Index Ventures and Backed VC have ploughed $5.5m into Britain’s mobile gaming industry after agreeing terms on a seed round with mobile games developer Hutch.
Hutch develops free-to-play games for iPhones and iPad and has five titles available for download at the iTunes store currently and 2.5 million daily active users (DAUs) according to Tech Crunch.
The mobile gaming industry is estimated to be worth $40bn but the vast majority of the profits are claimed by just a few games – the ones that “go viral” and sustain gamers’ interest with fresh downloads and updates – it’s a tough gig and requires crack games developers and dynamic leadership to get ahead and stay ahead in this sector.
But get it right and the big rewards are there – think King Digital and Candy Crush – the company was acquired by Activisom Blizzard last February for $5.9 billion.
Hutch, based in Shoreditch, and Brighton, with a new office just opened in Nova Scotia, Canada, makes racing games…well, actually, they say they are “hell-bent on making action-packed, visually stunning games that can be played and enjoyed by everyone.”
CEO Shaun Rutland writes on the company website: ““It’s the learning, the challenges and the teams that allow our business to make the very best quality games”
With this new funding round, the team have a chance to prove they can mix it with the best in the industry.
Another mobile game maker based in Aldgate, East London, ProjectM released a unique gaming proposition last year.
Dig That Gold is a mobile strategy game in which players’ mine gold 49’ers style and can win real bars of gold for their efforts – but, with monetisation in mind, founder Sean McNicholas has also made mines and levels available for sponsors, who can build the puzzles themselves and display ad messages within the caves.
It’s certainly innovative and a new way of looking at making gaming profitable by working with corporate sponsors. Alongside prop-tech, gaming could be a startup sector worth keeping a close eye on this year – a whole lot more people than you think like to play games.