Game company acquisitions have seen a boom this year, with $25 billion in mergers and acquisitions so far to date. China’s Giant acquired social casino game maker Playtika for $4.4 billion, Tencent bought 84 percent of Clash Royale maker Supercell at a $10.2 billion valuation. But investments have dropped off, and many one-time game investors have moved into investing in non-game augmented reality or virtual reality startups.
It seems like a disconnect. At GamesBeat 2016, we asked a panel of seasoned venture capitalists why they keep investing in games when other VCs have moved to other pastures in search of unicorns.
Our panelists included Dan Fiden, chief strategy officer at FunPlus and former parter at Signia Venture Partners; Clinton Foy, managing director at CrossCut Ventures and chairman of The Immortals esports team; and Chris Fralic, partner at First Round Capital. The session was moderated by Martin Rae, president of the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences.
The panel said that they keep investing in games because they love them. They do it because the opportunities have never been greater, and the possibilities for developers to innovate are huge. And there’s always trends to take advantage of. Foy pointed out that he is already seeing pitches from startups that say they’re the next Pokémon Go.
But each VC has a different view on where the opportunities in game investments are, like in mobile VR or “heavy VR” where headsets take advantage of PCs or consoles.
Here’s the video of the session.