Second Anniversary Funding Round, New Appointments

Please note that all board appointments referenced herein only become effective once filed at Companies’ House in the United Kingdom.  Until such time these appointments should be regarded as provisional statements of intent.

Second Anniversary sees completion of successfully fundraising and welcomes new appointments.


HTML5 browser-based game developer Illyriad Games Limited announced today the successful completion of a fundraising round, and several key additions to the Illyriad team.

“This is the second anniversary of Illyriad first hitting the web as a beta version,” said James Niesewand, CEO and original founder of Illyriad Games Limited. “And so we’re delighted to confirm that we were oversubscribed on our first external fundraising round. This gives us the cash we wanted to accelerate the development of Illyriad, and allows us to bring several key people on board as well as to increase our investment in R&D.”

The funds raised in this round value Illyriad Games Limited at a shade over USD $1.75M.

Following this, Illyriad Games Limited is delighted to welcome several new appointments:

Ben Adams joins the board as Chief Technology Officer & Executive Director Ben has 15 years of development experience as Head of Innovation for two FTSE-100 companies: Sky IQ – part of the BSkyB group – and Experian plc. He specialises in algorithms, user interface design and highly concurrent systems. Ben joined Illyriad in the early development phase to provide expertise in developing the technical architecture, as well as writing the cross-platform Open Web code-base.

Lynn Brunner joins the board as a Non-Executive Director Lynn has 20 years’ experience in customer experience management and marketing, with a strong focus on bringing technology to the art of marketing. She has worked in both the US and the UK, across a broad range of companies, including National Westminster bank, Experian, Coca-Cola and Orange Telecom. She is currently in a SVP role at a consumer goods company in the US, managing marketing and strategic development. She brings her extensive expertise to the table, helping interpret player needs and shaping the Illyriad offering to meet these needs. She is also a strong contributor to the strategic development of the business, helping drive profitable growth.

Alan Dragovic joins the board as a Non-Executive Director Alan has experience as a writer, entrepreneur and venture capitalist. His first career as a securities analyst with UBS took him to Sydney, London, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore, then as Vice President of Citibank Global Asset Management, to New York. Timing his transition from banking to publishing before the dot-com down turn Alan established an online and print publishing presence in Latin America, Associated Argentine Press. The flagship magazine, The Traveller’s Guru, had a total print run approaching 1m copies between 2004 and 2009. Alan is currently specializing in free to play browser games as a venture capitalist and advisor, providing Illyriad with an investment banker’s perspective on future development and growth strategies.

Kevin Hassall becomes our full-time Executive Producer Kevin has 15 years’ experience of running production and development projects and programmes of work, focusing on web and games development. During the dotcom boom he was Projects Director for On-line plc (an AIM-listed internet business incubator), and subsequently spent 5 years as Publishing Director on the board of Oxygen Interactive Software Ltd (a privately held game publisher). From March 2012 he brings this experience to Illyriad, driving the delivery of code, art, audio and content updates to our players.

Franck Sidon joins Illyriad as Company Secretary, and Edward Daniel as Legal Counsel.

Emphasising the key role that new technologies will play in the evolution of Illyriad, Niesewand added: “We are also delighted to welcome a number of new development staff to the existing Illyriad team: Simon Hopkin & Richard Hemsley join us on the code development side, the aptly-named James Bell is kickstarting our audio projects, and we’re thrilled to have the renowned game economist Tibike Cosmin on board as game designer.

The ‘Year of The Dragon’ is an immensely exciting time for both the corporation and the Illyriad players themselves, and we can’t wait to see what lies ahead.”

About Illyriad
Illyriad is a browser-based Massively Multiplayer strategy game, in which players take control of cities, engaging in city-building, quests, diplomacy, warfare and trade. Developed by London-based Illyriad Games Ltd., Illyriad went live in 2010 and was officially launched on May 16th 2011

What the Press Say about Illyriad:

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Release: A World of Change

Illyriad, the on-line strategy game, today announces the start of a major World Update, changing the nature of the gameworld, and marking a major step forward for free to play strategy games.

