Game development company Lightspeed Venture Partners is looking (VB Live)
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“We are living through an unprecedented period in terms of the amount of funds available to game developers,” said Amy Wu, partner at Lightspeed Venture Partners. “It’s a $ 175 billion market for content alone. New investors entering the space are very interested in supporting game companies, and now is a great time to make games if you are a developer.
How developers can make the cut
Since much of the investment value is generated by pre-launch games, investors like Lightspeed Venture Partners, who speak to dozens of developer teams each year, prefer projects that are still in their infancy. And what separates the teams they evolve with from the pack are the founders who want to build something disruptive and visionary, she says.
For every escape game there are hundreds of new studios that are finding fun and many in need of fundraising. Investors like Lightspeed spend most of their time with start-up studios.
“We’re looking for founders who have a unique vision of what they’re building, who have a big vision and aren’t afraid to tackle it,” Wu says. “We want to take the 10-year journey with them. . We are excited about the bold bets.
Relevant experience helps, Wu says. It could mean a team building a casual mobile game with founders who have already delivered a similar game, or who have themselves or recruited people with extensive experience in mobile game design. , live trading or monetization. Sometimes, however, the founders, regardless of their past experience, stumble upon a unique idea that works. Partnering with the right investor can help founders grow their business.
The hardest part for some developers: getting your foot in the right door in the right way. But it also works the other way around: figuring out who to meet in the gaming community can be difficult for investors as well.
“Whenever possible, always get a warm introduction. ” she says. “The gaming community is small and very connected. If one of our portfolio companies refers a team to me, I will attend the meeting 100%.
The main obstacles and how to break them
The main hurdle Wu sees for developers is that, unlike other tech industries, a game studio often has to raise significant funds, sometimes hundreds of millions of dollars, before the game launches. This can be difficult even for them. most experienced teams.
“The founders should expand the network and take advantage of the diversity of funding sources. Talk to experienced investors, whether they are publishers or game-focused investors, as well as more general investors falling into the category, ”Wu said.“ What’s important is that is to translate their vision into messages that someone without 20 years of gaming experience can understand. “
Initial conversations should focus on why the game you’re making is going to stand out and your unique perspective, but for more generalist arguments, she recommends founders take it to the next level, to help them understand. why you are interested in a particular genre. In case of pre-launch, founders can add metrics around community building and alpha / beta playtest results.
Lightspeed has started investing in a number of exciting new game developers, Wu said, including Hidden Leaf Games, founded by David Lee and Bao Lam, who are creating a MOBA action game called Fangs.
“We were excited about the team because they made a fun game, they ship quickly and they recruited Steve ‘Guinsoo’ Feak to lead the design. ” she says.
“The combination of all of this made us super excited to see where this team was going to take their business next,” she explains.
These are alpha testing, which gives interested people the opportunity to try out the game and start spreading word of mouth which is the key to a game’s viral success. Another key factor that indicates blockbuster potential The game is that in early gaming tests the game resonated with the competitive esports community.
Lightspeed is actively seeking developers who can demonstrate this kind of potential, Wu explains.
“I’m super optimistic about the next decade of gaming,” she said. “We’re going to see so many innovations in space. If you’re a developer thinking about starting a business in the space, now is the time to do it. At Lightspeed, we would love to talk to you.
Do not miss!
Register here for free.
You will discover :
- Funding Available For Game Developers Now
- Determine if an investor is the right partner
- Alternative financing options taking center stage
- Build a portfolio and a pitch
- Navigate successfully through meetings with potential investors
- Salone Sehgal, general partner, Lumikai Ltd.
- Amy wu, Partner, Lightspeed Venture Partners
- Justin berenbaum, Vice-President, Strategic Planning and General Manager, Xsolla Funding Club
- Dean Takahashi, Senior Editor, GamesBeat (moderator)