The Company We Keep

Thor Gunnarsson
Mar 19 · 3 min read

Welcoming a16z and Riot to our world

A work-in-progress vista from Mainframe’s cloud-native MMO.

At the moment of inception, a startup is a near impossible leap of faith. A crazy idea slowly finds form and function as fellow travelers join the party. Sharpening the blunt edges and collectively charting a common course into the unknown.

With Mainframe, we charted our path across an air bridge that we built between Iceland and Finland. Between two Nordic countries known for their warm development communities stretching back to the legendary 90s Demo scene in Helsinki and the early shared virtual worlds created by a handful of devs at OZ in Reykjavík.

Over the decades, each scene sharpened their creative arsenal. Finland spearheaded the mobile games revolution while creating amazing AAA PC and console games like Max Payne and Alan Wake, direct descendants of that early Demo scene. In Iceland, we honed our skills in the Massively Multiplayer Online genre, creating our own science fiction sandbox in EVE Online.

Today, we bring all our hard won lessons (both good and bad) to our cause of reimagining an MMO for this decade. Our aim? To create a persistent social world that reflects the best strands of our collective DNA as game developers, forging a fresh take on a storied genre that our players will call home, whether they choose to access our world from their PC, console or phone. We believe that cloud gaming represents an inflection point for our industry, dramatically changing both how we make games in future and the ways in which our players will experience them together. We aim to be one of the first studios to create a game made for this new medium.

As we set out on our journey last year, we were so fortunate to bring our first backers to our company. Deep thanks to the crew from Maki.vc, Play Ventures, Crowberry Capital and Sisu Game Ventures for both backing us when Mainframe was booting up and for your ongoing support.

Now, we warmly welcome Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) and Riot Games to our party.

When we started our Series A process at Slush in Helsinki back in November and the following week in California, we got to spend time with Andrew and Jon at a16z and with Brendan and team at Riot in L.A. We had the first of many deep dives about our game and it was clear from those first conversations that a16z and Riot would bring rare qualities to Mainframe. As we continued talking, we saw how both bring unique insights, force multipliers and welcome advice to our team.

Getting to know fellow devs that share our vision is our most important priority now as we grow from our 20-strong-crew to a fully fledged team able to make our dream real. I hope you’ll get in touch to hear more about our people, our game and how we practice our craft in the Nordics.

Welcome to our world, we can’t wait to build it together.

-Thor

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