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Lila Games raises $2.8 million for mobile shooter

Lila Games has raised $2.8 million to build a game studio and craft a new subgenre of mobile shooter games. It’s another example of the boom in game investing led by game-focused venture capital firms.

The company is creating a free-to-play mobile game currently dubbed Project B.L.A.C.K. Lila Games is different in part because its home base will be in Bangalore, India, while most of its founders are in the U.S.

Games are expected to hit $174.9 billion in revenue in 2020, and 49% of the revenues, or $86.3 billion, will be from mobile games, according to market researcher Newzoo. That growth, as well as the resilience of games during the pandemic, has fueled an investment and acquisition boom. Lila Games is the latest to benefit from this.

The founders include Joseph Kim, a former chief product officer at Sega and studio lead at FunPlus. He led the overall development of the hit 4X title King of Avalon. Another founder is Paul Leydon, a former lead game designer at FunPlus and Machine Zone. He worked on titles such as Game of War: Fire Age, and he is the brother of Machine Zone founder Gabe Leydon.

“We’re trying to create a very ambitious and different kind of shooter game,” said Kim, in an interview with GamesBeat. “If you look at the current market today 80% of the market on mobile is battle royale or Team Deathmatch.”

The third founder is Avinash Pandey, who has led development on over 50 mobile apps and games, including the real-time multiplayer shooter Mask Gun that generated over 40 million organic installs. Pandey is based in India and will help establish the studio there.

Leydon and Kim worked on titles in the 4X strategy category, a type of game that involves building an empire