Former Funzio executives return at the helm of Wormhole Games
Wormhole Games today came out of stealth and revealed it’s already nearing completion of its first mobile title. The company is co-founded by Jamil Moledina and James Kelm, both previously of Funzio. If that name sounds familiar to you, it should: Funzio was acquired by GREE last year for $210 million.
For Moledina and Kelm, Wormhole represents a return to the indie game world after becoming a part of GREE’s larger company last Spring, where Moledina only stayed for a month before striking out on his own. Moledina tells us Wormhole Games’ was being staffed by October.
Currently, the studio funded via seed money raised from friends and family, and we’re told the company is staffed with a “handful of folks” that includes six full-time employees. Moledina also tells us his studio is planning to do a round of angel funding.
“I love being indie,” Kelm says. Before I was in the game world, I was in the tech world and loved the big places I worked for but it’s tremendous fun getting to call your own shots. Being in this situation means we’re building from scratch so we can take risks with design and how we build things.”
Wormhole games is focused on developing core titles for tablets, much like Funzio was doing before it was acquired, and the first of these games is expected to arrive on iOS in early 2013 with an Android version to follow later on. When asked about possibly developing for Microsoft’s Surface tablets, we’re told the company views the device as having a lot of potential but won’t commit to anything right now.
The specifics of the game aren’t revealed, but Moledina explains what Wormhole won’t be doing. He tells us the company won’t be making games that look like Flash ports of other games on Facebook, nor will they implement the mechanics that many mobile versions of existing games (he’s particularly vehement about not using virtual joysticks. However, Moledina says it will stay true to the company’s philosophy.
“The incumbents of social mobile games were frequently releasing games that were very similar to what got them success in the first place,” he tells us. “For us, we began to sense that a startup is a structure that enables people to take the kind of risks necessary to make a great kind of game. At the same time, we’re not trying to reinvent the wheel. But we’ve seen there are ways to take fun elements from traditional games things and adapt them over into what we learned and operated into the social games industries. For us, it’s all about creating fun, gorgeous and badass multiplayer games.”