Minecraft duo make seven-figure investment in Dundee games studio


The Dundee tech duo behind the global success of Minecraft have made a seven-figure investment into another city games studio.

Chris van der Kuyl and Paddy Burns, owners of J Studios, have purchased a stake into Stormcloud Games.

The funding will allow Stormcloud to start development on games ideas that were conceived during lockdown.

Stormcloud has gained considerable plaudits for its family-friendly titles. These include BAFTA-nominated games based on the bestselling children’s books The Gruffalo and Room on the Broom.

Mr Arnot anticipates his team will need to grow by around % over the next year, as development progresses.

He said: “Given the challenges we’ve faced in the past year with the pandemic, it feels particularly good to be part of a wider community of games developers working in similar genres.

“To be doing so with Chris and Paddy’s support – both financially and practically – is a real bonus.

The Stormcloud Games team in with The Gruffalo game. Back left to right: Frank Arnot, Andy West and Dave Guthrie with seated Pat McGovern.

“I trust and value their opinions – which is why we started talking about this in the first place.

Other Stormcloud titles include Paper Zoo, Paper Ocean and Paper Pets, which also earned a BAFTA nomination.

Last year, in partnership with NatWest Group, Stormcloud launched Island Saver, a financial education game for children. Downloads total more than . million.

Launched earlier this year, it backs companies developing and deploying innovative technology and data-led businesses.

Mr Burns said: “We’ve known Frank and the Stormcloud team for many years and have followed their recent successes closely.

Chris van der Kuyl, with his business partner Paddy Burns, has used their Minecraft millions to make other tech investments.

“When Frank shared their latest new games ideas with us, we decided that we wanted to help enable him and his team to develop them.

“What sets Stormcloud apart is the depth of experience in the team, many of whom have been making games for nearly years.

“They know instinctively what works and what doesn’t and make original content in a style that is distinctly their own.”

Chroma Ventures’ portfolio includes another Dundee-based indie games studio in Puny Astronaut.

Other investments are augmented reality technology company Blippar, ready meal provider Parsley Box and insurance platform Broker Insights.

It is almost years to the day since J Studios started discussions with Minecraft creator Mojang about making console editions of the game.

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