A former Facebook executive raised $3.7 million to fund a game aiming to match the success of 'Pokémon Go'

War DucksWarDucks CEO Nikki Lannen.
  • Former Facebook employee Nikki Lannen has raised €3.3 million ($US3.7 million) to fund the development of a new augmented-reality game at her startup WarDucks.
  • The funding round was led venture capital firm EQT Ventures and will help get the new location-based game off the ground in 2020.
  • Lannen left her job at Facebook in 2013 to launch WarDucks, which aims to make its titles “fun” rather than “super-realistic.”

Former Facebook executive Nikki Lannen has raised nearly $US4 million to create a new augmented-reality mobile game that aims to emulate the success of “Pokémon Go.”

Lannen, the founder and CEO of Dublin-based gaming startup WarDucks, raised €3.3 million ($US3.7 million) in a funding round led by venture capital firm EQT Ventures.

Although Lannen declined to reveal specific details about the premise of WarDucks’ new game, she said it will be a location-based augmented-reality title, in the same vein as “Pokémon Go.” Lannen told Business Insider that the game is “the only project we’re working on” due to its scale, and is slated for release in 2020.

WarDucks games, which Ms Lannen said are meant to be “fun” rather than “super-realistic,” have sold well across a number of different VR platforms, including PlayStation VR, Oculus Rift, and Samsung’s Gear VR.

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Its most recent VR offering, “Roller Coaster Legends II: Thor’s Hammer,” was a top-10 bestseller among Playstation VR titles in June 2018 in both Europe and Latin America. The original “Roller Coaster Legends” reached number three on Playstation VR’s European sales chart in January of the same year.

As well as EQT’s investment, WarDucks has made two notable hires. It has recruited Douglas Kaufman, the “Civilisation II” designer, and Lawrence Schick, who worked on the “Dungeons and Dragons” titles in the 1970s. Both are working on the new AR title.

The EQT investment follows WarDucks raising €1.6 million last year, according to The Times, when it received backing from Enterprise Ireland and Suir Valley.

Lannen founded WarDucks in 2013 after leaving her job as a client partner at Facebook’s European gaming team. The role saw her assist up-and-coming game developers for Facebook’s mobile and desktop platforms.

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