- The company’s executive team includes Chris Heatherly, the former vice president of games for NBCUniversal and former general manager of Disney Mobile Games.
- Midnight’s games will come with a Web3-based “forging” system.
- The company is exploring new ways to add NFTs into classic experiences.
Web3 games company, Midnight, emerged from stealth today with a $7.5 million fundraise in a seed round led by Shima Capital. Prominent blockchain gaming investors including Forte, Snackclub, Overwolf, the founders of gaming companies Illuvium and investors Woodstock Fund, FJ Labs, Bixin Ventures and more also participated in the round.
Founded in 2021, the company is led by CEO Steve Wade, a gaming business development entrepreneur and executive publishing and developing video games. He has launched 45 online games, four gaming payment solutions, and eight game portals.
Former Soundcloud CTO, Steven Spagnolo, also co-founded Midnight. He has 30 years of experience in the games industry and took two studios from bootstrap to exit as CEO and CTO across web, mobile, consoles and PC. Prior to Soundcloud, he was senior director of technology for mobile games company King and founder of Blue Tongue Entertainment (acquired by THQ) and free-to-play games studio Twiitch (acquired by GREE).
Midnight’s C-suite also includes chief creative officer Bill Roper, who was a game designer for Diablo, Warcraft and StarCraft. Roper previously headed the Marvel games franchise and was formerly the chief creative officer at Improbable.
Its executive team includes acting chief product officer Chris Heatherly, the former executive vice president of games for NBCUniversal and former general manager of Disney Mobile Games. He has helped build Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, and Jurassic World into multi-billion dollar franchises.
The head of game design Geoffrey Hunt, is also part of the executive team. He was a designer of commercially successful games like Star Trek: Fleet Command and Game of War: Fire Age.
The core team also includes art director Darren Pattenden, who has held art leadership roles at EA, Trion Worlds, Manticore and 2K Games; and acting CMO Anthony Gabriele, recently head of marketing and general manager at SoundCloud and director of subscription marketing for Apple’s media and entertainment businesses.
The company is on a mission to build games with “eternal stories” and neverending experiences that keep players coming back. Wade told Games Beat that Midnight is building free-to-play games with a Web3 “forging” system that creates interoperability and a robust game economy. It is targeting a wide range of audiences both with and without crypto experience.
“While others are betting that fake ‘ownership’ and its associated economics will bring the masses to boring NFT-driven games, we firmly believe that participation and a secondary market need to be both meaningful and additive to players’ stories,” Wade told Games Beat. “Our games are designed to be fun without the NFT layer, and we are targeting the broadest swath of gamers. It shouldn’t matter whether someone is crypto-native or not – they’ll find something for them at Midnight.”
Midnight now has 60 employees working on four titles including Legion, a 4X (Explore, Expand, Exploit, Exterminate) MMO; Next Protectors, a 2D pixel brawler; and At Your Service, a couch co-op title.
The company is currently focusing on PC and console games, with mobile games to come later. It will also add a blockchain and NFT layer to the games as needed.
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