Tonk Tonk Games, a mobile games developer from Austin, Texas, has secured $2 million for its mobile game uFighter. The game enables players to have their own faces be put onto the characters, in cartoon version, providing a unique experience.
A more personalized experience
The funding round was led by Bitkraft Esports Ventures, a German-based startup investor focusing on the esports industry. Modern Times Group, or MTG, also joined in on the investment circle. Both Bitkraft and MTG have announced in the past their commitment to supporting companies in the esports industry.
“We are incredibly excited about our partnership with Bitkraft Esports Ventures and Modern Times Group,” Tonk Tonk Founder Joon Kim said. “Our vision is to give players delightful social experiences via networked play. Through financial backing and strategic partnerships, we will be able to attract top talent to our evolving team and craft an ambitious version of our first accessible mobile fighting game – uFighter.”
To provide a more personalized experience for players and spectators, the company is developing the game in a way where you play as one of the fighters. To accomplish this, a cartoon version of the player’s face will be put on the fighting character using the company’s proprietary facial animation technology. The customized 3D animations generated from uploaded selfies should add additional excitement and social-play integration.
“We are deeply impressed with Tonk Tonk’s culture and their emotionally resonant, proprietary personalized facial animation technology, which make them a clear stand-out in the massive mobile games market,” said Bitkraft Esports Ventures Managing Director Jens Hilgers. “uFighter is offering adrenalizing synchronous multiplayer matches and will ignite new excitement for the Fighting Game genre which we feel still craves for an iconic and innovative IP on mobile.”
Tonk Tonk Games, founded in 2016, has been operating out of the spotlight, silently building its competitive real-time multiplayer fighting game. The team behind the developer consists of 24 game and animated-film veterans with various backgrounds including Blue Sky, Wizards of the Coast, EA, Disney, and Pixar. The new funds should help the company amp up hiring and give resources to continue developing the game.
Mobile games industry booming
The mobile segment of the overall gaming industry has done incredibly well in terms of revenue and popularity in the recent past.
Even though market research firm Newzoo cut their projections for mobile games in 2018 in a recent report, the overall revenue growth forecast still signals strong growth year-over-year.
While the entire gaming market for 2018 was projected to amount to $135 billion, mobile games were expected to come in just shy of the half of the total, amounting to $63 billion. According to Newzoo, the global games market is on track to reach $180 billion by 2021, which would translate into a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10.3 percent between 2017 and 2021. What’s even more exciting is the development of the mobile segment’s share of the overall market. In 2012, the segment represented roughly 18 percent of the overall market, a number that has since reached almost 50%.
Photo Credit: Tonk Tonk Games