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Fenix Games has raised $150 million to create a new kind of publisher for blockchain games.
The idea is to create a publishing and platform company that plays a key role in bringing blockchain games to market. Fenix Games plans to acquire, invest in, and publish both existing games and blockchain games of the future.
Investors include Phoenix Group and Cypher Capital. The new company suggests that blockchain gaming – which has seen something of a Cambrian explosion over the past two years – is headed for consolidation where big companies will emerge acquiring or funding all solid startups. In other words, Fenix Games hopes to be in a good position to consolidate many companies into one strong company with a big wallet – one that can survive the current blockchain gaming slump.
“You can think of us as a venture capital fund,” Chris Ko, CEO and co-founder of Fenix Games, said in an interview with GamesBeat. “The market is similar to the one before [mobile gaming at the rise of free-to-play games] but he has yet to find his Clash of Clans for blockchain games. We use the VC arm to fund the next generation of games. We’re actually going to start with a huge capital base to invest in these studios. We are also looking to use our balance sheet to acquire a bunch of existing games in the web2 space to build a portfolio. And it will be the right basis for our portfolio.
Historically, the gaming industry has had participants who have provided a market or platform for both
players and game developers. In consoles, platforms included Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo. And in mobile, the platforms are Apple and Google.
In both of these cases, an entire marketplace was created and led to an ecosystem enabling content consumption. However, for blockchain games, that market currently does not exist, Ko said. The company was created by a group of veterans in the gaming industry, blockchain and financial markets.
“We plan to acquire, invest in, publish and in some cases operate games and studios,” Ko said. “We will have a few hundred million to deploy to execute our strategy.”
Channels represent a potential platform similar to previous gaming rounds, but at this point they don’t appear to be focused on building the player market, Ko said.
“We think this is temporary because the main apps on the channels are going to be games,” Ko said. “The infrastructure, tools and support just don’t exist. We believe there is an opportunity for the role of publishing to elevate its role in the gaming ecosystem.”
“We believe there is a structural void – We aim to fill that void with a redesigned editing group that leverages some of the traditional editing features, but with a new function,” Ko said. “Just like in the free mobile games, there was a mix of analytics and product management function to launch, scale and operate live services, we believe blockchain gaming will see a similar “mix” of functions. “
Fenix Games wants to combine the skills of its staff in game publishing and product management as well as The functions will be rooted in product management, but will take disciplines and capabilities from financial services, primarily the asset management.
The combination of these disciplines is what the company calls game market economies. In its simplest terms, this will create the market for a game or games to maximize the potential players for a game. A key function of economies game market will be to evolve the community before the launch of the game.
Similar to the Live Ops feature that was created to support a game’s launch for years, Fenix Games believes game market economies will play a vital role in the months or even years leading up to launch. of a game. This activity is necessary to fill the void in what was previously filled by platform owners.
“It’s a bit of a roll up, but it’s also investing,” Ko said.
Fenix Games will focus on marrying game market economies and live operations to provide publishing services for all game models – premium, free-to-play and blockchain games across all platforms.
“I see a huge divide right now with various developers experimenting with game infrastructure, middleware, etc. There’s no one who really fills the publisher role and tries to figure out how you get to market,” said Ko. “By taking an editorial approach, we abstain from technology. We play against Switzerland in technology and we mitigate risk.”
In addition to raising its own funds, Fenix Games will also have access to allies among investors with much more capital – in the hundreds of millions of dollars.
Ko said Fenix Games is a next-gen game publisher facilitating the transition of the next billion gamers to a blockchain-integrated future. While traditional Web2 games have mature distribution platforms and markets that bring together billions of gamers and developers, Web3 lacks the infrastructure, tools, and support to facilitate mass adoption.
As more and more quality developers embrace blockchain technology and design principles, Ko said the company sees an opportunity for the publishing role to increase its value in design, release and game operations.
“And what that means is that we’re not bound by one technology, we’re not beholden to one ecosystem,” Ko said.
Ko previously served as senior vice president of corporate development for Mythical Games. He has nearly 20 years of gaming experience and has held general manager positions at Electronic Arts and Kabam. Previously, he was a portfolio manager at Blackrock and an equity research analyst at JPMorgan.
Other co-founders of Fenix Games include Rudy Koch, chief commercial officer and co-founder of Mythical Games. Koch has 15 years of experience developing games on the biggest names in the industry: Club Penguin, Call of Duty, Skylanders and World of Warcraft.
Antonio Hallack is CIO/CTO and co-founder. Hallack previously worked as global head of e-commerce at Credit Suisse; responsible for props trading, market making, CTO and other leadership positions at IB (Citi, Merrill, Goldman, Salomon Smith Barney, Bridgewater, etc.). He has been involved in prop trading, market maker and asset management in the crypto markets since 2017.
Matt Nutt is COO and co-founder of Fenix Games. He was previously COO and Head of Games at Mythical Games. Prior to joining Mythical, he was Vice President and Group General Manager for EA Mobile. Previously, he oversaw Glu Mobile’s studios, ran independent studio Cie Games (and sold to Glu for $100 million in 2014), and held executive positions at Blizzard Entertainment and Square Enix, in business development roles.
“The four of us are working to help the company expand the things we did from our past lives into the ‘chain game markets,'” Ko said.
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