Kepler Interactive, a game publisher co-owned and run by developers, has announced that it has secured $120M (approx €103M) in a financing round as part of its launch. According to Reuters, the investment was made by Chinese game developer NetEase.
Based out of Hangzhou, China, NetEase is an Internet technology company dedicated to providing premium online services. The company develops and operates some of the most popular PC-client and mobile games.
The company has previously invested in Second Dinner, an independent gaming studio, and Theorycraft Games, a new game development studio – both created by former employees of famous game developers like Bungie, Blizzard, and Riot Games.
Seven founding members
At present, Kepler has seven studios as founding members: A44, Alpha Channel, Awaceb, Ebb Software, Shapefarm, Sloclap, and Timberline. The executive team is led by Alexis Garavaryan, founder of the independent video game fund Kowloon Nights.
“When we founded Kowloon Nights, our goal was to support the next generation of independent developers,” said Alexis Garavaryan, CEO of Kepler Interactive. “The evolution of that work is now Kepler, which takes the developer‑first approach a major leap forward in terms of scale and empowerment.”
What’s so unique about Kepler Interactive?
Kepler Interactive models offer game studio founders to become co-owners, share resources, and financial gains while being in charge of their projects.
“Kepler Interactive unifies the strength of multiple independent studios with a world-class operation, finance, and publishing arm, providing a range of services from marketing to commercial partnerships, and shared technology, all designed to support the studios’ visions,” says the company.
With operational hubs in London and Singapore, the Kepler group now employs around 250 people spanning ten countries, working exclusively on original IP.
“Kepler provides an environment where the teams feel safe, supported, and free to create amazing gaming experiences ‑ and that’s the best way to make a hit game,” said Pierre de Margerie, CEO of Sloclap.
The company’s studios are currently focused on PC and console games, but the company is also planning to launch a studio with mobile and animation expertise.
The 2022 slate includes hotly anticipated titles such as Sloclap’s Sifu, Ebb Software’s Scorn, Awaceb’s Tchia, Alpha Channel’s Tankhead, and an unannounced title by A44. The company is also planning to welcome more partner studios and expand into cross‑platform content production, including film and other media.
“It’s an incredibly exciting time for developers right now,” adds Lindsey Rostal, CEO of Timberline. “Not only are we building some of the most meaningful stories and IP in the world, but we also have united to push our own creative boundaries while having the stability we need. We have an exceptional group of founding studios, and we can’t wait to welcome more studios that share our values and vision.”