising. This is the first time the company, founded in 2013 by former members of Rovio, Disney, and Supercell, has solicited funds from external sources -- to date it has been financed by private investors. The top investors were IDG Ventures, Lowercase Capital and the company’s original investor, Jari Ovaskainen, who was also an early investor in Supercell. AMC Networks Ventures LLC, Asia-based IDG Capital and newly-established York Ventures LLC also helped finance Next Games in addition to over a dozen individuals, including former Microsoft CMO Mich Mathews. Next Games is currently working on two projects, only one of which has been announced: a free-to-play mobile game based on AMC's The Walking Dead series that is expected to launch alongside the show's fifth season. This show of financial support for a Helsinki-based mobile startup further cements Finland's reputation as a hotspot for mobile development -- the area already hosts a handful of well-funded free-to-play and mobile developers, including Grand Cru, Rovio and Supercell. Even GungHo, creator of the mega-popular Puzzle and Dragons, is considering opening an office in the region.

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