Lightheart Entertainment Raises €1.3m; Demiurge Regains Independence

TheGamingEconomy’s Daily Digest brings you the prevalent business stories in gaming. In today’s news: Lightheart Entertainment raises €1.3m (£1.1m); Demiurge regains independence; and Tin Giant sues Atari.

Lightheart Entertainment raises €1.3m (£1.1m)

Lightheart Entertainment has raised seed funding of €1.3m (£1.1m) from Galaxy Interactive's EOS VC fund. The investment will be used by the Helsinki-based studio to expand its debut mid-core title Mr. Autofire beyond its test launch in the United States, as well as developing further titles within the mobile sector. The development house was founded in 2019 following funding from Sisu Game Ventures, which counts Lightheart Entertainment CEO Kalle Kaivola as one of its partners, along with a range of angel investors. The funding marks the second investment made by the Galaxy EOS VC fund in less than a fortnight, with the vehicle having led a USD$1.4m (£1.2m) round in Big Run Studios on 24th March.

Commenting on the funding, Lightheart Entertainment CEO Kalle Kaivola said, "We built the company around minimising the time of learning from the key source - the marketplace. That requires a culture of enabling powerful decision-making within our teams and making sure every employee can bring their skills to bear."

Demiurge regains independence


Demiurge Studios co-founder and chairman Albert Reed and video game investor Geoffrey Hyatt have acquired the studio from parent company Sega, which originally purchased the outfit in 2015. While Demiurge will continue to operate the free-to-play licensed match-three mobile titles it developed under Sega, the US-based studio will purportedly return to its roots as a support studio partnered to AAA developers following the buyout. Current Demiurge General Manager, Bart Simon, has been appointed as CEO.

A statement on the Demiurge website reads, "We can’t be more excited to embark on this new yet familiar adventure as we return to Demiurge’s foundation. We will continue our unrivaled tradition of partnering with world-class game developers and publishers to release fantastic games that players love. Eighteen years of making great games for great gamers… and we’re just getting started!"

At close of trading, Sega Sammy Holdings Inc. (TYO: 6460) share price closed at JP¥1,213 (£9.09), a fall of 4.64% from the previous day.

Tin Giant sues Atari

Atari Logo

Tin Giant, the design consultancy run by system architect Rob Wyatt, is suing Atari for breach of contract and defamation, over allegedly failing to pay for work in designing the Atari VCS console for six months. Under the terms of the lawsuit, Tin Giant is claiming damages in excess of USD$261,720 (£211,058). As previously reported in TheGamingEconomy, the Boulder, Colorado-based consultancy departed from the project in October last year over the dispute.

The Atari VCS console, previously dubbed Ataribox, has been under construction since 2017 and was due to ship in 2019, but has been dogged by a series of delays, including the latest delay in release purportedly as a consequence of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. According to Tin Giant, Atari has claimed that the consultancy was responsible for some of the delay and had failed to complete work under the contracted agreement, which it disputes.

At the time of writing, Atari SA (ATA.PA) share price has fallen by 4.99% from the previous close, standing at €0.275 (£0.242).