Who's behind Hooded Horse?

I play a lot of Rimworld and actively browse the Reddit forum for the game and a few months ago I saw an ad for what looked like an obvious Rimworld ripoff called Clash of Clans. Once I saw it was on steam I clicked on it to see how bad it was and it didn’t tell me much so I forgot about it except I had relentless ads for the game all over my Reddit.

I remembed the publisher’s name, Hooded Horse because it’s pretty unique and saw ads for a game called Against the Storm which looked like an obvious ripoff of Timberborn since it featured beavers building stuff and saw that the reviews were…amazing.

So I picked up Against the Storm with my Epic year end sale coupon and love it. Now I’m getting ads for Xenonaughts 2 publisher…Hooded Horse. Xenonaughts 1 is fantastic, better than the X-Com reboot in my opinion so now I’m taking notice. I looked at the company website and Google provides no insight as to who this putlisher is and the company website is like a blank slate as far as describing who runs the company.

They obviously have money since they are publishing a ton of games and they know a good game when they see one so I’d expect it’s someone who has some time and experience in the industry but they obviously don’t want the spotlight to be on the people, just the generic publisher name. Does anyone here know the story of how they came about and who’s running things there?

Here ya go, a neat interview with Tim Bender, founder and CEO of Hooded Horse. Very much a gamer!

Explorminate had an interview with him as well.

I think the answer is that they’re a bunch of folks who realized that small-to-medium strategy games do amazingly well on PC!

I think the Hooded Horse game is Clanfolk, not Clash of Clans (isn’t that a mobile game?).

And Old World, Manor Lords, Terra Invicta, Sons of Valhalla among others.

Yup, a wildly popular (as of a few years ago anyway) and heavily monetized one. I have no doubt it has ads all over the place, but it’s not a Hooded Horse game.


That estimated reading time (for a one hour podcast) cracks me up.

@wildpokerman is misremembering the name of Clanfolk :)

You are absolutely correct lol.

I’d agree with that but the quality of the games punches way above the weight of your average indy publisher so I thought it was either a retired game developer like Sandy Peterson or Sid Meier or a big name publisher like EA putting out games under a different brand name so that the indy game crowd didn’t pooh-pooh the games.

I googled to see if I could find more interviews and the top link for me for Tim was his LinkedIn page. Went to UT Austin, then to Stanford Law, practiced law for a year then a couple more graduate degrees, McKinsey consultant for a year then Hooded Horse so it’s not the resume I expected.

What surprises me about the company is the consistency of quality so far, they seem to have a lot of games teed up for 2023 release too so if the quality stays high they will probably be one of the strategy companies that goes down in gaming history like Firaxis or 3DO.

Game Developer published conversation with Tim Bender today:

Has he bootstrapped Hooded Horse with his own money or are investors involved? I’ve heard a couple interviews but missed the details of the founding, if they were discussed. Just curious.

I don’t think the company needs to be the product of a singular genius to be able to make remarkable games. (I know that’s not what you’re claiming, cornchip, but it feels like the premise of this thread.) I think HH is like several other indie publishers that have come on the scene in the last several years, it just happens to be focused on the strategy and RPG genres. That means it probably has investors. There’s another style of publisher which is the “dev that had a big hit and leveraged it into becoming a publisher.” Curve Games took the profits from Stealth, Inc. and some deals to port indie games and became a significant indie publisher, for example.

The thing that most caught my eye about that link is the thumbnail. I hadn’t heard of Sons of Valhalla, but it looks (in the most literal way possible) awesome.

Looking at their steam homepage and upcoming releases, they look like their strategy is to be a continuous wallet threat for me.

I just noticed this:

So, Arcen has a game coming that is going to be published by Hooded Horse? Awesome. Glad to see he was able to continue on with another project after AI War 2.

Apologies for necro-ing the thread. Just wanted to introduce myself as Hooded Horse’s PR guy. I’m Joe, pleased to meet you all!

I was a member of Qt3 under a previous account (which I seem to have lost the details for) when I was editor of Wargamer.com and Strategy Gamer, so some of you might remember me from that time, but I’ve been doing other things since then and now I’ve left games journalism and work in games publishing :)

If any of you have any questions about Hooded Horse, please do let me know!

Welcome (back), Joe! Very excited about Hooded Horse’s projects. Been loving Against the Storm for a couple years now. Good luck with its launch and whatever else you have in the hopper!

Hi, Joe.

I was going to post this in the dedicated thread, but since you popped up here I’ll ask you: What’s going on with Alliance of the Sacred Suns? Steve hasn’t posted here in ages, nor has there been any new information on the Steam page.