TORONTO – Impact fund Weird Ghosts is announcing their first round of investments in Canadian studios led by underrepresented founders.
Each of the four studios represents a new model for developing sustainable, worker-centric companies and moves Weird Ghosts closer to its ultimate goal of making studio funding more accessible to marginalized founders in indie games. These creators are developing games and experiences across a wide variety of genres and platforms, from psychological side-scroller Psychroma (Rocket Adrift) to the stylish character action of Duskwitch (VIVIDBLUE Ltd).
In addition to funding, teams receive studio development services including dedicated project and studio development facilitation, storytelling and marketing assistance, pitch prep, hands-on creative and technical support, and an engaged community of support through a partnership with Gamma Space.
“We’re interested in meeting studios where they are at and offering them the support they need to thrive on their own with as few barriers as possible,” said Weird Ghosts co-founder and general partner Eileen Mary Holowka. “Improving the Canadian indie game community involves figuring out how to build sustainability, accessibility, and impact into every aspect of our studios. The sooner studios can start thinking about these questions, the better, and that’s why Weird Ghosts is invested in studio–not just project–funding.”
Learn More About the Studios:
Toronto-based team Rocket Adrift is founded by Lindsay Rollins, Sloane Smith, and Titus McNally and is Weird Ghosts’ first official early-stage investment. They are a narrative-driven game studio interested in highlighting the perspectives of LGBTQIA+ and BIPOC experiences. Their previous games include Raptor Boyfriend (2021) and Order a Pizza (2019) and they are currently working on Psychroma, a side-scrolling psychological horror game about facing your trauma and finding hope for the future. Rocket Adrift also runs a cyberpunk roleplaying podcast called “Dark Future Dice” and have a devlog where they write about game development, funding, and more.
“We created Rocket Adrift as a vehicle for our storytelling skills and creative vision. We felt there was no better way to challenge ourselves and create our own opportunities than through collaboration. However, we struggled to gain exposure and opportunities in the industry until we met Weird Ghosts and Gamma Space. Now, we are really excited to share our projects and creative vision with underserved gamers of all walks of life!”
Something We Love is a Winnipeg-based company founded by Ibrahim Shahin and Brendan Campbell and is the first ever recipient of the Baby Ghost grant for new studios. They are a cooperative studio that focuses on making non-violent narrative and whimsical games. Something We Love is creating games about spending time with loved ones and building community, and prioritizing BIPOC, immigrants, people with disabilities, and people of marginalized genders and sexual orientations through their storytelling and hiring practices.
“Weird Ghosts has provided us with unencumbered funding and connected us with an experienced community of peers whose support has helped us shape, understand, and stay true to our vision for our game projects. Opportunities like this are pretty rare, so we feel grateful and lucky to have this support.”
VIVIDBLUE LTD is a Black-owned Toronto studio founded by Nate Tannis. VIVIDBLUE LTD is currently working on Duskwitch: Heroic Soul, a fun, stylish character action game where you play as Rutie, a Witch forced to confront her mistakes and save the world from an apocalypse of her own making. VIVIDBLUE LTD is interested in producing games that feature POC and LGBTQIA+ characters in the leading roles.
“Working with Weird Ghosts has been an amazing opportunity. The support that we have and continue to receive is something that we feel incredibly grateful for and lucky to have. Weird Ghosts and Gamma Space have given us the tools and confidence to look forward beyond just our first game and plan for greatness in the future. We’re looking forward to working more with these wonderful people as our studio grows.”
Something Magic is a Montreal-based studio led by Jesse Stong, Burcu Emeç, and Amir Såm Nakhjavani. They are an interdisciplinary team interested in the potential of VR, AR, and mixed reality in games and theatre. Their studio aims to make space for underrepresented artists to explore storytelling in collaborative environments.
“We are so grateful for the support and excited to move forward. We really believe in the power of storytelling, and the potential of virtual engagement as a tool for social transformation. Looking forward to moving ahead with Weird Ghosts’ amazing guidance.”
About Weird Ghosts
Weird Ghosts is an impact fund backed by Infinite Ammo Inc. aimed at supporting game studios led by underrepresented founders across Canada. We support studios with grants, catalytic investments, and community in order to build strong, impactful teams of underrepresented makers who are shaping the future of games.