It has been a good year so far for SkyVu, makers of Battle Bears, a comic-violent cult mobile game. After being chosen among the top 50 developers of the year and winning Technology Innovator of 2012 award, the game development firm led by Ben Vu has gained funding from a group of investors including Lightbank, aimed at further expansion.
The Nebraska-based game developer has already become number one cult mobile game in China and 40 other countries and number 2 in US AppStore slots. It was also selected top Games of the Year at TouchArcade and iLounge.
Ben Vu is a feature animator who worked in Coraline (2009), the Oscar-nominated stop-motion 3D children's film based on Neil Gaiman's 2002 novel of the same name.
SkyVu 's 3D shooter Battle Bears franchise, a kind of comic 'Call of Duty', was among the top 50 developers chosen by Pocketgamers. It was given the recognition for “adding new games, themes and modes, most notably its real-time four-on-four multiplayer Royale game."
Skyvu’s games, which have both free-to-play and paid sections, have amassed 18-million downloads.
"With a core fan base, and merchandising such as comic and plushes, not to mention a push into animated content and social games, it's a great demonstration of the power of mobile to kickstart a media property, even a niche one," Pocketgamer says in a write-up about Skyvu.
The new investment for an undisclosed sum is led by Lightbank, along with Nextview Ventures, Great Oaks Venture Capital, Michael Chang and Nebraska Angels. This is the first time Lightbank is investing in mobile gaming.
The characters in the five games of SkyVu have already branched into other merchandise including comics, toys and T-shirts, leading the company to be profitable.
Skyvu is one of the recipients of the recent 2012 Technology Celebration Awards organized by Omaha-based AIM Institute. The award is given to companies, individuals, educators and students for outstanding contributions to information technology.
Vu was chosen the Technology Innovator of the Year.
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