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September 22, 2020
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Press Releases
  ODYSSEY INTERACTIVE – WE ARE MAKING GAMES
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08/19/2020
 


[This unedited press release is made available courtesy of Gamasutra and its partnership with notable game PR-related resource GamesPress.]

Waterloo, Ontario - August 19, 2020 -- It’s finally the day! It feels like forever that we’ve been waiting to say this: we’re super, super, pumped to finally announce our new Canadian video game studio - Odyssey Interactive. 

We’re also stoked to announce that we have secured backing from an amazing group of investors including, Andreessen Horowitz, Golden Ventures, A16z Cultural Leadership Fund, and from several angel investors including Eros Resmini (Discord CMO), Kevin Lin (Twitch Cofounder), Steve Chen (YouTube Cofounder), and Paul Della Bitta (Former Blizzard VP).

Now, successful fundraising can only be a small celebration since the vast majority of the hard work lies ahead, but the experience they all have building and scaling products, companies, and cultures is something that will prove invaluable to us over the years. We clearly stand among giants, and are humbled that they wanted to take this first step with us. ddsdWe intend to use this $6m USD seed round to get the studio off the ground, hire a team of rockstars, and take a few stabs at making some hopefully pretty awesome games. 

So...how did we go from working at companies like Riot Games and Netflix to forming Odyssey Interactive…well, it was a journey, and it started many years ago.

Since we were young, we’ve always known that games were more than just a distraction from things that “actually mattered”. Whether it was yelling “BE RIGHT THERE! I CAN’T SAVE!” as we were getting called for dinner, playing late into the night with friends as we chased seemingly impossible wins in League, or raiding with the same WoW guild year after year for over a decade, games have always played a meaningful part of our lives. They gave us some of our most incredible memories, formed some of our most lasting friendships, and helped us get through some of our toughest times.

Whether it was tuning into a stream to watch our favorite players push the boundaries of what we thought was possible, bantering alongside thousands of other players on our favorite gaming subreddits, or being overwhelmed with passion as we stood in stadiums to watch our favorite teams duke it out, games were emotional experiences that were best shared with others. That’s why we want to make games for the generation of gamers coming after us - because we believe that they’ll always be gaming’s greatest - they’ll be the most connected, diverse, and relentlessly driven individuals the world has ever seen. 

When we started talking about the types of experiences we wanted to make for them, the direction was super clear. Throughout our own gaming careers, we’ve all gravitated towards games with a competitive angle, games that gave us goals to shoot for, and games that we could play again, and again, and again. We’re talking about games like Age of Empires, Starcraft, CS:GO, WoW, Dota, and of course - League of Legends. While these games span across genres and decades, they all have something important in common - they created communities that helped us feel like we were part of something bigger than just a game. With the next generation having grown up with phones being their primary gaming platform - we believe they deserve the same experiences that we had, and should have games purpose built for them that can become a core part of their lives. To that end, our mantra:

Games you live.

We believe making games capable of becoming a core part of players' lives comes with an amazing opportunity to not just build deep relationships between players, but also to help them build a better appreciation of everyone that plays the game they do. Competitive games often come with the stigma of having toxic communities, but we believe that by being very intentional with core design decisions from aesthetics to game features, we can create experiences that invite players from all walks of life in, and not intentionally exclude them in the pursuit of top tier competitive play. This means things like not necessarily building games that require voice chat, or even text chat to be played effectively, and choosing thematics that resonate with a broader audience than most typical competitive titles. To ensure we meet this goal - we’re going to strive to build a diverse team that reflects the audience of the next generation, and not just developers that look like and think like us - because then we’re destined to fall short of our goal.

As a team we’ve had the privilege of working on some of the largest PvP titles in the world - League of Legends and Teamfight Tactics - and we’re anxious, excited, and even a little bit terrified, to try and create a spark of the magic we felt working on and playing those games. Ultimately It all starts with the community, and we can’t wait to be able to start talking with players from around the world in the next few months as we strive to build some of the best games for them, with them. 

If any of this sounds like something you’re interested in being a part of, we’d love to hear from you! We’re always going to be on the lookout for amazing individuals who want to join the team as we venture on the road ahead. We’re looking for people who are bought into our vision, enjoy the thought of building something from scratch, and aren’t afraid of the work it’ll take to compete against some of the titans of the industry. It won’t be easy, but we’re excited to rise to the challenge to try to make a difference in the gaming world and see what we can accomplish together as a team.

If you’re looking for the next big step in your career, are looking to take a few risks, Please check out our hiring page here! 

Adventure awaits!

Richard Henkel, Dax Andrus, David Capurro, and Eric Lawless

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For press requests, please contact Jim Redner at [email protected]