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Announcing our investment in Zipline Games: an open-source, cross-platform development environment for mobile games

If you’ve been following our recent investment activity here at Founders Co-op, you know we love social games (e.g., Big Door, Massively Fun) and developer platforms (e.g., Urban Airship, PHP Fog). Today we’re excited to announce an investment that takes these themes to a whole new level: Zipline Games.

The mobile games business is exploding: depending on which analyst you choose to believe the total market is projected to hit somewhere between $10B and $18B by 2016.

Zipline co-founders Todd Hooper and Patrick Meehan aim to radically expand developer access to this market by offering an open-source development framework that allows any game developer familiar with Lua (the industry-standard game scripting language) to quickly create and deploy high quality mobile games on both iOS and Android. Games developed using Moai are backed up by Moai Cloud, a scalable data and content management infrastructure that supports sophisticated multiplayer games with persistent game worlds and an ever-evolving stream of content.

As mobile gameplay becomes mainstream and user expectations grow, games have become ever more complex to build and maintain. In addition, the rapid growth of the Android platform requires most serious game studios to support titles across both iOS and Android, effectively doubling the development and code maintenance burden. Add in the need for more complex web back-end infrastructure and you have yet another codebase to build and support.

Moai SDK and Moai Cloud make multi-platform, web-supported game titles accessible to any Lua shop, from one-man shows to the largest studios.

Zipline has just taken the wraps off their offering but they already have one high-profile convert: Jordan Weisman – CEO at Smith + Tinker and a world-renowned game designer – has already signed on to use the platform. The company is also building two of its own titles to showcase the platform’s capabilities. Additional coverage can be found at AllThingsD, VentureBeat, Xconomy and GeekWire.

Congrats Todd + Patrick – welcome to the family!