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GEM Capital announced today that it has invested a combined $5 million into three game development studios.

Paphos, Cyprus-based GEM Capital said the funds were allocated from the latest $50 million game venture capital fund that it raised last year. The one thing the three studios share in common is they are all based in Cyprus. And while the $5 million is not a lot for three studios, the money goes farther for companies that have lower costs in Cyprus.

The studios include Weappy, which will use the money to develop and self-publish a game called Hollywood Animal, which is due to hit Steam Early Access this year. Another studio is VEA Games, which is working on an unannounced PC and console platformer. And the third studios is Game Garden, which is working on the soft launch of a title called Florescence.

“With these three investments, GEM further establishes itself as a leading Cyprus based gaming investment fund,” said GEM Capital Managing Director Roman Gurskiy, in a statement. “Following the successful announcement of Weappy’s Hollywood Animal and the strong performance of Games Garden’s Florescence, we eagerly anticipate what VEA Games will present later this year.”


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Weappy

Hollywood Animal is about running a corrupt movie studio.

Weappy is a game studio started in Cyprus in 2015 by founder Vitali Simanau, a former game journalist. He still serves as managing director. Specializing in creating games for the PC and consoles, the company is recognized for its This Is the Police series, which was published by THQ Nordic. In the game, you manage a corrupt police department.

Sales of the three games in that series have surpassed a million copies. After its first game release in 2016, Weappy saw significant growth, now accommodating two full-fledged development teams. Moreover, Weappy is branching into self-publishing and support of external projects, indicating its ambitions and future plans.

Weappy’s first self-published title, Hollywood Animal, is still in the works. It is a strategy game that simulates running a 20th-century Hollywood film studio, complete with glamour, debauchery, dark deeds, and tough compromises.

This ambitious project represents a new peak for Weappy, as it combines a signature story-driven approach with the depth and complexity of top-tier economic simulators.

“It has the same approach as the police game, but this time you manage a cinema business,” Gurskiy said. “This is the first game that they will do that is going to be self-published.

The team also has another game in development, and it will be announced later. The company has about 14 people.

VEA Games

VEA Games team

Dmitry Smirnov, founder of VEA Games, started the company in 2017. He had experience as a provider of tools and plugins for game development on the Unreal Marketplace.

He held significant roles such as a producer on Armored Warfare and a level designer for Allods Online and Skyforge. His expertise didn’t stop at gaming; he also pioneered and advanced the Game Graphics program at Scream School. This program has been a launchpad for many of his students, propelling them to leading companies like Wargaming, Riot Games, id Software, CD Projekt Red, and more.

Dmitry Smirnov, founder of VEA Games.

VEA Games is known as one of the largest producers of assets and plugins for the Unreal Engine. Following a change in the Unreal Marketplace’s commission structure to better support creators, Epic Games extended an invitation to VEA Games to participate in a blog post and interview alongside Tim Sweeney.

The team is currently working on an announced PC and console platformer set to be announced later this year.

Game Garden

Game Garden team

Founded by Yury Pomortsev, Natalia Mishulina and Alexander Mishulin in 2009, Game Garden leveraged their extensive background in gaming to specialize in creating mobile games for families.

The company’s first game, Fairy Farm, quickly gained popularity. Fairy Farm generated more than $8 million in its first three years on a budget of $500,000. The subsequent mobile games Farmdale and Fairy Kingdom generated more than 7.5 million organic installs. Another successful title was Love Choice, targeted at female mobile game players.

Florescence game from Game Garden.

Over 15 years, Game Garden expanded its portfolio with over a dozen games, established offices in Los Angeles and Cyprus, and grew to a dedicated team of about 50 in-house and outsourced professionals.

Game Garden’s latest game, Florescence, is currently in its soft launch phase. This game incorporates the popular Merge mechanic and an RPG-style meta, while offering a warm, friendly environment. It is scheduled for a global launch this year.

Set in a vibrant, family-owned flower shop, players are welcomed by a kind Meemaw as her own grandchild. They can cultivate and upgrade flowers, select matching pots, create bouquets, decorate the shop and other rooms, interact with the game’s characters, recruit them to work in the shop, solve a detective story, and compete against other players. Florescence is set to a full global launch later this year.

GEM Capital

GEM Capital Managing Director Roman Gurskiy.

GEM Capital is a game focused investor based in Cyprus. It was founded in 2017 by Anatoliy Paliy, a veteran of PwC. Recently, the company raised $50 million from European LPs to invest in 2024 and 2025.

GEM Capital has a portfolio of over 25 companies valued at more than $150 million. Some of the studios in their portfolio include Mundfish, Red Rover Interactive, Eschatology Entertainment, Weappy, Sad Cat Studios, Order of Meta, Unfrozen and Made on Earth Games.

GEM Capital is one of the most active games investors in the world according to InvestGame. GEM Capital is the biggest games investor in Cyprus. According to Mobidictum, 7 out of the top 10 games startups emerging from Cyprus are portfolio companies of GEM Capital. GEM Capital was nominated for Investor of the Year at the MENA Games Industry Awards 2024.

Gurskiy said he is bullish on games, but he noted it is harder to get to the next round of funding now given the current market compared to 2021. Entrepreneurs still need good track records as company leaders or bigger companies. But it’s a struggle for the companies in the middle.

Gurskiy said that valuations are more reasonable now as a result of the slowdown, but he said that content remains king when it comes to gaming’s future. GEM Capital has deployed roughly half the funds since late last year.


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