London Venture Partners, founded by veteran game industry executives including Phil Harrison, Paul Heydon, David Gardner and David Lau-Kee, has made RPG Gunshine.net
its first investment.
is an isometric 3D browser-based game made for Flash, and went into beta just today, according to a report on ArcticStartup.com
The game is developed by the young Finnish studio Supercell -- a 14-person startup led by creative director and co-founder Mikko Kodisoja, who also co-founded Digital Chocolate-owned Sumea.
will use a free-to-play business model, in which players can purchase virtual items to enhance their customizable characters. While not a Facebook game, it lets players invite friends through social networks like Facebook and Twitter.
Supercell's management includes former Digital Chocolate executives Ilkka Paananen as CEO and Janne Snellman as COO and CFO. The studio's content director Jarno Wallgren comes from Remedy Entertainment, where he was art director on the Xbox 360 game Alan Wake
Paananen said "the game is far from being finished, but we decided to launch it anyway at a relatively early stage to get feedback from the market." His studio did not reveal the amount of the investment, although reports say the funding is significant.
London Venture Partners' members have high-profile game industry backgrounds. Harrison was formerly head of Sony Computer Entertainment's Worldwide Studios and later president of Atari; Gardner is formerly a high-level executive with Electronic Arts and ex-Atari CEO; Lau-Kee was formerly CEO of Burnout
developer Criterion and a VP of EA; and Paul Heydon is an advisor and investor in the video game sector.
Harrison said in a Wednesday Twitter entry
, "Great start-up Supercell just went beta today with their new game Gunshine. Wishing them every success."