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September 05, 2014

Ex-Zynga employees Raise $2.5 million for New Studio

Three developers formerly employed by Zynga have raised $2.5 million (£1.5 million) for their new studio, JuiceBox Games, after releasing their army-building first game, HonorBound. Having recently hit the milestone of three million downloads for this title, the studio has received a significant boost from venture capital investors, at a time when many studios are struggling to raise funding this way.

Unlike Zynga, which became somewhat notorious for its “pay to win” business model and emphasis on advertising and social sharing, JuiceBox Games intends to target a savvier mid-core gamer market. However, it hasn’t abandoned the freemium model altogether, as HonorBound demonstrates. Players can simply play the game for experience points, heroes and weapons, but less patient gamers have the option to buy these things outright too.

“Everything is for sale, but nothing is only for sale,” said chief executive Michael Martinez. “Our team grew up together making social games at Zynga. We understand how to apply the freemium model, and are applying it to these new games that we love to play.”