By Jon Jordan
We first came across Finnish studio Grand Cru in the summer of 2011 when it decloaked from stealth mode.
Now, however, the developer formed by the principals of Real Network's Mr Goodliving studio has burst into the prime time, announcing details of its $2 million seed funding round and debut game The Supernauts.
Dealing with the cash first, it's received a majority investment from French venture outfit Idinvest Partners, which manages 3 billion in equity.
There are also several individual investors, most notably Playdom co-founder, Rick Thompson. He's previously invested in mobile gaming companies such as Iddiction, Funzio and Red Robot Labs.
Other angels include former Google EMEA head of mergers and acquisitions Anil Hansjee, former Wooga head of studio Henric Suuronen, and Nicolas Béraud, who founded of Betclic, one of the leading European betting companies.
Grand Cru had previously received start up capital from Lifeline Ventures and various regional Finnish and Nordic funds.
One big happy sandbox
As for its debut title, The Supernauts builds on a persistent mobile, cross-platform (seamless log-in across tablets, mobile, browsers, Facebook) 3D user generated world, providing highly social gameplay.
Players take control of their own superhero, armed with a zapper that can be used build or destroy environments block by block, whether engaged in pre-made challenges or general social interactions.
Think of it as Habbo Hotel meets LittleBig Planet and Minecraft, or a 'Superheroic Sandbox MMO'.
"iOS and Android devices are now fast and graphically strong enough to power complex 3D games and create fully immersive experiences," said Markus Pasula, Grand Cru's CEO and co-founder.
"Grand Cru was founded on the principle that the next generation of mobile gaming is real-time multiplayer interaction and user generated content. With the help of our new funding, we are set to be pioneers in the new frontier of mobile and social gaming."
The Supernauts is due to released later in 2012. You can find out more about the game via its website.