Kek Entertainment secures $8M to drive cross-platform gaming



Kek Entertainment has raised $8 million in funding to foster cross-platform gaming experiences across mobile devices, consoles and PCs.

This financial infusion will fuel the development of their flagship title, an unannounced vehicle shooter game merging mobile and PC/Console gamers onto a unified platform.

The startup is headed by a team from Pixonics who helped create the War Robots mech fighting game on mobile devices. Now they’re making something brand new in the mecha space.

Korea Investment Partners, a South Korean gaming venture capital fund, led the round. Other investors included Woori Technology Investment Co., Kona Venture Partners, and KEK’s pre-seed investors — The Games Fund and Play Ventures.

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Concept art for Kek Entertainment’s first game.

Michael K. Lee, director at Korea Investment Partners, in a statement that a fair number of players want more immersive gameplay and want to play with their friends who are on other platforms.

“KEK Entertainment’s vision aligns perfectly with the changing landscape of gaming preferences. Our belief in the potential for a well-designed cross-platform game to resonate with diverse gaming communities is unwavering. We’re thrilled to support KEK on this path,” said Lee.

Origins

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Georgy Egorov (left) and Oleg Poroshin of Kek Entertainment.

Georgy Egorov and Oleg Poroshin, veterans from Pixonics, started the new company a couple of years ago. War Robots has generated $750 million in revenues and has been downloaded more than 250 million times since it came out in 2014. The most common request was to get the game on multiple platforms so friends could play together.

“Our idea is to make the ultimate mecha shooter experience,” Egorov said. “If we can avoid all the mistakes before and make it casual enough for mobile players and hardcore alike, we can keep the PC players entertained and bring in the mobile players.”

This time, they envision something like a blend of War Robots and World of Tanks, where the action is slow-paced and players can come up with strategies rather than trust their hand-eye coordination to win games.

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Concept art for Kek Entertainment’s mecha shooter.

“We have experience in the genre and we like mechas,” said Egorov, in an interview with GamesBeat. “We put effort into what we like, into where our expertise is. We want to bring this experience for our core audience and broaden the appeal.”

The founders have a passion for the genre and wanted to create something new, said Egorov. Now they are set to leverage their expertise in multiplayer PvP action to transcend the confines of mobile gaming and create a platform-agnostic intellectual property.

“I am extremely happy that despite the obviously challenging investment climate, we put together the perfect setup for our journey! Now, we have partners in all major regions for our business: the USA, Asia, and Europe. However, the most important thing is that we have confidence in each of them, and from day one, we feel that we share the vision and vibe. After all, business is about people. I believe that this partnership will be a great basis for building not only a successful game but a new famous media franchise,” Egorov said.

The core philosophy of Kek Entertainment centers on bridging the gap between various gaming devices to craft a more connected and inclusive gaming space. Poroshin emphasized the significance of slow-paced shooters in enabling a consistent and fair gaming experience across different platforms, stressing their strategic approach and engaging gameplay.

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The setting for Kek’s first game.

“Why slow-paced shooters? They’re easy to get into, with controls and pace that feel just right whether you’re playing on a high-end PC or tapping on your phone – the experience remains consistent and fair,” said Poroshin, chief product officer. “Slow-paced shooters demand a strategic approach that trumps the quick reflexes often required by their faster-paced counterparts. These games are deep and engaging, and they fit into your life, not the other way around.”

Kek said it had a positive reception from its early adopter community for the art style and early look at the game. Now it is working on launching a soft beta launch for players on mobile devices and on Steam. In some of the gameplay, players have to kill a non-player boss while fighting an opposing team. There will likely be three different factions. The earlier test worked surprisingly well on a track pad.

Previously, the company received a $3 million pre-seed investment from The Games Fund and Play Ventures. It has 35 people now across multiple countries. The headquarters is in Limassol, Cyprus and the development team is in Armenia and elsewhere.

As for starting a new company, Egorov said it’s sometimes hard to implement new ideas in a legacy product. And the art style, Egorov said, “Our audience thinks realistic images are best choice for them. They are serious folks who want real military experience, with sci fi at the same time. We don’t want to be bounded by modern warfare.”

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