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written by Jordan Dunn  |  Photos courtesy of Velan Studios

In the Spring of 2022, we covered the Capital Region’s expanding video game market. At the time, “large studios within the capital region collectively boasted 460 jobs, a 5.5% increase…” from the year before.

In the time since, this niche gaming area and the businesses that call it home have only continued to prosper. One local group, Velan Studios, is making news again with their launch of Hot Wheels® Rift Rally.

Who is Velan Studios?

Velan Studios is a digital game developer and publisher known for its hit games Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit®, Knockout City®, and its recently announced Hot Wheels® Rift Rally.

Based in Troy, NY, Velan Studios was originally co-founded by two brothers, Guha Bala and Karthik Bala, in 2016.

While the company is ever expanding, they are still happy to call the Capital Region their home.

“The Capital Region has been home to Velan Studios for its six years. Today, the region has more than two-dozen digital gaming companies and a strong pipeline of talent from RPI and other regional universities. While we are happy to call this area home, we compete for talent from everywhere, including many other places with high quality of life for creative teams. We collectively need to work to continue to grow the economy and opportunity here so that future generations of developers will call the Capital Region home,” said Guha Bala, President of Velan Studios.

Since its conception in 2016, Velan studios has grown to around 140 professionals.

Velan claims its “focus on finding new play patterns to create game experiences, such as augmented and mixed reality, and new forms of competitive multiplayer gaming,” is what sets them apart from others in the industry at the moment.

What Does 2023 Hold for Velan?

2023 poses to be a big year for the company as they are “looking forward to the launch of Hot Wheels® Rift Rally, a mixed reality RC car game for iPhones, iPads, and PlayStations where players can race and stunt their car collection in their living rooms,” reported Bala.

Simultaneously, the company will be “sunsetting” their Knockout City® game in order to focus on this new initiative, as well as those to come.

The company hopes that in setting their sights towards the future, they will be well positioned for the years to come. Bala reported that Velan has “several products in development that will be launched in future years. Games can take years to make, but they start with doing a lot of experiments followed by crafting amazing experiences.”