We have some exciting news that we’d like to share with you today.
As many of you know, Eleventh Hour Games comes from very humble beginnings. Last Epoch originated from a simple Reddit post asking other ARPG enthusiasts “Who wants to join up and make the next great ARPG?” It started as a true after-hours passion-project that most of us worked on in the evenings for nearly a year while holding other jobs to pay the bills (Our late night development is part of the reason for the name Eleventh Hour!). Since then we’ve grown rapidly as we and our community continue to share our enthusiasm for this game and genre.
It became clear that as we gained traction and set our sights on a more ambitious game, that our growth would require more talent, hardware, software, and ultimately more funds. Due to this, I spent 653 days (yes exactly) approaching and fielding publishers, angel investors, venture capital firms, and banks seeking more funds to ensure the stability and growth of Eleventh Hour Games and Last Epoch.
During that time we received multiple verbal and written offers but many came with a requested level of control, stipulations, insertion into operations, requirements, or involvement that I suspected may not be in the best interest of the game or company. I have meticulously crafted a team of ARPG fanatics that know and want what is best for Last Epoch and our community. This team is something that I’ve always protected at all costs, so giving up nearly any level of control was not something I was willing to entertain - which as you can imagine is hard for a lot of investors.
Luckily, after nearly 18 months I began talks with the team from Tencent Games who were already fans of Last Epoch and had followed us for quite some time. They had witnessed our ability to produce and release content for nearly 4 years in Early Access, grow a team, and grow an enthusiastic player base. Their team played the game thoroughly, and came into the conversation with the level of enthusiasm, and trust in us, that we were looking for. Due to their passion for Last Epoch, but most importantly because of their willingness to let us design, create, operate, and grow how we see fit, we have accepted a low-equity investment from Tencent Games.
This investment does many wonderful things for EHG and Last Epoch, including:
- Guaranteeing the stability of our development pipeline through the full 1.0 release of Last Epoch
- Allowing funds for required hardware, like more testing machines, and server infrastructure to support Multiplayer
- Allowing us to hire and contract industry experts and consultants for the most challenging aspects of development and live operations
- Allowing us to expand our team (we’re hiring, join us!)
- Allowing us marketing capital for the 1.0 release of the game - this means more players to share Eterra with!
- Ensuring our stability and growth as a studio for years to come
Honestly, we are thrilled to have found and executed this opportunity.
Now, I want to clear the air of some concerns that this news may bring to our long-term community. I have personally been on the player-side of this coin, where I see one of my cherished independent game studios partner with a larger company and worry that the independent company and games they produce may be altered for the worse.
I want to assure you that the reason that I held out so long to find the right investment and investment partner is because I believe it is of the utmost important that we maintain our ability to operate and execute under our own discretion. This partnership comes with no obligation to change any plans regarding our development of Last Epoch, and no binding development agreements to execute on. As a studio we’ve retained full creative control and autonomy and this only bolsters our ability to execute on our vision better.
Thanks to Kickstarter and players like you who have purchased the game and continued to advocate for us during Early Access, we were able to hold out for the right investment that allows us to fully preserve our vision for Last Epoch. So again I want to express my gratitude to all of our Travelers that have believed in us while we are in an early stage of development.
So what does this ultimately all mean? Eleventh Hour Games is healthy. Healthier than ever, growing more rapidly, and excited as hell to put these funds to work in creating an amazing action RPG for all of us to enjoy. Thanks again for all of your continued support from the entire team here at Eleventh Hour Games.