Former Blizzard Employees Land $4.5 Million iFund Investment

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Macworld reports that Booyah, an iPhone-focused startup founded by three former employees of game publisher Blizzard Entertainment, has landed a $4.5 million investment from the iFund program offered by venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB). While details of the new venture are scarce, Booyah's three founders carry impressive credentials from their time at Blizzard.
Lee, the company's CEO and founder, was lead producer for Diablo III by Blizzard Entertainment, the newest edition of the "dungeon crawl" action game still in development. Prior to Blizzard Lee worked at Insomniac Games, where he was project manager and lead programmer for the Ratchet & Clank series. Morrisroe is chief creative officer and founder, and his background also includes time at Blizzard, where he was art director for Diablo III and art lead for World of Warcraft. Christiansen, the company's third founder and chief technology officer, was a senior programmer for Diablo III and also worked at Insomniac Games.
A press release on Booyah's site offers a vague description of the goals for the company:
Booyah is creating a playful life companion that combines the immersive experiences that draw consumers to massively multi-player online games, the interconnectedness of social media, and the power of iPhone and iPod touch.

"Imagine that you could play life by pursuing and sharing your passions," Keith Lee, CEO and co-founder, Booyah, said. "Booyah motivates you and others through a mobile companion, everywhere you go. You become a part of an ever-expanding social experiment, inspiring you to challenge yourself and be better at your life. We are incredibly excited to have Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and the iFund supporting us and guiding us in our vision."
The iFund was announced in March 2008 by KPCB as a $100 million fund to support companies developing applications and services for the iPhone and iPod touch. KPCB announced its first group of iFund investment recipients in September 2008.

Article Link: Former Blizzard Employees Land $4.5 Million iFund Investment
 

ipoppy

macrumors 6502
Oct 12, 2006
423
9
UK
I have seen demo of WoW already on iphone but I am interested what those guys can do more in similar direction. Now I see iphone/ipod becoming soon major gaming platform.:D
 

asphyxiafeeling

macrumors regular
May 31, 2008
199
0
Cali baby!
wow those are impressive credentials...

i wonder why they left blizzard??

that company would be a DREAM come true for anyone interested in game development.

<3 blizz
 

mixel

macrumors 68000
Jan 12, 2006
1,692
892
Leeds, UK
i wonder why they left blizzard??

that company would be a DREAM come true for anyone interested in game development.

<3 blizz
Not really if they wanted to try something new.. When was the last time Blizz did anything that wasn't just another entry in an already established franchise?
 

galahan

macrumors member
Sep 15, 2008
68
6
i wonder why they left blizzard??

that company would be a DREAM come true for anyone interested in game development.

<3 blizz
That would really depend on the role they have. For the most part I'm sure there are a ton a people at blizz with really "diluted" roles. Those people will get very little say in the actual game design and will just be coding small slices of what represents the entire game.

In their new company they get to build something from scratch, they get a lot of responsibility and if it works out they'll make a ton of money. I suspect blizz's salaries for coders are pretty average because they must get applications up the ying yang.
 

Chaszmyr

macrumors 601
Aug 9, 2002
4,267
85
Wow, these are some serious developers... If there's ever a really special game for the iPhone, there's a good chance it could be coming from this company.
 

boss1

macrumors 6502a
Jan 8, 2007
978
36
fyi...

...They're not making a game...

They are making a life companion.



Still, it is interesting to see what they come up with. I would imagine the resulting app is going to be a cross between:

-the connectivity of myspace/facebook
-with the avatar/fantasy/objective orientation of an mmorpg,
-with a touch of the iPhone's gps location services
-and a twist of addictive time consumption based goals to keep you hooked
-and an after taste of pay a monthly fee (let's not forget they came from blizz)
 
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