Realtime Worlds raises $50 million for online games

Finally, I get to write about a traditional console game developer raising venture capital. Scottish game company Realtime Worlds has raised $50 million in a third round, according to TechCrunch.

The deal was led by Maverick Capital.  Advisors reportedly included Montgomery & Co., TechCrunch said. Previously, the company raised $33 million from CIM Fund and New Enterprise Associates.

Realtime Worlds was created by David Jones, one of the original creators of the Grand Theft Auto franchise that has sold tens of millions of games. He also created the successful Lemmings series. I played a lot of the company’s “Crackdown” title for the Xbox 360. This game represented Microsoft’s attempt to match the GTA phenomenon, but it had a different comic-book style artistry to it. You played a cop in a futuristic city who took on street thugs and could jump huge distances through a city that was like an open world.

apb.jpgRealtime Worlds is working on titles such as All Points Bulletin, recently revealed at the Game Developers Conference. That game is a combination of Crackdown’s street combat and a persistent online world. The latter explains the funding. Ordinary console game developers rarely raise venture money. But VCs are willing to bet on massively multiplayer online games. The amount of money here might seem like a lot, but for an MMO, that’s almost the beginning ante these days. Poker, anyone? Well, you can see with this kind of money at stake, the money guys are willing to bet only on veterans.

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