In place of an unchanging world defined by its geography (terrain, climate, etc.), Illyriad’s World Update sees specific features, buildings and Factions impact different areas of the map. This creates a fully immersive world, with unprecedented depth and continuity, which can be explored by players over a period of weeks, months or years.

“We’ve always been clear that players should have unique experiences in Illyriad,” explains founder James Niesewand; “Just because Illyriad is free to play, does not mean that it should be shallow or predictable. The idea of a strategy game where everyone does the same thing, with their cities notable only for having different coordinates on the map, has never appealed to us. As gamers, we want more depth, we want everyone to experience a world differently. And so, as developers, that’s what we’ve introduced here.”

The World Update began this week, and will continue to be revealed for several months. For a browser game already praised for its thoughtfulness, depth and originality, this further evolution continues to place Illyriad at the forefront of innovation within its genre.

“Two days ago we started ‘infecting’ the geography of one part of the map, and the community immediately noticed,” James Niesewand continues. “They have been investigating it and gossiping about it ever since, as they watch the map change on a daily basis. At the same time players have started to find and explore some of the other features that we have added to the map. Of course, by the time they have found them all, we will have added a new batch to the world. There is far more content here than we want to release in one shot – far better for the players to have the pleasure of watching the changes unfold at the relaxed pace that is typical of Illyriad.”

The newly evolving world of Illyriad can be experienced at, with the first changes in the World Update already in place.

Release: This is Illyriad

London-based Illyriad Games Ltd. today announces the launch of Illyriad, a unique free to play strategy game.

Two years in development, Illyriad offers players the depth of gameplay expected of a subscription-based game, but without charges. Set in a vast persistent world, players take on the role of a ruler founding first a single settlement and later expanding their empire to encompass multiple cities and broader territories. The game is an evolution of the familiar city development and resource management model, and adds features such as spies, theft, assassination, trade, and diplomatic relations to give the player the freedom to become the sort of ruler that they want to be.

“We started building the game two years ago,” explains Illyriad Games’ founder, James Niesewand, “very much as a game that we could get really excited about as players. We wanted an MMO empire-building game that could be played without downloads or plugins, that was set in a persistent, non-resetting sandbox fantasy world with a proper geography, the highest quality text and graphic content, that had a genuine diversity of game-play options and that didn’t treat its players like ATMs. We didn’t think it was too much to ask, but couldn’t find any free-to-play games out there that fit the bill – so that became our mission.”

“The first version of Illyriad went live a year ago, allowing us to test the game with live players. And through that later development phase we added more and more features, and upgraded the graphics. Now we have finally reached the stage where we are happy to announce the game and to start to promote it, but that isn’t to say that the game is finished. As a persistent, on-line game, we will continue to add new features, content and expansion packs. We also have further art updates in production, and a really exciting new feature list to release over the next few months.”

Illyriad is free to play now, at , and new feature releases will be announced in the near future.

Release: User Interface version 2 unleashed!

The exciting refresh of Illyriad’s User Interface has now been released…

Its been a while in the making, and after great player and community feedback in the open beta, we have launched the new user interface of Illyriad!

Illyriad's Interface and World Map over the one of the desert regions
The Ocean and an archipelago
The town map
Part of the comprehensive research tree
A view of Leather Armour prices in the Marketplace

Illyriad is a real-time Massively Multiplayer strategy browser-based game. It features a constantly evolving persistent world in which players can build their empires. It is free-to-play, has no downloads and uses no plugins, flash or Java.

Release: Illyriad showcased by Mozilla Game On

Illyriad has been selected to be showcased in Mozilla Labs’ first international gaming competition: Game On 2010

Mozilla Labs:

We built the Game On Gallery so that people who use the Web everyday can access and enjoy your games. Starting today, registered users of the Game On website can vote on their choice for the winner of the Community Choice prize category. Over the next couple weeks, our expert judges will be selecting winners for the other prize categories. Winners will be announced the first week of February.

We hope you have as much fun as we have playing these amazing open Web games!

Check out the Game On 2010 Gallery today!