Transatlantic startup Seriously Digital Entertainment was founded by two former Rovio executives aiming high especially in the US market. The company's mobile games are designed to be developed into "global entertainment properties."
With headquarters in Venice, California, and Helsinki, Finland, the transatlantic startup Seriously Digital Entertainment is building mobile games designed to be developed into global entertainment properties. While the team in Venice focuses on business development and marketing, Helsinki’s team, in the heart of the mobile games capital of the world, concentrates on game development.
Seriously was founded in 2013 by industry veterans Andrew Stalbow and Petri Järvilehto, who were executives at Rovio, the maker of Angry Birds. Andrew is based in Venice and serves as CEO. Petri is based in Helsinki and serves as Chief Creative Officer and is responsible for product and content development. Despite the distance, Seriously’s dedicated team of 70+ has come together to innovate the mobile games industry and create a fast growing entertainment brand.
Seriously’s first property is Best Fiends, which started its life as an addictive puzzle game. Best Fiends was released in October 2014 and has since been downloaded over 86 million times with up to 2 million daily active players.
Best Fiends is free to download, supported by in-game purchases and advertising, and now has game updates and new levels released every week to keep the game's fans engaged. And it shows, since the average player spends 45 minutes (in two to three sessions) playing Best Fiends every day.
But Best Fiends is more than just a game. Its fictional world of Minutia incorporates over 500 characters, a creative story, and anthemic music - composed by Heitor Pereira - to form a world that can naturally come to life in games, animations and books. This enables Seriously to form a unique, enduring, and direct connection with their Best Fiends audience, which serves as a great platform for Seriously to build out its business.
Seriously is essentially doing Hollywood backwards by first building A World On Your Mobile™. Similar to how a Hollywood studio might have a TV or a film as the foundation for a franchise, Seriously has Best Fiends as its first franchise product. Using this model, Seriously has expanded its entertainment repertoire to include animated shorts, consumer products and much more.
Trying to be as creative in its marketing as in its product development, the Seriously team has worked with over 2,000 YouTube influencers to promote its first title. Now the company is moving up the value chain, and in 2017, they produced two animated shorts starring Hollywood icons Mark Hamill and Kate Walsh, which to date have over 10 million views combined.
With a new game, new animations, and consumer products all in development, there will be lots more to come in 2018 and beyond!
Text by: Seriously