Mainframe, a pan-Nordic gaming studio, has raised a €7.6 million Series A round led by Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) with support from Riot Games, marking both firms’ first investments in the Nordics. Maki.vc, Play Ventures, Sisu Game Ventures, and Crowberry Capital, who participated in the studio’s seed round last fall, also joined for the Series A. 

Developing cloud-native games, Mainframe claims to be the first venture-backed startup to announce plans to build a cloud-native MMO. Massively Multiplayer Online (MMO) games feature an immersive gaming world that absorbs large numbers of players, from hundreds to thousands, all on the same server. 

To make such a game cloud-native means players could join from any device, without the need for a specific console.

“Mainframe’s vision for how to innovate in MMOs is truly unique, putting games into players’ hands wherever they are in ways we’ve never seen before,” said Brendan Mulligan of Riot Games, the Los Angeles-based developer of League of Legends, a cultish PC game that nets tens of millions of users per month.

Andrew Chen, general partner at a16z, said: “We believe that cloud-native games are poised to revolutionize the entertainment industry in the coming years, yielding entirely new gameplay experiences and business models.”

No further details about the studio’s MMO project were disclosed. Newly named chairman of the board, Ilkka Kivimäki of Maki.vc, commented only that “the game maxes out ambition on technical and artistic fronts.”

For now Mainframe will focus on growing the teams in Helsinki and Reykjavik.

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