Seattle gaming veteran Derrick Morton has been operating his startup company, FlowPlay, at break even or profitable for the past two years as revenues grew by a healthy 40 percent. But the former general manager of mobile games at RealNetworks has bigger plans in store. And he just scored $500,000 in cash to add a little more life to his virtual world creations.
“We’ve been growing the team at about the same rate in order to get new products to market and address new platforms such as mobile and social media,” said Morton, who now employs 50 people between Seattle and Shanghai. “We decided to do a small internal round to take on a couple of larger projects that we could complete under our own steam but wanted to get to market faster.”
FlowPlay has a lot in the hopper this year, including a new set of casino-style games called Vegas World, which Morton described as a “virtual world set in a Las Vegas atmosphere.” (Maybe like the real-world casinos, once you get inside Vegas World will be hard to find you way out). That game is set to launch this summer.
Also in the works is a new virtual world designed around a popular book series for kids between the ages of 8 to 12 that has sold over 15 million copies. Morton isn’t sharing too many details at this point about that project, but hopes to have something to share later this year. The company is also working on a mobile version of ourWorld — the company’s franchise game — as well as variations for Facebook.
All of the activity follows the recent launch of downWorld, a new “puzzle fighting game” that’s designed for teenage boys. Some of the new cash will be used to market that title.
“2012 should be a breakout year for us as we move from one product in the market to six: ourWorld, downWorld, Vegas World, Major Kid’s IP, ourWorld Mobile, and our Facebook product,” Morton tells GeekWire.
FlowPlay has raised roughly $7 million to date, with backers including former Classmates.com CEO and current Livemocha CEO Michael Schutzler; Intel Capital; and Twitter CEO Dick Costolo. It employs 25 people in Seattle and 15 in Shanghai, with plans to expand the Shanghai team to over 25 in the coming months.
Previously on GeekWire: FlowPlay brings virtual goods, avatars to Yahoo Messenger