Mino Games: “We want to be the next Ubisoft“
$30M invested in Cat Game mobile game app
More and more young entrepreneurs are moving to Montréal looking to make their mark in the tech world, and especially in video games. Two of these entrepreneurs who really stand out from the crowd are Sasha MacKinnon and Josh Buckley. They’re the founders of Mino Games, a company specializing in mobile games that relocated to Montréal from San Francisco in 2016. “Our mission is clear. We want to become the next Ubisoft,” explains MacKinnon, co-founder and COO of Mino Games. “We want to reach millions of people with our creations and build a whole community around our games,” adds Buckley, the company’s co-founder and CEO.
Cat Game, the most recent production from Mino Games, has become a major hit, with more than a million players downloading the game in just one month. In the U.S., 250,000 people play Cat Game every day—a pretty impressive number. The game’s potential is so great that mobile game publisher Tilting Point decided to invest $30 million into its development, a record amount for Mino Games that will help them accelerate their growth.
“We’re looking to grow our team,” says Buckley. “Right now, we have about 20 experts on board, but we’d like to hire 80 more over the next year.” To achieve its mission, the company is focusing on its culture inspired by its San Francisco roots. “We moved to Montréal to take advantage of the incredible talent and passion of game developers here,” explains MacKinnon. “Now we want to give them the opportunity to make a meaningful impact on our projects and help them reach their full potential.”
It’s clear that these young entrepreneurs have the goods to achieve their ambitious goals. When he was only 18 years old, Buckley was selected to be part of the Y Combinator program, the corporate accelerator that helped propel high-profile companies like Airbnb, Reddit and Dropbox. It’s worth noting that Buckley had racked up some pretty impressive experience before joining the program, having sold his first company at just 15 years old. MacKinnon also started his career in the games industry early, working closely with the CEO of Zynga, one of the largest mobile game developers in the world, when he was just 21.
According to Montréal International, Greater Montréal’s economic development agency, the Québec video game sector has grown exponentially in recent years. The number of companies that have set up or expanded in the region has increased by 42% since 2015, and the industry is poised to keep on growing.