The former cofounder of Club Penguin, Lance Priebe, recently announced on his blog that Kelowna is now home to Hyper Hippo Productions. He has been secretly working with the talented Pascale Audette to bring a larger game studio to the Okanagan Valley.
Hyper Hippo aims to be a world leader in digital toys, developing two to three games per year.
On November 21, they disclosed a partnership with Catalyst Game Labs to turn the board game, Leviathans: Monsters in The Sky, into a digital version. “I jumped at the opportunity," said Priebe. “I love board games, and I believe Leviathans is an excellent game that would provide new, exciting experiences on a digital platform. I look forward to working with Catalyst Game Labs and expanding the Leviathans universe.”
Leviathans Online will simulate combat between warships that have taken to the air in an alternate history 1910. It has all of the visuals and depth required for a great online experience. Making Leviathans into a videogame allows the brand to reach a much larger audience and adds a deeper community experience through features such as single-player campaigns and multiplayer modes that are not present with the physical version.
Randall Bills, game designer of Leviathans and Managing Developer for Catalyst Game Labs, stated they “had several companies approach us about an electronic game, but Lance Priebe of Hyper Hippo Productions brought an amazing pedigree of experience to the table.” He went on to say that “[w]hat I liked most about Lance and his team is that they truly love the Leviathans game and have been playing it at their studio daily... I’m crazy excited about what we’ll do together.””
Today, Hyper Hippo Productions launches their Kickstarter campaign in efforts to raise $300,000, which will provide the community the opportunity to dive into the immersive Leviathans online game and make it their own.
As for Hyper Hippo’s impact on the Kelowna startup ecosystem? Priebe guesses that four to five large game or animation studios in the valley would really make some noise. “We already have Disney Online Studios with over a hundred super talented employees. Hyper Hippo will continue this momentum. I look forward to more studios making their home in Kelowna.”
You can donate to their Kickstarter campaign here.