Excessive-profile entertainment-industry traders Eric Garland and Evan Richter have simply introduced a $75 million fund for media, leisure, and video games, with Epic Video games as one of many choose firms Smash Ventures has chosen to spend money on. In an interview with GamesBeat, the duo has defined what’s so totally different about Epic Video games, and why they’re selecting to spend money on it.
The pair’s relationship with Epic Video games goes again six or seven years when each had been working in enterprise investments for Disney. A dialog with Pixar co-founder Ed Catmull led to Garland and Richter searching for firms that developed sport engines, which led them to Epic. “We put out only a handful of chilly calls,” Garland stated. “One among them was a very chilly e-mail. I feel we guessed Tim Sweeney’s e-mail tackle. He responded.”
The pair initially invested in Epic on Disney’s behalf, however later reconnected with Sweeney whereas placing their very own firm Smash Ventures collectively. “We related with Tim, caught up, and he stated, ‘I am placing a round collectively. Would you wish to take part?’ It was a privilege to get to do this,” Richter defined. “That was our first funding, and there have been many since then, nevertheless it began all at the moment.”
Thanks to those pre-existing relationships, Smash Ventures was in a position to be a “huge half” of the $1.25 billion funding Epic raised in 2018. As for why Epic is such a beautiful funding, Garland and Richter say it is all about video games evolving from single leisure titles to all-encompassing platforms.
“Eric and I share a thesis round gaming, which is that gaming is the subsequent social community,” Richter defined. “Gaming firms have moved from a studio-driven mannequin to a platform mannequin. That shift has occurred during the last a number of years. Numerous traders might have been gradual to that: ‘Recreation firms are media companies. They’re hit-driven. They’re onerous to determine.’ All of the whereas individuals like Tim Sweeney and the guys at Roblox have acknowledged that these are nearer to true platforms.”
Whereas Smash Ventures is investing in quite a lot of companies outdoors leisure, its positively seeking to do extra within the gaming area. The agency is seeking to maintain its investments centered on a small variety of firms, nevertheless it’s doubtless we’ll see extra game-related firms amongst their ranks earlier than lengthy.