Meteor Entertainment, a newly formed publisher of free-to-play video games including the highly anticipated HAWKEN from Adhesive Games, has closed two separate rounds of financing with top venture capital firms Benchmark Capital and FirstMark Capital. The investment of these strategic players signals Meteor’s position as an emerging leader of next generation games based on a free-to-play economic model.
"Succeeding at free-to-play requires a new design paradigm, a new marketing approach, and a new relationship between developers and customers that has more to do with Internet commerce than the traditional games business," said Mark Long, CEO of Meteor Entertainment. "We’re fortunate to have such a strong and experienced group of investors who believe that distribution innovation drives value creation, with a proven track record of success."
Benchmark and FirstMark Capital are once again aligned on their vision for the gaming space, with a focus on growth in free-to-play gaming for a core gaming audience. Benchmark and FirstMark previously backed Riot Games, the studio behind the highly successful free-to-play LEAGUE OF LEGENDS. China’s Tencent acquired a majority stake in Riot for more than $400 million last year.
"At Benchmark, we invest in people and companies poised to make extraordinary impact, and we’re very enthusiastic about the long-term success of both Meteor and Adhesive," said Mitch Lasky of Benchmark Capital.
"Creativity without compromise’ is Seattle-based Meteor’s mission objective as a publisher supporting independent game developers and in building a global, direct-to-consumer, F2P publishing company. Meteor’s go-to-market title, the highly anticipated, free-to-play HAWKEN, is being developed by Los Angeles-based Adhesive Games, helmed by visionary CEO and Creative Director Khang Le.
"We look for leaders and innovators in emerging technology, and there’s no doubt that Meteor and Adhesive are on the leading edge in the rise of the direct-to-consumer model," said Rick Heitzmann, Founder and Managing Director of FirstMark Capital. "We believe in their disruptive approach combining high quality with free-to-play."
With initial funding in place, Meteor can support the launch of at least two titles and the build-out of infrastructure to capture the worldwide core gaming market as it moves away from packaged goods and into the F2P online space.
Since HAWKEN was first announced on 2/6/12, over 200k fans have signed up for the closed beta at www.playhawken.com. The game launches on 12/12/12.