Cosmic Lounge is the new puzzle game studio founded by six former King, Seriously and Next Games developers.
The studio, based in Helsinki and Stockholm, was founded in 2022 shortly after Seriously’s closure with pre-seed financing from Sisu Game Ventures.
Today, it has announced a €4m seed round led by Transcend, with which it will continue to develop its “AI enhanced Puzzle Engine technology”, expand its team and build its first title.
Cosmic Lounge’s six cofounders are all veterans of the Helsinki and Stockholm gamedev scene. CEO Tomi Huttula has worked in senior roles at Nokia, Kabam, EA and most recently King, where he was tech product VP.
Then there’s a trio of ex-Seriously folks: Cosmic Lounge CTO Tommi Kiviniemi was a Seriously cofounder and CTO and was previously founder of tech firm Rocket Pack, which was acquired by Disney.
COO Peter Tokoi was at the Best Fiends maker for over eight years, most recently as studio operations EVP. He has also previously worked at Rovio and Digital Chocolate. And design VP Simo Rajamäki was at Seriously for seven years in various game design roles. He also previously worked at Rovio.
Lead game programmer Johannes Päivinen, who has worked at Redhill Games and Next in programming roles, and lead technical artist Mika Karkinen, who has previously served at Lykke Studios, Next and Playsome, complete the team of six cofounders.
Cosmic Lounge cofounder and CEO Tomi Huttula told us: “Our founders have been in the industry for a long time and have experienced first-hand what the common and biggest challenges are in mobile game development. We wanted to found a company which applies new ways of game making to tackle these challenges.”
Huttula said its in-house tech is a pivotal part of the studio’s strategy, and will help Cosmic Lounge test for product-market fit and marketability “earlier and in better ways”.
“Game teams find out quite late what the business potential of a new game could be,” said Huttula. “Our concept testing also covers testing playable prototypes, which we can create with our Puzzle Engine technology.”
“Our designers, and actually anyone in our team, can rapidly create and experiment with new core game mechanics and visuals. Puzzle Engine is not just for prototyping but also for efficient game development and content deployment. The Puzzle Engine’s tools are designed to leverage AI in game development, for content creation or level testing.”
Cosmic Lounge’s tech will also help the team release new game mechanics for live ops, minigames and to support its performance marketing efforts, said Huttula.
Lead seed investor Transcend said the round was oversubscribed, and that the firm had previously avoided investing in mobile puzzle studios “due to intense competition and high barriers to entry”. But Cosmic Lounge’s tech convinced them to enter this ‘red ocean’ market.
“We are profoundly impressed with Cosmic Lounge’s vision to fuse their deep puzzle game domain expertise with a proprietary AI-enhanced game engine,” said Transcend’s Brett Krause. “We’re confident they have the tools to power original game design and content creation with rapid iteration, and that they will produce the next blockbuster puzzle game franchise.”