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MZ and Rovio vets launch Original Games | Pocket Gamer.biz

Estonian startup Original Games has raised $6 million in seed funding for its debut game Merge Inn.

The seed round was led by Play Ventures.

Other participants included top gaming entrepreneurs

Former Machine Zone leads Arseny Lebedev and Alexander Krylov, and former Rovio CMO Ville Heijari and VP Jarkko Rajamäki, co-founded the company.

They are joined by veteran developers with experience from both EA and Wooga.

Original Games is currently bringing its first casual puzzle game to release globally. It is hiring to expand its development team.

Piecing the puzzle together

As the studio grows, Original Games aims to create an innovative, inspiring content for a global audience, meanwhile creating an environment where skills and lives are elevated for employees.

“The casual puzzle category continues to represent a huge portion of mobile gaming, and we believe we can offer players new modes of engagement, both via innovative gameplay mechanics and intuitive social interaction,” said CEO Arseny Lebedev.

We believe we can offer players new modes of engagement, both via innovative gameplay mechanics and intuitive social interaction.

“Merge is the new Match-3, and there are lots of opportunities there for the taking in this category. Our first merge title is already showing tremendous traction, and we’re excited to bring it to a global audience.”

The company seeks to focus on the key pillars of frictionless, relaxing gameplay and high audiovisual production values with engaging social and community elements.

“Helsinki has long been recognised as a hotbed of mobile game development,” Lebedev added.

“Original Games offers gaming talents opportunities to benefit from the flexibility of remote work and a workplace community with highly experienced people and continuous learning.”

“Original Games impressed us with their depth and range of experience, from casual to midcore. This studio has the holy trinity of experience, market intelligence and product vision, and we’re excited to back them as the OGs of next-gen casual puzzle games,” commented Play Ventures founding partner Henric Suuronen.

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