MAY 28, 2015 • Best known as the co-creator of the Heroes of Might & Magic franchise, and more recently co-founding Trion Worlds, Inc., Jon Van Caneghem has launched his latest studio: VC Mobile Ent. The new development operation has already secured $4.5 million in Series A funding led by Tencent Holdings Ltd. and Pacific Sky Investments. The studio was launched in 2014 in stealth mode with work already in progress on its first yet-to-be-named title set for a release later in 2015. CEO Van Caneghem is setting his development sights on high-end mobile content that takes full advantage of the platform. What’s more, VC Mobile will serve as its own publisher.
Impact: New mobile studios are a dime a dozen but VC Mobile caught our interest for several reasons. First, there is the healthy investment already behind the company, which is not typical for mobile game startups. Second, there is matter of who is leading the funding. Tencent, which owns League of Legends developer Riot Games, can open substantial distribution opportunities in Asia for VC Mobile titles. And third is Van Caneghem himself, who got his start launching New World Computing back in 1983.
Including his recent stint working on the Command & Conquer franchise for Electronic Arts, Van Caneghem’s large portfolio of RPG and fantasy game experience fits in nicely with what is popular today on mobile. What’s more, many of the Might & Magic games were playable with just a mouse – a slimmed down interface philosophy easily translatable to touchscreen gaming. As for becoming a mobile publisher, Van Caneghem told Gamasutra that as the best mobile revenue earners are games as a service, studios should take on their own publishing since only they can be close enough to the user base to service them well. DFC Intelligence continues to caution that high discovery costs and a crowded marketplace make it difficult for a new entrant to rise above the competition. Yet the assets VC Mobile brings to the table can provide a tangible boost to its fortunes should the studio produce high quality content. With E3 around the corner, hopefully we’ll get to see more of what VC Mobile is working on.