Brain Jar Games raises $6.7M for debut title Dead as Disco



Brain Jar Games announced today that is has raised $6.7 million in its seed round of funding. The new studio plans to put the funds towards the development of its debut title, Dead As Disco. Brain Jar describes the game as a combination of the action of John Wick and the musical synchronicity of Baby Driver. The game is planned for launch in 2025.

Transcend Fund and Menlo Ventures co-led the round, with participation from 1UP Ventures. They also received funds from various advisors and angels, including former Harmonix COO Chris Rigopulos, Oculus co-founder Nate Mitchell, Pragma CEO Eden Chen, Xsolla president David Stelzer, influencers CohhCarnage and Sacriel and others.

Will Cook, Brain Jar’s CEO and co-founder, told GamesBeat in an interview that the game’s concept is focused on delivering one particular experience. “In a world where so many studios want to promise the world and the scopes are always creeping, it was very refreshing for our investors to get something that was so scoped but had a vision for how it would succeed in the long-term.”

Amy Wu, Menlo Ventures partner, said in a statement, “It takes a lot for a new game entrant to capture players’ attention, and Will Cook with Brain Jar Games paints such a sharp vision for the game that I wanted to play it from the first time I heard the pitch. Can’t wait for this to launch.”

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Brain Jar and the path to funding

Cook said the game’s broad appeal, in spite of its focused scope, is one of the reasons it’s attracted a wide variety of investors. “One of the things that Transcend appreciated about it was that we spoke about our audience and success, but we were a premium game — a brand, an IP, a vibe. We weren’t promising the world, or a platform. We were promising a method by which we could focus and build.”

Brett Krause, Transcend’s general partner, said of Brain Jar’s pitch, “Brain Jar is creating something really special, an iconic spectacle that will stand out from the crowd. They’re combining music, gameplay and tech to easily share moments with virality by design as a key to find and scale audience. Will’s ambitious, global vision goes beyond just making a fun game. It is to build a company that is a platform for musicians and creators alike, and he has assembled the top-talent necessary to build fast and deliver.”

Speaking with GamesBeat about the state of the industry, Cook said, “These times of crisis — there will be a lot of new studios springing up that try to do it in a better way. And if that’s the revolution the games industry needs to be sustainable, then we want to be part of it. We feel a big responsibility to be a studio that contributes to what people want out of the industry. We want to be the studio you dream of joining when you’re just starting out.”

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