Frost Giant Studios in Irvine has provided a cinematic trailer of its first video game, Stormgate, blending a style compared to products of the ’90s with a modern feel all its own.
Frost Giant, one of the most talked-up video game startups in Orange County, calls Stormgate the “first truly social” real time strategy (RTS) game, with beta-testing planned to start in the middle of next year.
It will be a free-to-play PC game.
Tim Morten and Tim Campbell, formerly Blizzard Entertainment’s real-time strategy masterminds, founded Frost Giant in 2020. The company’s raised nearly $35 million in funding to date.
They had already created some of the most acclaimed and best-selling PC games of all time: Irvine-based Blizzard’s WarCraft III and StarCraft II.
“We’ll base our launch date on the feedback we receive from the beta test period,” Morten told the Business Journal on June 15.
Tech website Ars Technica says Stormgate “focuses on fun and ’90s vibes,” a comment to which Morten responded as follows:
“To the extent that we’ve been inspired by some of Blizzard’s greatest games that debuted in the ’90s, we’re flattered by the comparison. At the same time, we intend to bring our own modern perspective, and hopefully that’s evident in the gameplay vision that we’ve been sharing.”
Morten also said he’s been very gratified by the response to Stormgate’s announcement, which detailed plenty of thrills and chills for video game fans, including:
• Post-apocalypse game set hundreds of years in the Earth’s future.
• Demonic invaders, human resistance
• Mighty armies in battle
• Humanity threatened by attackers.
The company said Stormgate is coming to Windows PC via Steam.
Among the features are story-driven campaign missions, fully-integrated in-client esports, an in-game editor and custom games.
Morten says the company is already planning a multiyear story arc for Stormgate to be supported by regular content releases.
“There are over 50 developers now working on Stormgate, between full-time and contract staff,” Morten said.
RTS refers to games where players build structures and raise armies to compete against each other in real time as opposed to taking turns.
The RTS games brought great success to Blizzard and other developers in prior years. However, domestically the genre has been eclipsed of late by mobile-centric, shooter-focused and various types of multiplayer online games that often tend to be more immediately profitable to game studios.
Frost Giant’s execs believe they can revitalize this segment of the gaming industry.
“The team has made a sincere effort to listen to players, and based on the feedback so far, it feels like we’re headed in a good direction,” Morten said.
Frost Giant has raised just over $34.7 million and does not plan to generate revenue until after Stormgate launches, Morten said.
The funding includes the $25 million the studio received earlier this year in a financing round led by from South Korean game developer Kakao Games Corp.
Frost Giant is one of the first tenants at the Irvine Co.’s new Innovation Office Park campus in the Spectrum area of the city. The office campus counts a number of gaming firms as initial tenants.
Other notable gaming companies with operations in the area include Dreamhaven, Ready at Dawn Studios, Bonfire Studios, TenCent, Amazon Games and Notorious Studios.