Michael Chu, a former Riot Games product manager, teams up with seasoned indie game developer Ryan Sullivan to start Treehouse Games with US$2.6 million [AU$3.8 million] worth of funds raised.
On June 24, Treehouse Games reportedly raised a whopping $2.6 million in a seed funding round. Up and coming gaming firm is said to be based in Los Angeles and come up with co-op game titles.
Leading the seed funding round was London Venture Partners (LVP), who also invested in famed game dev firms such as Unity, Supercell, and Playfish—to name a few. Along with LVP are Transcend Fund and Super Evil Megacorp CEO Kristian Segestrale.
LVP’s General Partner Are Mack told Los Angeles Business Journal, “Competitive games and epic narrative single-player experiences have become the industry’s de facto blockbuster experiences, but cooperative games have not yet had the same level of investment.”
— LVP (@LondonVP) June 24, 2020
Treehouse Games news: Chu’s perception of games
It is very important to note that Chu played a great part in the development of the hit-MOBA game title League of Legends for seven years. On his Linkedin page, Chu announced his exit at Riot Games. He also introduced Treehouse Games as his new venture with Sullivan and some of his friends and teammates.
His perception of games will be a great hint for the gaming community on what type of games to expect from Treehouse Games starting today. In a statement from The Hollywood Reporter, Chu weighed in games as something that has become a “default social activity.”
— Trilby Beresford (@trilbyberesford) June 24, 2020
He says it is “just as meaningful as meeting up with friends for a meal or coffee.” He further expressed:
“Ryan and I have always seen games as a vehicle for creating great memories with our loved ones, and they can be just as memorable as friends or family taking a road trip together. Now, more than ever, we are seeing that games have the power to connect people, and to help friends share a laugh and an adventure, even when hundreds of miles apart.”
Basically, Chu believes that video games are vital instruments that bring people closer together, most especially now, when the current global state has forced everyone to stay apart. He even told the Los Angeles Business Journal that there’s a “tremendous opportunity” to develop cooperative games to further strengthen interactions.
What to expect from Treehouse Games?
What Chu and Sullivan will be coming up with is definitely something to look out for. Co-ops and multiplayer games have been proven and tested to be a big hit to the gaming community.
Just like how Valorant—which, as of this writing, does not have a solo mode—made one of the biggest impacts in the game industry with its incredible multiplayer gameplay. Other games such as Fortnite, Apex Legends, Call of Duty and Overwatch are now the biggest names in the gaming world considering how these games bring camaraderie and interaction to a whole new virtual level.
However, Chu might take a less competitive route to its co-op games. He mentioned with THR that his interest piqued on the “number of people who didn’t really care about the competitive aspect” of the game. He sees that there is a promising audience to “tens of millions of people” who play games but don’t necessarily tag themselves as “gamers.”
For Chu, this is definitely an “incredible trend” worth watching.
Meanwhile, Sullivan’s professional history is also quite impressive. He even has a history of “contract work on a variety of mobile games.” He also co-founded Sirvo Studios in 2016.
Sullivan is said to take in the position of the President of Treehouse Games, while Chu will serve as the CEO.