Video Game Startup Building Games That are as Fun to Watch as They are to Play
Outpost Games, a video game startup building games that are as much fun to watch as they are to play, today announced it has closed a $6.2 million Series A round led by Benchmark Capital. With this investment, the company intends to invest in tools, platform technology and content that empower gamers to create great performances. Mitch Lasky, general partner at Benchmark, and angel investor Manuel Bronstein, head of consumer products at YouTube, join the board.
Outpost Games is the brainchild of game development veterans from Electronic Arts and Zynga who’ve created games in the Dead Space franchise, Farmville 2, and other popular and highly successful games for consoles, PC, mobile and social.
“A whole generation of gamers is growing up watching games as linear entertainment,” said Sachin Pansuria, Outpost Games co-founder and CEO. “Games like Minecraft and League of Legends garner billions of views on YouTube and Twitch, but the most popular games are incredibly difficult to watch for anyone but the most seasoned gamers. We founded Outpost Games in response to this.”
Wright Bagwell, co-founder and creative director added, “We need to fundamentally re-think how we design games. There’s an enormous opportunity to transform the entire entertainment industry by creating games that tell great stories, turn players into compelling performers within those stories, and give audiences the opportunity to interact with and influence those performances.”
Millennials viewing games on the internet is a megatrend that’s showing no signs of slowing down and generating stats that would make television executives envious:
* Games are the #2 category on YouTube with Minecraft, the most popular, at 47 billion views.
* PewDiePie alone boasts 37 million subscribers and more than 9 billion views.
* 27 million people watched the 2014 League of Legends Championships, with 11.2 million peak concurrent viewers.
“The number of young people watching gameplay as a form of linear entertainment on sites like Twitch and YouTube is enormous and growing all around the world,” said Lasky. ”But the viewing experience is still very primitive — it’s akin to the early 20th century, when movies were basically filmed stage-plays. Outpost Games approached us with the idea of creating next-generation game content and technology with a new grammar of visual storytelling built-in. We found that idea compelling, and see enormous potential for growth.”
Benchmark invests in and works alongside entrepreneurs building startups into transformational companies. We focus on early-stage venture investing in mobile, marketplaces, social, and infrastructure and enterprise software. Benchmark’s $425 million fund is comprised of five equal general partners who take board seats and a hands-on approach to every entrepreneur and company we back, with no junior investment staff. Benchmark’s current portfolio of early-stage venture investments includes private market leaders such as Uber, Snapchat, Tinder, Stitch Fix, Elasticsearch and Cyanogen; recent IPOs and acquisitions such as Twitter, Instagram, Yelp, League of Legends, OpenTable, New Relic, Hortonworks, GrubHub, Zendesk and Zillow; and franchise companies from Juniper to eBay to Red Hat. In the past four years 14 of Benchmark’s companies have gone public and 24 have been acquired, representing a cumulative market value of approximately $100 billion. Benchmark’s offices are in San Francisco and Woodside.
Based in Redwood City, CA, Outpost Games is a video game startup focused on turning players into performers and giving them an audience. The company was co-founded by game development veterans Sachin Pansuria and Wright Bagwell, and is funded by leading VC firm Benchmark Capital and others. For more information, visit the Outpost Games website at: www.outpostgames.com