San Francisco-based MinoMonsters has received $1 million in seed funding to develop its eponymous iOS game. The funding was lead by Andreessen Horowitz, the same firm that invested in TinyCo, Boku and Tiny Speck.
The mobile and social gaming startup was co-founded by 19-year-old Josh Buckley and 25-year-old Zynga veteran TJ Murphy. MinoMonsters will make its official debut on December 6th. According to an interview with Forbes, co-founder Murphy is calling MinoMosters not a game, but a “brand and entertainment experience,” which means that the company has ambitions that are not too dissimilar to what Outfit7 and Rovio Mobile are doing in branching out to merchandise, books and film.
In MinoMonsters, players must collect, tame and train a variety of magical monsters, and then lead them into battle against both in-game foes and other players. The development of the game was backed by extensive testing in the iOS store to see what kind of mechanics would make a game stick with users. To that end, MinoMonsters is heavily focused on its multiplayer aspects, using Bump to make it simple for two players to take their pet monsters into battle.
MinoMonsters isn’t the first company to try and bring a Pokémon styled game to iOS. Gaia Online has had difficulty converting the popularity of its Facebook game Monster Galaxy into mobile success. In just one month, Monster Galaxy: The Zodiac Islands has seen a steady decline in both revenue and popularity, dropping from the #91 spot on the top grossing apps chart down to #320 according to AppData. However, MinoMonsters is betting that its deep social integration will set it apart from other Pokémon styled games on the platform and give Buckley and Murphy the kind hit they’re looking for.