League of Legends’ main financial backer investing in company hoping to bring MOBA to mobiles

By Stephany Nunneley, Thursday, 21 November 2013 18:04 GMT

Jason Citron, founder of OpenFeint, has announced an $8.7 million funding round for his new company, Hammer & Chisel. The funding will be used to help launch Fates Forever, a new tablet-only reinterpretation of the MOBA genre popularized by League of Legends.

The funding round is led by Mitch Lasky, who was investor number one investor in Riot Games, and additional investors include Studio 9+, Accel Partners, IDG Capital Partners, GC Capital Partners, Time Warner and numerous angel investors.

Lasky will also join Citron and Silicon Valley technology veteran, Peter Relan, on Hammer & Chisel’s board of directors.

Filled with folks from id Software to ArenaNet, Hammer & Chisel is also currently hiring to help create the next generation of core games. Those interested in joining can apply here.

Citron’s new project addresses a growing trend in modern gaming by skipping out on the “same monotonous farming and puzzle games,” plaguing the marketplace.

He believes tablets are the “next destination for AAA-level gameplay,” and has been building a studio committed to blending such AAA-title fundamentals with mobile game mechanics.

“As I was building OpenFeint I would often look around and wonder why there weren’t any fantastic core games to play on my iPad like World of Warcraft or Magic the Gathering,” said Citron.

“Millions of gamers are going to grow up in a world where their first Personal Computer is a tablet, not a desktop PC. It seems like a no-brainer that these gamers will want to sit down and play a 45-minute session of a game like League or Dota 2.”

Fates Forever reinterprets MOBAs for a tablet environment by translating keyboard-and-mouse mechanics into touchscreen gestures such as swiping and flicking. A video showing it in action is posted below.

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