Leuven games developer raises €1.8 million from ‘father of Lara Croft’
Share article:
Share article:

Leuven games developer raises €1.8 million from ‘father of Lara Croft’

The new game You Suck at Parking. © Happy Volcano

The Leuven-based games studio Happy Volcano has raised $2.2 million (€1.8 million) in financing for development of its new game You Suck at Parking.

The money comes from the Luxembourg/London venture capital firm Hiro Capital, part-owned by Ian Livingstone, one of the key figures behind the game Tomb Raider featuring Lara Croft.

Happy Volcano Founders Jeroen Janssen, Peter Maasen and David Prinsmel started making games together in 2015 as a hobby. In 2017, the trio took the step to a full-time studio that has since grown to eight employees.

In June 2020 they released the narrative exploration game The Almost Gone together with Brussels writer Joost Vandecasteele.

The new game, as the name suggests, calls on players to find a parking space as fast as possible while negotiating a number of obstacles – not unlike a visit to the city of Leuven itself.

The investment is intended to conquer the world with that game,” said Jeroen Janssen, co-founder of Happy Volcano.

The studio was initially not looking for investment, but happened by chance to follow an online event by Hiro Capital.

Then I sent an email, without many expectations, because in the end we are only a very small studio from Belgium. But I got an immediate answer that they were interested. And if an industry legend like Ian Livingstone is behind it, that’s nice to hear.”

The money from Hiro Capital represents a minority interest, and will go towards taking on new staff.

Hiro is delighted to be partnering with Happy Volcano to help the studio maximise the potential of its forthcoming release, You Suck at Parking, a quirky physics game which was designed for anybody who might enjoy the hilarious challenges of parking at speed,” Livingstone said in a statement.

Hiro’s investment will give the studio the time and resources needed to realise its ambition.”

There are now eight of us, but certainly this year we want to hire five more people,” said Janssen.

The launch of You Suck at Parking is currently scheduled for the beginning of 2022. After that, the intention is to expand the game further in order to bind players to the game for longer.

Alan Hope
The Brussels Times

Latest news

Mayor wants to close two Brussels bars where alleged sexual assaults took place
Ixelles' Mayor Christos Doulkeridis (Ecolo) said that he’d like to close the two bars that employed a man accused of raping multiple patrons, ...
‘Untenable’: Mayor says situation at Brussels North station is out of control
The situation at Brussels North Station is no longer tenable, Schaerbeek's mayor Cécile Jodogne (Défi) says. Drug dealing, homelessness, ...
Suicide second-leading cause of death among European youth
Suicide is the number two killer among young people living in Europe, a recent Unicef report on the state of their mental health found. The ...
‘Too little, too late’: Brussels mayors criticise CST implementation
After a two week delay, the Covid Safe Ticket (CST) will become mandatory in several situations in Brussels from today (Friday). Some mayors blame a ...
Sciensano expert warns of rising Covid-19 cases this winter
The return of colder weather and the relaxing of health measures are giving rise to new Covid-19 contaminations and hospitalisations around Belgium, ...
Hospital food is making you sick, Belgian study shows
Eating hospital meals results in a measurable decline in health, according to a report from the Flemish television network VTM, which paints a ...
Belgium in Brief: Supply Issues
There are few things more jarring than walking into a store and finding that the shelves are empty, be that partially or otherwise. One thing ...
Stolen Magritte painting on display for first time in ten years
Surrealist painter René Magritte's work "Olympia", which made headlines across the world when it was stolen from a museum in Belgium in 2009, will be ...
Brussels airport pilots ’15 minute’ PCR test
Brussels Airport has announced that it will soon begin a trial of an ultra-fast PCR test able to detect Covid-19 in 15 minutes, a far faster ...
Over 1,000 demonstrators march in Brussels following sexual assault allegations
Around 1,300 people gathered in Ixelles on Thursday night to march against sexual violence, according to reporting from Bruzz. The march was ...
Covid Safe Ticket mandatory in Brussels, but no fines yet
The Brussels-Capital Region will expand the use of the Covid Safe Ticket (CST) from today (Friday), but it will take a few days before rule-breakers ...
Belgium hosts ‘farewell party’ for Merkel today
Angela Merkel will be in Belgium on Friday for an official visit as a symbolic "farewell" before leaving her position as German Chancellor after 16 ...