Finnish mobile game developer Critical Force has received a major investment to push esports.
Released in September 2015, Critical Force’s mobile FPS Critical Ops has attracted more than 40 million unique players since its release, Critical Force CEO Veli-Pekka Piirainen told Game Industry. Now, after a $6.3 million investment from Business Finland, a public grant organization, the company will be tasked with creating an esports ecosystem for the game.
News of the investment comes just four days before the Amazon Mobile Masters tournament, where six teams will be competing in Critical Ops for a $40,000 prize pool. Amazon Mobile Masters will also be the first event where Critical Force debuts Critical Ops’ new spectator feature, which will help showcase what a standard esports broadcast of the tournament series may look like.
Aside from the Amazon Mobile Masters, the Critical Ops Championship Series was created on May 20, 2017, which was produced and broadcast by ESL.
“With the new funding we are happy to have the opportunity to really show our hands regarding our status as the number one developer of mobile esports FPS games,” Piirainen told Game Industry.
Multiple mobile esports leagues are in the process of taking shape in 2018. One of the most noteworthy being the Clash Royale Pro League, which features a $1 million prize pool and several of the world’s most iconic esports teams. Additionally, Chinese conglomerate Tencent has also established competitive circuits for its game Arena of Valor, which brought its Valor Series playoffs to E3 on June 12.
It’s perhaps not surprising that these leagues are popping up now, given the fact that mobile gaming now makes up more than 50 percent of the total gaming industries’ overall market share, according to market research firm NewZoo’s first quarterly projection of 2018.
Critical Ops will be taking the center stage at the Amazon Mobile Masters from June 23 to 24.