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The Gold Rush for talented app makers continues. 6waves Lolapps is announcing it has created a $10 million fund to invest in mobile and social game developers. The so-called 6L Fund will help the company find talented developers, fund their games, and publish them for social networks such as Facebook.
The fund marks the company intent to be a serious player in social games as well as its first foray into mobile games.
San Francisco-based 6waves Lolapps, formed by the merger of 6waves and Lolapps this summer, is already a major publisher of third-party content on Facebook. It has a combined 40 million monthly active users and has published around 14 titles that have hit more than 1 million monthly active users, said Jim Ying, senior vice president of publishing at 6waves Lolapps, in an interview. The money will help attract the attention of developers, but the company won’t necessary invest money in exchange for equity stakes. More likely, it will provide the developer with money to get a game done.
“We want to find the companies with the big ideas and bring their vision to completion,” Ying said. “Facebook and social games are evolving.”
Ying said the timing is good because social gaming is going through changes. Production costs are rising, brands are moving into the market, and competition is getting tougher. So every game maker has to up its quality, and Ying believes the 6L Fund will be a good way to find new talent.
Developers who participate and receive funds from 6waves Lolapps could benefit by getting their games cross-promoted. 6waves Lolapps can use its marketing muscle to distribute games to larger audiences. 6waves Lolapps can help game companies acquire new users, manage their products, localize and host games. It can also license the Fliso game engine, a Flash-based game tool.
The move into mobile games is a strategic one that reflects the changing of gamers’ tastes. Starting next Tuesday, Sept. 27, developers will be able to apply for funds at the company’s web site. 6waves Lolapps has more than 100 employees. The Lolapps side of the business is developing titles internally at the company, while 6waves publishes titles for independent game developers.
Ying said the company will look at any size project. but he said most companies that work with it have 10 or so employees. But Yang said his firm will reach out to smaller companies still. Overall, 6waves Lolapps has a third of its developers and its users in Europe, a third in North America, and a third in Asia.
“The goal is to help developers kick a game out the door,” Ying said.
Rival game companies have set up funds as well, but mostly in mobile games. Competitors with their own funds include Tapjoy, Flurry, and TinyCo.