CEO behind Warcraft and StarCraft vets’ new strategy game defends asking players to invest in the studio, even after raising $35 million across fundraising efforts

The CEO of a new studio of Warcraft and StarCraft vets has spoken more about the decision to ask players to directly invest in the studio to support its upcoming real-time strategy game, Stormgate, after already raising millions in funding from other studios and a wildly successful Kickstarter campaign.

Frost Giant, a team full of veteran devs from the Warcraft series and StarCraft 2, already saw Stormgate reach enormous success on Kickstarter, with prospective players collectively pitching in $2,380,701, despite the funding goal being a fraction of that at $100,000. However, it was announced in February that Frost Giant was also turning to equity funding, allowing players to invest in the actual studio and support Stormgate’s early access launch, which is set to arrive later this year. This funding is additional to the $34.7 million in Seed and Series A funding received since the studio opened its doors, from investors such as Kakao Games and Riot Games.

In a new interview with GamesIndustry.biz, Frost Giant CEO Tim Morten defends the move to seek out equity funding, stating that making a game that “really stands as the next-generation RTS” requires “a lot of investment.” He adds that the funding that the studio has raised to date is still significantly less than the budget of many AAA games releasing today.

(Image credit: Frost Giant Studios)

“The reality is that big games that get made today are spending in excess of $100 million,” Morten begins. “So, for us to go up against AAA games, for us to be a game that really stands as the next-generation RTS of the coming years, it does require a lot of investment.

“We’ve raised just under $35 million to date – that’s a big number, but it’s a much smaller number than most AAA games actually deploy against building their products,” he continues. “And we are really fortunate to be in a position that we got the funding that we need to get to our early access launch, but we want to launch strongly, and we want to launch in a way that puts us at the same level as AAA games from other publishers.

“So, if there’s a playerbase out there that supports that, this is an opportunity for them to be a part of our success. And really, we’ve been very gratified by the support that we’ve seen from the community so far.”

And that support for the equity funding has been pretty significant so far. According to Frost Giant’s StartEngine page, where shares in the studio are being sold, a total of 296 investors have pitched in at the time of writing, who have collectively raised almost one million dollars – $938,673.16, to be exact. Considering that the funding plan had a minimum goal of $15,000, Stormgate has once again managed to rack up some significant interest here. 

Whether the RTS will be able to meet fans’ lofty expectations when it launches into early access this year is another matter, but Morten believes that funding the game in this way will allow Frost Giant to “retain its own decision-making and bring Stormgate to market with our vision, instead of giving up some of that power to a publisher.”

Be sure to check out our list of the best strategy games for some games to dive into right now. 

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