Seattle’s already robust gaming scene is getting even stronger.
One More Games, a studio started earlier this year by a pair of veterans of the gaming industry who also spent time at Amazon and Chef respectively, has raised $5.67 million, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The startup was founded in early 2019 and has yet to release a game.
The studio is in the earliest “earliest phase of development,” which involves “roughing out game design and building core tech,” One More Game co-founder Patrick Wyatt told GeekWire. The company lists only two employees on LinkedIn — Wyatt and fellow co-founder Jamie Winsor.
Wyatt didn’t say how many employees the startup has, but he noted that the studio will use the cash infusion to grow the development team. However, Wyatt wants to restrict headcount to “just a handful of folks while we continue to refine our core concepts,’ he said.
Wyatt spent the three years before founding the company as a CTO/principal engineer at Amazon. In the 1990s he was a vice president of research and development at Blizzard where he worked on iconic games like Starcraft and the Diablo series. Following his stint at Blizzard, Wyatt co-founded ArenaNet, the Seattle-area gaming studio responsible for the Guild Wars series.
Winsor did two stints at Undead Labs, a Seattle-area studio that Microsoft bought last year. In between, he spent nearly three years as a principal software development engineer at automation technology company Chef.
The co-founders worked together at three different game companies — ArenaNet, En Masse Entertainment and Undead Labs. They knew they worked well together, and they’re both excited by the idea of building games and teams with an eye toward improving the development process.
“When we’re hanging out having fun we almost always end up talking about game development because it’s a passion for both of us,” Wyatt said.
Seattle has grown to become an gaming epicenter in recent years, led by mainstays such as Amazon Studios, Microsoft’s Xbox division, Valve and Nintendo’s North American division. Other big-name game companies, such as Pokemon Go maker Niantic and Epic Games, the company behind Fortnite, have set up shop in the region to take advantage of its wealth of talent.
Wyatt chose Seattle to start ArenaNet nearly two decades ago partly because of the welcoming local game development community. There’s a level of openness in the area and willingness to share technical expertise and best practices for development that helps everyone make stronger games, Wyatt said.
Part of the reason for this atmosphere, Wyatt argues, is that the gaming audience is so big that there’s plenty of room for numerous studios to succeed.
“One of the great things about the game industry is that game developers are not competing in the same way that, say, dog-walking companies are, where there are few dogs that need exercise,” Wyatt said. “There are so many people who love playing games that there’s opportunity for many game developers.”