London-based gaming startup Landmark raises $4.6m in seed funding for a new take on social gameplay
In this time of social and global division, London, England-based mobile gaming startup Landmark Games believes adventures can bring us closer together and great social experiences through its social gameplay playable only on smartphones. Landmark was launched just a year ago by the same team behind Big Pixel, a gaming studio WarnerMedia acquired in 2018.
Today, Landmark announced it has raised $4.6 million in seed funding to further develop its first title Sea of Souls, an epic adventure for friends to experience together. The round was co-led by Project A Ventures and InReach Ventures, with participation from existing investors Moonfire Ventures, Concept Ventures, and UK game angels including Nick-Button Brown and Aream co-founder, Kartik Prabhakara.
Landmark will also use the new cash infusion to expand the studio to 20 people to develop hit free-to-play titles in this emerging co-op genre.
Landmark is aiming to take advantage of the growing demand from players who crave exhilarating adventures to share and enjoy with their friends. In a landscape oversaturated with games that pit players against each other, this emerging genre seeks to do the opposite.
The founding team will build a studio from the ground up to lead the way in cooperative gameplay, bringing friends closer together to defeat the game instead of each other. The studio has been tracking growing interest in the cooperative genre with the likes of Diablo Immortal, Supercell’s upcoming Clash Heroes, and Genshin Impact proving the increasing demand for high-quality cooperative experiences.
Landmark was founded in 2021 by CEO Dave Burpitt, Technical Director Jonathan Chisholm, and Creative Director James Older. The founding team’s experience includes previous co-founder and leadership roles at Big Pixel, which WarnerMedia acquired in 2018 after the success of Rick and Morty: Pocket Mortys which reached #1 on the US AppStore purely via organic growth. Additional organic hits from the Landmark team include Ubisoft’s Hungry Shark World and Jagex’s RuneScape.
“We want to fundamentally change the experience by dismantling the negative expectations of being out-skilled or pummeled by your friends in exchange for joining what should be a fun gaming session.“ explains CEO Dave Burpitt.
“There are billions of potential players who love the idea of fast-paced action in a highly social experience that are put off by the ultra-competitive and often anti-social environment. It takes a different approach to build a studio dedicated to this huge audience and we are ahead of the curve here at Landmark.”
The studio’s first title Sea of Souls will deliver on Landmark’s promise to offer the best games to play with friends, with a focus on gameplay that requires real teamwork to beat the AI enemies and challenges set by the game.
“We are designing our games from the ground up to be the best place to play with your friends. Players seek quality experiences for regular social gaming sessions, such as strategizing for raids in Destiny, or sailing together in Sea of Thieves. But the experiences currently on offer have high entry barriers, whether limited to specific platforms or complex first-person controls. We promise hand-crafted, highly accessible adventures for everyone to enjoy,” Creative Director James Older said.
“We were looking for a hybrid genre mobile game for quite a while before coming across Dave, James, and Jon at Landmark Games. After the first playtest of Sea of Souls we got really excited about the core game loop as it was a combination of bite-sized missions that you can play on a bus ride, collect weapons, items, etc. and then use those items on longer group raids in the evenings with your friends. We haven’t seen many unique combinations of that in mobile gaming and think it could be the next genre winner, especially for the next billion mobile-first players. ”Jack Wang, Principal, Project A Ventures.