New advisory board assembled as education gaming innovator moves forward
on its debut title, Big Bang Legends, launching in 2017
HELSINKI – Sept. 14, 2016 – Lightneer Inc., the learning game development studio, has appointed Peter Vesterbacka, the former Mighty Eagle and brand ambassador for Rovio Entertainment Ltd.’s Angry Birds franchise, as its new “brand breaker” and company evangelist. Once featured as one of TIME’s most influential people, Vesterbacka is a founding member of Lightneer, having served as a board member and investor until now.
“Peter’s big time involvement with Lightneer is yet another demonstration of our firm belief that ‘ed tech’ deserves world-class video game talent,” said Lauri Järvilehto, CEO and co-founder of Lightneer. “Our ambition is to fuel a global revolution in how children learn, and a vision of that magnitude needs minds that understand that a great play experience is also a tremendous learning experience.”
Vesterbacka’s new role at Lightneer arrives alongside the news the studio has completed a €2.8 million ($3.16 million) financing round. This new investment is led by venture capital funds GSV Acceleration, joining with €1.8 million ($2.03 million), and IPR.VC, providing €1 million ($1.13 million). This brings the total investment into Lightneer to €3.5 million ($3.94 million).
“I’ve been vocal for a long time about my passion for using games as tools for learning,” said Vesterbacka. “But such an undertaking demands nothing less than a dedicated commitment of energy, resources and creativity on all of our parts. I could not be more thrilled to help the team at Lightneer change the paradigm of our relationships with games.”
Lightneer also announced the formation of a new advisory board, drawing expertise from a far-reaching array of disciplines to further its founding mission to make games with engaging educational value. The company has enlisted Tom Kalinske, former CEO of Mattel, Inc., SEGA of America, Inc., and LeapFrog Enterprises, Inc., and current executive chairman of Global Education Learning, dedicated to child education in Asia, as well as Ian Livingstone, co-founder of Games Workshop, co-creator of the Fighting Fantasy series of roleplay gamebooks, and former executive chairman of Eidos Interactive. In addition, the advisory board includes Marcus du Sautoy, the Simonyi Professor for the Public Understanding of Science and professor of mathematics at the University of Oxford, and Visiting Professor of Practice Pasi Sahlberg from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education.
Announced earlier this year, Lightneer’s first title, Big Bang Legends, is a role-playing puzzler that brings the periodic table of elements to life as clever collectible characters to help players of all ages learn about physics and chemistry. Developed in collaboration with experts from CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, the game breaks down complex subjects like atomic particles and nuclear fusion in fun, digestible ways. It will arrive globally on iOS and Android devices in 2017.
About Lightneer Inc.
Lightneer Inc. was founded in 2015 in Helsinki, a hotbed of innovative education and gaming, to produce interactive entertainment with meaningful learning value with the same level of quality as the world’s biggest hits. The team is comprised of veterans from industry leaders like Rovio Entertainment, Digital Chocolate, Gameloft and more. The studio’s name alludes to one who combines the audacity and vision of a philosopher with the practicality and grit of an engineer.
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