We don't usually cover much investment news around here as typically it's hard to come up with things that are more boring than board room financial dealings, but this news hits all my feel good buttons which is just what the doctor ordered on a Monday afternoon. Backing things up a bit, earlier this year it was revealed that some pretty great ex-Halfbrick guys left the company and started their own three man indie studio named Prettygreat.


We were justifiably pretty excited about all this, as when you've got a small group of super talented dudes and you basically put them in a room and say, "OK, make awesome stuff," it usually results in some pretty great games. At some point, however, the realist in you comes out and you start wondering how long the guys at Prettygreat can afford to experiment and iterate on cool game concepts before needing one of their games to hit big to keep the lights on.

Well, news just came out from the land down under that Crossy Road [Free] developer Hipster Whale has provided Prettygreat with AUD $500,000 worth of seed money. This also brings Hipster Whale's Matt Hall and Andy Sum on as advisors, and the two companies will be helping each other out in whatever way makes sense to produce rad games.

This hits my personal feel good buttons for a number of reasons- First off, it's totally awesome to see Hipster Whale do more with the success of Crossy Road than buy a fleet of Teslas. You hear a lot of mobile success stories, particularly with how unpredictable the App Store is... But they usually end in "Oh, hey, that guy just bought a really huge house, that's cool," and almost never in "Oh, hey, they're giving back to the community in a huge way in directly helping other indie developers."


Additionally, this cash just provided Prettygreat with a long enough runway that they've got a ton of time to release all sorts of different games before needing one to hit big. As a studio of three, half a million smackers could have them potentially making games for years. Knowing what I know about the company culture of both Hipster Whale and Prettygreat, it also seems reasonable to assume that the terms of this investment isn't even in the same universe of how gross a lot of investment deals can be with massive equity shares and similar.

So, yeah, if you weren't excited about Prettygreat before, riding on the back of Hipster Whale almost completely guarantees we're going to see some really great stuff come out of Australia. It doesn't sound like we're going to have to wait too long to see Prettygreat's first game either, so stay tuned for that.

  • Anotherkellydown

    Great news. Thanks for sharing!

  • Gurney Halleck

    Great story! Looking forward to see what they do with this head start!

    • xelasnewo

      I like your name 🙂

  • HelperMonkey

    But what's this new studio called?

  • http://nimblebit.com David Marsh

    That's pretty great!

  • Kosikutioner

    I'm not sure I would say they have a TON of time? A year and a half? Many estimates for the cost of a professional employee, including licenses, technology, insurance, rent etc are around $10K a month.

    It's good news but I think money doesn't go as far as so many assume. It's why a $1M kickstarter fails and it seems impossible to laymen. That's not very much money in games dev. These aren't 18 year olds out of a garage. They're professionals maybe even with families.

    • http://toucharcade.com Eli Hodapp

      1.5 years in App Store time is an absolute eternity.

      • Kosikutioner

        You must build a boat has been almost that long since announcement let alone time worked prior. Monument valley took 55 weeks and $852K for 8 people (below $10K a month, closer to $9K) to make. But that means it'd take this team, assuming all is equal other than team size, 2.8 years.

        I'm glad they have it. It's better than their own bank accounts. I hope it goes well, but I wouldn't be surprised if it's still a tight budget and schedule.

      • http://toucharcade.com Eli Hodapp

        It all depends on the scope of the games they're making. Taking $500k and setting out to make one game when you could take that money and release a simpler game every month would be pretty foolish- Particularly in the current climate of the App Store where it's all about Ketchapp-style experiences.

      • Kosikutioner

        Right. I'd be a little disappointed if their talent got spent on super disposable stuff though. Threes seems simple but it took a real long time to get RIGHT. Then weeks to copy.

      • Luca Redwood

        I don't really know what I'm doing though to be fair, I'm just kind of blagging it. The guys at Prettygreat have some incredible talent

      • Kosikutioner

        Haha! I dunno about that. I love 10000000. Smarter than you I played a few weeks with my wife but it just didn't stick quite. I fall out of asynchronous stuff quick, my wife hates all the games I forfeit vs her.

        To you and Eli, I'm not saying it's not great and not a lot of money. I just think it's easy to underestimate what games cost to make.

      • Kosikutioner

        I mean, for readers to misunderstand. I'm sure both of you are better informed. Heh

    • Dan Toose

      They're a start up of 3 ultra switched on guys with a huge legacy of success who won't be wasting money on unnecessary overheads. There's no need at all for them to spend remotely close to $10K a month per head.

      Not that it'd be an issue for these guys - Look up Luke Muscat and Phil Larsen. They're the key figures behind Fruit Ninja and Jetpack Joyride. They know how to make highly successful games quickly, and if they want to go get more investment money, it won't be a problem.

      $500k is going to be plenty to ensure these guys don't need to approach some greedy VC.

  • http://callipix.com Callipix

    Nice story! Thanks for sharing!