Andreessen – Horowitz announced the creation of Games Fund One, an investment fund through which it will commit U$D 600 million for the development of web-based games3.
The American firm Andreessen Horowitz has announced that it will invest 600 million dollars in startups dedicated to the development of the gamer world. Through a statement on its social networks, the company, popularly known as a16z, confirmed the investment through an investment fund called Games Fund One.
Thus, the company founded in 2009 by Marc Andreessen and Ben Horowitz, seeks to position itself as a pillar in the development of web 3 games: “Having been investors in this space for over a decade, it is clear to us that the industry has entered a new era, and there is no better time than now to build a fund focused on supporting the next generation of game builders,” the announcement reads.
In this way, a16z joins other venture capitalists that have turned decisively to investing in gamer development, such as White Star Capital, who raised USD 120 million, or Framework Ventures, which assigned a sum of USD 200 million to blockchain gaming projects.
“In the last decade, gaming has radically transformed from packaged entertainment to online services similar to social networking, scaling as consumer technology companies,” the announcement says. It continues: “today’s games also drive innovation across the consumer ecosystem through new methods of engagement, retention and monetization. We believe games will play a pivotal role in defining the way we socialize, play, and work over the next century.”
Areas of development
As published by the U.S. firm, Games Fund One is based on the belief that games will play a pivotal role in defining the way people socialize, play and work over the next century. “Today’s most successful games, such as Fortnite, League of Legends and Minecraft, are communities that retain loyal users over the long term and generate billions of dollars in annual revenue” they state.
One of the key pillars in the future of gaming as expressed by Andreessen Horowitz is the way in which games foster certain economic and participation devices: “games are driving innovation across the consumer ecosystem, pioneering the best mechanisms for user participation, retention and monetization, such as microtransactions, battle passes and web3 tokens.”
In this way, the company plans for the funds to have a tripartite direction:
On the one hand, it will allocate part of the money to game studios. “Today’s best games are online services that are continuously updated and whose players are an integral part of the game through multiplayer and user-generated content” they explained. “These games as a service have become interesting and interactive social networks, whose in-game friendships rival those made in person.”
Furthermore, a percentage of the allocation of those funds will go to what they call Games x Consumer, which will seek to support gaming communities on platforms such as Discord: “The rapid growth in the number of gamers worldwide has created a thriving ecosystem of consumer applications to support them. As gaming becomes the primary way to spend time, we believe some of the most innovative consumer businesses will be built around gamer communities.” they confirmed.
And finally, a significant part of the investment will be in infrastructure: “As games evolve into virtual worlds and online services, the demand for the tools and services needed to create great games will continue to increase,” they said. In that regard, a16z’s vision is that metaverse projects will be built by gaming companies: “We believe that gaming infrastructure and technologies will be key to the development of the Metaverse, dwarfing even an industry like the $300 billion gaming industry.”
About Andreessen Horowitz
Andreessen Horowitz is a U.S. venture capital firm founded in 2009 by Marc Andreessen and Ben Horowitz, based in Menlo Park, California. It is a company that invests in both startups and established companies and its funding range includes the mobile, social, e-commerce, education and enterprise IT industries.
Since the early 2010s a16z began backing gamer-oriented companies such as Zynga and Oculus, which helped build its expertise with both game studios and their technologies. “Recently we have invested across the ecosystem, backing established veterans like Riot Games, CCP and Epic Games, as well as startups like Z League and Sleeper,” they amplified.
A16z currently has a broad portfolio of clients, for which they allocate a cross-functional team of experts from across the company “many of whom are gamers” they comment. They validate this statement with a brief anecdote: “our partner Jon Lai even met his wife playing League of Legends”.
Decidedly immersed in the gamer world, the aforementioned investment deepens the company’s intention to play hard, metaphorically speaking, in this universe: “with Games Fund One, we will continue to develop deeper networks adapted to the gaming ecosystem in order to help the companies in our portfolio in all aspects, from the creation of digital communities to the management of their virtual economies, including best practices for licensing intellectual property or help in creating their development teams” they conclude.