Phoenix Labs

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Phoenix Labs
IndustryVideo games
FoundedApril 2014; 8 years ago (2014-04)
Number of locations
4[1] (as of 2021)
SubsidiariesBot School Inc.

Phoenix Labs is a Canadian video game developer based in Vancouver, British Columbia. The company was founded in April 2014 by former Riot Games developers Jesse Houston, Sean Bender, and Robin Mayne.[2][3] The studio's first project, Dauntless, launched in open beta on Microsoft Windows in May 2018[4] and has been released on PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One on May 21st 2019 and released on Nintendo Switch on December 10th 2019.


Phoenix Labs was founded in 2014 by Jesse Houston, Sean Bender, and Robin Mayne, all former developers with Riot Games.[2] The founders were joined by former Bioware, Riot Games, Capcom, and Blizzard Entertainment developers.[5] The first 23 of the studio's employees had all shipped games with Houston previously.[6]

In February 2018, Phoenix Labs opened its first US studio in San Mateo, California [7]

In February 2018, Phoenix Labs received Series B funding from tech investors including Sapphire Ventures, GGV, Next Frontier, and MTGx,[8] though they maintained independent control of the studio.[9] Throughout Dauntless' development and pre-release, the company encouraged back and forth conversations between developers and players.[10] Game designers, directors, and executives all connect with players regularly through forums and social media.[11][10] Since the game's beta release, the studio has continued to make changes based on player feedback and discussion.[11] For example, Dauntless originally featured a paid loot boxes system called "Chroma Cores," which were removed after they received negative feedback from players.[11]

In July 2018, Phoenix Labs announced that Dauntless had reached 2 million registered accounts.[12] The studio raised another round of funding in October 2018, led by Sapphire Ventures,[6] intended to help expand the live service operations of Dauntless.[13] In December 2018 Phoenix Labs launched a season pass feature called Hunt Pass, a series of challenges that promise limited-time rewards while the season lasts.[14][15]

The studio had originally promised a PlayStation 4 and Xbox One launch for Dauntless in April 2019,[16] though this date was later pushed to summer 2019.[17][18] The game officially launched on consoles on September 26, 2019.[19]

On January 29, 2020, Garena announced the acquisition of Phoenix Labs for an estimated US$150 million.[20]

On December 2, 2020 Phoenix Labs announced it was opening two new offices in Los Angeles, California and Montreal, Quebec.[21]

Games developed[edit]

Year Title Genre(s) Platform(s)
2019 Dauntless Action-RPG PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows, Nintendo Switch

Epic Games Store criticism[edit]

In January 2019, Phoenix Labs announced partnership with Epic Games which will see Dauntless become available on PC exclusively through the Epic Games store and require all players to sign in using an Epic Games account.[22]

While the move to make Dauntless an Epic Games store exclusive received criticism, Mayne cited cross-platform play as the partnership's main benefit.[23]


  1. ^
  2. ^ a b "League of Legends vets form Phoenix Labs". Retrieved 2021-08-22.
  3. ^ "Phoenix Labs' lessons learned from League of Legends". Retrieved 2019-05-20.
  4. ^ Cox, Matt (2018-05-25). "Dauntless invites everyone to slay some poor animals in its open beta". Rock, Paper, Shotgun. Retrieved 2019-05-20.
  5. ^ "Former BioWare, Riot, Capcom, Solstice, Blizzard Devs Announce 'Dauntless'". Game Rant. 2016-12-01. Retrieved 2019-05-20.
  6. ^ a b "Phoenix Labs on walking the line between Dauntless and reckless". Retrieved 2019-05-20.
  7. ^ "Phoenix Labs Raises Series B Financing from Sapphire Ventures, GGV, Ridge, Signia, Next Frontier and MTGX". 14 February 2018.
  8. ^ Palumbo, Alessio (2018-02-15). "Dauntless Developer Raises Series B Financing Round To Build Upon The Game's Foundation". Wccftech. Retrieved 2019-05-20.
  9. ^ "If loot boxes are free-to-play's present, what will be the future?". Retrieved 2019-05-20.
  10. ^ a b "Phoenix Labs' Jesse Houston: 'Community involvement' is the beating heart of Dauntless". Retrieved 2019-05-20.
  11. ^ a b c "Dauntless: Making a different kind of monster hunting game". VentureBeat. 2018-03-10. Retrieved 2019-05-20.
  12. ^ "Phoenix Labs' Dauntless hits 2 million players and readies big expansion". VentureBeat. 2018-07-17. Retrieved 2019-05-20.
  13. ^ Daniel, Matt. "Dauntless dev Phoenix Labs leads financing round to secure 'a couple years of runway' | Massively Overpowered". Retrieved 2019-05-20.
  14. ^ Davenport, James (2018-12-07). "Dauntless heading to Epic Games store, aiming for crossplay across all platforms". PC Gamer. Retrieved 2019-05-20.
  15. ^ Ramée, Jordan (2019-04-26). "Monster Hunter-Like Dauntless Gets New Hunt Pass And Content Update". GameSpot. Retrieved 2019-05-20.
  16. ^ Phillips, Tom (2018-12-07). "Monster Hunter-like Dauntless headed to consoles and mobile next year". Eurogamer. Retrieved 2019-05-20.
  17. ^ "Dauntless PS4 Release Date Delayed to Summer 2019". PlayStation LifeStyle. 2019-03-13. Retrieved 2019-05-20.
  18. ^ "Dauntless console and Epic Games Store release delayed". Retrieved 2019-05-20.
  19. ^ Olson, Mathew (2019-09-26). "Dauntless Leaves Early Access With a New Weapon and a New Behemoth". USgamer. Retrieved 2021-08-22.
  20. ^ "Garena buys gaming developer Phoenix Labs, sources say for over $203.7m". The Straits Times. 2020-01-29. Retrieved 2020-04-22.
  21. ^ "New Games and Beyond: A Multi-Studio Future for Phoenix Labs". Phoenix Labs. 2020-12-02. Retrieved 2020-12-02.
  22. ^ Brown, Fraser (2019-01-31). "Dauntless is joining the Epic Games Store". PC Gamer. Retrieved 2019-05-20.
  23. ^ "Dauntless exclusivity on Epic Games Store is for cross-play". 2019-04-01. Retrieved 2019-05-20.

External links[edit]