Based in the Netherlands, Studio Deloryan, known for the popular horse management game ‘Horse Reality’, has received an investment from Belgian venture capitalist ForsVC.

Launched in late 2018 with a modest 13,000 players in the first month, ‘Horse Reality’ has since grown to a community of 350,000+ registered players worldwide, with an average of 50,000 active monthly players. This growth highlights the potential of the Dutch games industry, says founder Deloryan Hommers. “Our story demonstrates that there are countless opportunities in this sector, especially when you receive the right support.”

Starting out as a hobby project at the kitchen table of Deloryan’s student loft, it has grown into a fully-fledged company. While there were plenty of realistic sports games, like managing a soccer team, there was nothing comparable for horse lovers. Therefore, Deloryan developed the game she wanted to play herself. The result became ‘Horse Reality’, a game that focused on genetics and strategic breeding for colours and traits.

As the game’s popularity grew, so did the team behind Studio Deloryan. The studio now has about ten team members, most of which came from the game’s passionate community. “The dedication and passion our staff show are unparalleled, especially since many of them were fans of the game before joining the creative process,” she adds.

Despite the success, there were also challenges. High expectations from players, driven by the exceptional quality of the artwork, posed a hurdle. Despite being a small team, Studio Deloryan was initially compared to triple-A game studios. The game’s popularity also presented scalability issues due to technical limitations, Deloryan points out.

“Studio Deloryan immediately stood out for ForsVC because of its team that managed to create an exceptional game within its own niche entirely with its own resources and immediately build a strong community in it according to principles that make the company extremely scalable,” says Arne Ottoy, Managing Partner at ForsVC.

Thanks to ForsVC’s financial support, Studio Deloryan can now implement both technological and content improvements. “Our collaboration with ForsVC came to be after several discussions and considerations. Their vision and expertise align with our own ambitions. We’re also pleased that they mainly play a supporting role, allowing us to retain control and artistic vision. Besides financing, ForsVC brings in-depth knowledge that can help us achieve our growth plans,” says Deloryan.

“Thanks to the incubator ‘Dutch Game Garden’, we got in touch with ForsVC, a crucial step for our further growth. Dutch Game Garden has played a pivotal role in the growth of the Dutch games industry by guiding start-ups and connecting them with valuable partners,” Deloryan says. JP van Seventer, managing director at Dutch Game Garden, remarks: “We’re proud to have this decisive entrepreneur in our game cluster who we’ve seen grow her studio and game for the past 4 years.”

With the capital, Studio Deloryan has big plans. By 2024, they plan to have a team of 15 employees. Thus, the completion of the foundational elements of ‘Horse Reality’, strengthening the technological infrastructure and mobile optimization is at the forefront of their future agenda.