Rocket Ninja Closes $7.5M Second Round for New Hires

Rocket Ninja, current developer of Facebook game Wrestler: Unstoppable, has secured a $7.5 million second round of funding from European private investor Marcel Boekhoorn. This brings the developer’s total funding to $11 million.

Wrestler: Unstoppable started as a complex 2D fighting game for Facebook developed by SteamStreet. Rocket Ninja purchased the game last year and essentially relaunched it earlier in 2011 as a 3D fighting game that runs on its proprietary Shr3d game engine. The developer claimed it saw stronger retention with the dramatic change. Data collected from our AppData traffic tracking service shows that Wrestler: Unstoppable lost growth momentum in September, however, with 80,000 monthly active users and 10,000 daily active users as of today.

Even so, Rocket Ninja means to scale its San Francisco-based office with this second round of funding, largely based on the promise of the Shr3d engine delivering 3D visuals to both social and mobile games. A statement from CEO Oded Pelled included in the funding press release says, “3D revolutionized the gaming industry, and it will forever change the social web by delivering a new dimension in self expression and interactivity.”

It is possible that the developer could license the engine to other social game developers, putting them in direct competition with Unity, StoneTrip’s ShiVa, and a handful of other services that promise social and mobile game developers 3D. The clear advantage Rocket Ninja has is that it doesn’t currently require a plugin to run on Facebook — although Unity will be able to drop the plugin for Flash Player 11 games. The press release says that the developer is currently “accessible across devices and applications,” though to date we’ve only seen Wrestler: Unstoppable available on Facebook.

Representatives for Rocket Ninja did not respond to request for comment as of press time.