Startup of the Day: Polish gamedev studio Sundog
Sundog was founded by Aleksandra Bieluk, Carlos Castanon, Zbyszko Fingas, and Mateusz Blaszczyk. Currently, the company is working on its first title, Ibru, based on Olga Tokarczuk’s book “Anna in the Tombs of the World”. The game is expected to be ready in 2026. In January 2023, Sundog raised $340,000 from private investors. In the future, the startup plans to work on the next part of the game and expand the Ibru universe with add-ons.
In the Startup of the Day column, the founding team of Sundog, shares more details about the startup’s idea, its product, and future plans.
The Startup of the Day column on AIN.Capital is dedicated to tech projects from all sectors that originated from the CEE countries. If you would like to introduce your project, please fill in the questionnaire.
Tell us about your startup. How does it work?
We are a young game studio that was created by several people with long experience in the game industry. This is a new company, we are working on our first title, “Ibru”. The title is being developed based on Olga Tokarczuk’s book “Anna In w grobowcach świata” (Anna in the Tombs of the World).
How did you come up with the startup’s idea? What was the reason/motivation behind it?
Our idea was to make a game based on the best possible storyline. We contacted Olga Tokarczuk, and together we decided that Anna in the Tombs of the World was perfect for the basis of the game. It is one of the oldest myths in human history in a futuristic setting. A timeless, deeply human novel with an analogy to today’s dying world, it is perfectly suited to be shown in the digital world.
How long did it take to reach the prototype or MVP? What did you encounter?
We want to work out the prototype of the game later this year. Already during the conceptual work, we encountered challenges about how to render the events of the book in a completely different form – a computer game.
When exactly did you launch your product? Or when the launch is planned?
We want the launch of the game to take place in 2026. The gameplay time is planned to be about 16 hours.
Tell us about the startup’s business model. How do you monetize your product?
We want to release the game with a professional publisher. We are talking to several companies. Due to the fact that Ibru will be a very developed world, we hope to be able to create add-ons for the game and products related to the universe we have created.
What are your target markets and consumers?
We want to reach players around the world with the product. We will release the game on console and PC platforms. Likewise, we assume that our ideal player will be fans of RPG titles, and mature gamers looking for thought-provoking and thought-provoking content.
What about your team? How many people are working in the startup? If you’re looking for new employees, indicate whom exactly.
Sundog’s team currently consists of 9 people. We are also in the process of new recruitment and want to expand the team with more talents. The entire team is made up of talented professionals who have gained experience in companies like: Techland, CI Games, Flying Wild Hog, PolyAmorous, Fuero Games, and others.
Ultimately, we want the team to consist of about 20 people. We are looking for people related to game design, programmers (UE5), 3D Artist, Character Animator 3D.
Have you already raised any investments? Provide us with more details on each funding round: the amount, investors, the purpose of the investment.
Yes, in January this year, we raised $340,000 (PLN 1.5 million) from investors in a private placement. The first investors were private investors.
This year we want to raise capital in another round of financing, we are actively looking for investors. We are fortunate that the digital entertainment financing sector is very diverse, which makes us consider various options, from raising financing through investment funds, to cooperation with publishers, as well as another issue for investors.
We will use the capital from the second round of financing to develop the Ibru game and to attract new employees.
What’s next? Tell us about your future plans.
We will spend the next few years actively working on Ibru. This is a title in which we put a huge part of our time and heart. After the game is released, we have several ideas – working on the next part of the game, creating a new production, and expanding the Ibru universe with add-ons. However, these are very distant plans.