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4J Studios invests 'six-figure sum' in Scottish indie dev Puny Astronaut

The Scottish indie dev is creating Skye

The company behind the console versions of Minecraft has invested money in a local independent studio.

4J has backed Scottish indie Puny Astronaut with a 'six-figure' investment, to help the firm bring its first game to market.

Puny Astronaut is founded by a group of former Abertay University Students who won the 2016 Date to be Digital competition. It was through there that it received funding from All 4 Games and received a Unreal Dev Grant.

The company is now making Skye, which is an exploration game for children, families and casual gamers.

4J founders Paddy Burns and Chris van der Kuyl have joined the Puny Astronaut board of directors, with van der Kuyl taking on the role of chairman.

"When Paddy and I met the team at Puny Astronaut we were bowled over by their talent and enthusiasm," he said. "

We both saw real similarities between them and ourselves when we were first starting out. We remember exactly how tough a journey it can be to make it in this industry. Being able to not just provide the financial backing but also help the team to navigate the spider's web of the market is something we are really looking forward to and it's fantastic to see a new team - with such a massive future - being supported in this way."

Puny Astronaut's MD Cian Roche added: "We have invested blood, sweat, and tears into developing Skye both whilst as students at Abertay, and since we graduated last summer. We're a small, fresh developer and up until now we had no other option but to rush Skye out to market and hope for the best. With 4J's investment, though, we'll be able to produce the game we first set out to create, and share our plans with the rest of the games community."

Paddy Burns continued: "When we met Puny Astronaut, and were first introduced to Skye, we could see instantly that the team and the game had enormous potential.

"Both are a perfect fit for 4J as our philosophy is based on developing 'games for everyone'. Although the team was understandably keen to bring Skye to market as soon as possible, Chris and I felt rushing it out would be a mistake. So, we offered to invest in them instead, which would give them the time, space and resources they needed to complete the game in line with their initial vision and to really do the idea justice."

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Christopher Dring avatar
Christopher Dring: Chris is a 17-year media veteran specialising in the business of video games. And, erm, Doctor Who
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