Making it Work

W4 Games plans to triple workforce as it fills the Godot gaps

Gaming start-up aims to democratise the industry by offering services based on the open-source game engine Godot

Fabio Alessandrelli, Rémi Verschelde, Juan Linietsky and Nicola Farronato, founders of W4 Games: the company’s staff all work remotely around the world

Gaming start-up W4 Games plans to triple its workforce within the next 18 months.

The company was founded in 2022 and managed to raise €8.5 million in initial seed funding from a number of investors, including Open Source Software Capital and Lux Capital, a Silicon Valley-based firm.

W4 Games offers professional services for game development or software-as-a-service game development based on the open-source game engine Godot. Game engines form the basic architecture for video games and determine the functionality and graphics of a video game title.

Nicola Farronato, the company co-founder, said he hoped W4 Games would help bring more competition to a market currently dominated by a small number of large firms.

“The game development industry is currently dominated by the two companies Unity and Unreal, which results in a very closed market,” Farronato said.

“Our concept is to offer enterprise solutions on the base of the open-source Godot engine and fight existing bottlenecks in the industry,” he added.

Fact File

Company: W4Gaming

Founded by: Nicola Farronato, Juan Linietsky, Rémi Verschelde and Fabio Alessandrelli in 2022

Staff: 25

Turnover: 2023: €500,000

Farronato founded W4Games with three Godot experts, Juan Linietsky, Rémi Verschelde and Fabio Alessandrelli, to cater for the need of what Farronato calls “the long tail of the market”.

“There are currently approximately 1,000 games a year published with the Godot engine,” said Farronato. “And it’s not only small and independent game developers, but also big companies who rely on the engine because it’s easy to use.”

According to Farronato, Sega, the creator of Sonic the Hedgehog, used the engine for its latest game and even Tesla, the electric vehicle giant, uses Godot for its mobile app.

“With W4 Games we fill the gaps that the engine itself can not deliver,” said Farronato.

The Godot engine is owned by the Godot Foundation, a not-for profit organisation based in the Netherlands that holds the naming rights.

The company itself only operates to support the engine. Companies such as W4 Games are pushing into the service gaps. This year, W4 Games presented its first market-ready products for the game development industry and is about to close its Series A funding round.

“We develop, for example, gaming console compatibility for the Godot engine so that [a] small developer can also publish for Playstation or XBox or we set up a Godot-based cloud service, so that small and independent developers can integrate a multiplayer function into their games,” added Farronato.

A fit-for-purpose multiplayer function needs back-end software and development that would cost a company developing it alone at least €500,000, he added.

“We will shortly announce our official pricing for our products,” said Farronato. “For our software as a service product, we are currently planning a subscription-based model depending on studio size and functionality.”

W4 Games employs 25 people who all work remotely around the world.

Farronato is a serial entrepreneur who has founded seven companies, and who lived in Dublin from 2011 to 2018. In 2011, he founded the online service company B-Smark and met his later co-founder Fabio Allessandrelli.

“We stayed in contact and he introduced me to the Godot engine five years ago,” Farronato said. “He knew the other [founders] already and I offered my founding experience to co-found W4Games.”

In his years in Dublin, Farronato also worked closely with Enterprise Ireland.

“Enterprise Ireland USA supported us when we joined the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco,” said Farronato.

“Every time I’ve worked with Enterprise Ireland, it has been brilliant,” he added.

Enterprise Ireland is not currently providing funding to W4Games, Farronato said. “However, we are exploring every avenue to further scale our company.”

He expects that W4 games will be able to grow its current annual turnover of €500,000 by between five and ten times that amount within the next two years.

This Making it Work article is produced in partnership with Enterprise Ireland