5×5 Gaming raises $1.7 Million seed round funding

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Battle of Kingdoms key art

5×5 Gaming today announced a seed round of $1.7 million – to build core games with a multicultural viewpoint, and that are made with digital collectibles and competitive and social gaming experiences baked in from the ground up. The investment in the global development team comes from multiple investors, including Com2uS, Harmony, and the cofounders of The Sandbox and YGG.

The company’s first game, Battle of Kingdoms, will celebrate and honor a number of cultures from around the world, and allow players to play, collect and digitally own (via NFTs) historical warriors and soldiers from different cultures. The company is consulting with historians and local experts to ensure proper representation for all characters and nations.

“5×5 is a unique gaming studio that has both extensive experience in free-to-play game development as well as digital blockchain collectibles, and we are very excited to support them early in their journey with this seed investment,” said Kyu Lee, president, Com2uS.

“We are a big believer in true digital asset ownership and the benefits that blockchain technology brings to us as game designers and developers. Having said that, we wanted to create an experience where having fun, quality content, making social connections, and competition are the focal points for our players; not the farmability of our game economy as you see in many early ‘crypto gaming projects,'” said Deniz Gezgin, founder and CEO, 5×5 Gaming. “We believe there are better ways to incorporate play-to-earn flows, blockchain and crypto technologies into games, and our experience with both game development and digital collectibles will help establish 5×5 Gaming as a gameplay-focused developer with multiple titles created with this vision and strategy.”

Gezgin brings a broad range of experience to lead 5×5 Gaming. A former teen Turkish athletics national team member, Gezgin worked his way through college and postgrad, and has held leadership and strategic positions in game development as well as digital collectibles, including leading the digital division of Topps.

5×5 Gaming is headquartered in San Francisco, but has employees in Los Angeles, Chicago, Mexico, Vietnam, India and Turkey.

“With this investment from our partners, 5×5 Gaming is building a team without borders; talent and inspiration can be found everywhere,” said Gezgin. “Our growing team is spread around the world; we look at diversity as part of our strategy and believe that with a team of different backgrounds and cultures we can create gaming experiences that are more fully culturalized.”

“We are excited to work with 5×5 Gaming under Deniz’s leadership,” said Stephen Tse, founder and CEO, Harmony. “His background in gaming and collectibles are a perfect combination and coming at the perfect time. There is a perfect storm of technology, culture, NFTs, and blockchain, and 5×5 Gaming is in a perfect spot to contribute to this exciting space. Harmony is proud to be working with Deniz and team to explore what’s possible in this new and open gaming, gamefi design space.”

“With millions onboarding to NFT games, Web3 infrastructure is lowering barriers to participation and making it possible for players from all around the world to become part-owners in a better, more inclusive digital economy,” said Gabby Dizon, cofounder, Yield Guild Games (YGG). “5×5 Gaming is helping to ensure that we see strong diversity in the representation of people and communities in the open Metaverse, which is why I am proud to be personally backing Deniz and his team.”

“I am pleased to support Deniz and his team of game industry veterans on their journey into Web3 as they build their first play-to-earn games and embrace the NFT culture,” said Sebastien Borget, COO and cofounder, The Sandbox. “Our industry needs a broader variety of games to attract a wider audience, and 5×5 Gaming has the right mindset to build games that will achieve this.”

Additional 5×5 Gaming investors include Dialectic Capital and Lucid Blue Ventures, and the advisory team includes gaming and digital media veterans Ed Lu, Michael Vorhaus and Andrew Chan.