By anybody’s standards, Jason Citron is what you’d called accomplished. As the founder of OpenFeint, he created a mobile gaming network arguably more robust than Apple’s proprietary Game Center. Then, he turned around and sold it to mobile-social giant GREE for $104M. Now? He’s looking to make some of the best games ever played on mobile, all with a little help from some friends… and investors.
Today, Citron is formally announcing the closure of a $1.1M round of (seed) funding for his new company Phoenix Guild. The participants? Silicon Valley VCs and angel investors like YouWeb, Accel Partners, General Catalyst Partners, and more. With the cash and a lean team, Phoenix guild is looking to do big things. Nothing less, in fact, than “be the Blizzard of the post-pc world.”
Citing Apple’s massive sales numbers (52 million iPads shipped in the first quarter of 2012, compared to Microsoft’s 67 million Xbox 360s sold since launch in 2005), Citron argues that we’re already on the unavoidable cusp of the inevitable shift from dedicated gaming devices, to a world where mobile phones and tablets serve as our entertainment hub. To that end, he wants Phoenix Guild to dominate the space with the quality he says we’ll all remember from our soon-to-be consoleless past.
“”Post-PC devices are growing faster than any consumer electronics category in history and gaming is the killer app,” said Citron. He continued, taking a jab at the current landscape; “It’s obvious to me that fantastic, engaging games need to be built for these devices but instead everyone’s building these lame F2P sims.”
While nothing is specified, all allusions and digs point towards Phoenix Guild specializing in fully rendered 3D gameplay set in fantasy worlds, perhaps with OpenFeint fueled mutiplayer components?Again, this is all speculation until otherwise confirmed, but with a company name like that, it would be just plain silly not to work that angle.
Back in the world of confirmed facts, however, Citron notes that this early injection of funds will be used to stabilize the business in its outset, and find cofounders who can “contribute significantly to everything: culture, team, design.” He emphasizes that he’s got his eyes out for people who want to be on the ground floor of something big.
How big? Citron predicts Phoenix Guild will soon be making games for a market as big as one billion gamers. For a platform that’s been around for about three years? Not bad.
If you’re looking to learn more about Phoenix Guild, or are interested in applying, Citron encourages you to send a hello to firstname.lastname@example.org