Swedish startup NAG Studios has raised around €850K in pre-seed funding, in a round led by games sector titan LVP, with participation from Antler. LVP partner Are Mack Growen also joins the board as part of the investment.
Founded this year by games industry veteran Peter Stahl (ex-DICE and Resolution Games) and esports expert Johan Skott (ex-Tobii, Survivors Esports, Co-Op.gg), NAG is dedicated to creating the next generation of competitive experiences for gamers. Overall, the startup aims to integrate top streamers and pro players to build an ambitious game that is made for players, streamers and viewing audiences alike.
Peter Stahl, CEO and co-founder, NAG Studios, commented on their objectives: “This opportunity, to merge 40+ years of AAA game making experience with a deep expertise and network of competitive gaming professionals, is incredibly unique and strong. We aim to build competitive games with a novel format, like a digital super bowl that is as exciting to watch as it is to play.”
“Today’s gamers aren’t just playing anymore. They are also watching. Streamers are the new superstars, but games are still only built to be played. Together with streaming and gaming professionals integrated into the studio, the game is to be truly made for the new gaming culture. As leaders in 30+ AAA game productions during the last 20 years, including franchises of Battlefield, Medal of Honor, Mirror’s Edge, Star Wars Battlefront, Minecraft and more, we have seen over and over how one misses the opportunity to properly integrate the community into early development and how gamers have gone from being only players to also become both viewers and streamers.”
Online gaming has become a rapidly growing culture of competition, streaming and broadcasting and yet games are still made to only meet the needs of the player. With their first game, NAG will integrate community professionals (pro-players, teams, broadcasters and streamers) from day one making a product truly meant for the new gaming culture. Eight-time Counter Strike world champion and founder of the team Ninjas In Pyjamas, Emil “HeatoN” Christensen says: “What these guys are building, I want to play now. To be integrated as part of the advisory group inside the dev team from the beginning is unheard of, and [I have] goosebumps all over.”
“Competitive multiplayer games are the backbone of the modern, online gaming industry, and have pushed games into mainstream culture as the dominant media form,” said Are Mack Growen, general partner of LVP. “Peter and Johan bring complementary backgrounds and unique insights – each having intimate knowledge of competitive games, their development and community – to provide the next generation of competitive, gaming entertainment. Their total entertainment concept and community approach sets them apart from anything we’ve seen in the space.”
With this investment NAG Studios intends to selectively add the right minded and experienced game makers into their ambitious team. The vision is twofold; to alter the course of competitive gaming and esports, both as a game and as a show, and build a role model studio in both development culture and brand.