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a16z believes that gaming will occupy a key position in the emerging metaverse world, and the launch of Games Fund One will be one of its ways to align with the future.
Venture Capital (VC) firm, Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) has floated a $600 million fund to help bootstrap the metaverse gaming ecosystem.
As announced by the firm, the fund is dubbed Games Fund One and despite the fact that it has been backing game companies for more than a decade, this fund will come off as its most targeted effort to exert its influence in the space.
The funds will be directly invested in a series of startups including game studios, gaming infrastructure companies, and consumer gaming software providers. Games Fund One will also benefit outfits like Twitch and Discord that supports gaming ecosystems.
“Games Fund One is founded on the belief that games will play a pivotal role in defining how we socialize, play, and work over the next century,” reads an announcement blog post from Andreessen general partners Andrew Chen, Jonathan Lai, and James Gwertzman, the trio who will lead investments for the fund. “Over the past decade, games have undergone a radical transformation, from simply being packaged entertainment, to becoming online services that more closely resemble social networks and scale like consumer technology companies.”
The establishment of the fund is hinged on the premise that gaming will play a pivotal role in defining how we socialize, play, and work over the next century.
According to a16z, there is also the belief that gaming will occupy a very key position in the emerging metaverse world, and Games Fund One will be one of its media to long-term strategies to align with the future.
The Need for Andreessen Horowitz Games Fund
Andreessen Horowitz has a very deep presence as a major investor and has backed a number of gaming brands over the course of the past decade.
Amongst the companies that tag prominently in its portfolio include Zynga, an American developer running social video game services, and Oculus, a virtual reality hardware maker owned by Meta Platforms Inc (NASDAQ: FB), amongst others.
A16z said its investments in these funds have solidified its experience base in dealing with game startups and in partnering with the technology service providers powering the ecosystem. The company’s experiences have been put to work as it has backed a number of gaming firms across the industry in recent times including Riot Games, CCP, and Epic Games, as well as from consumer tech startups that target gamers, like Z League and Sleeper.
Besides these, Andreessen Horowitz has invested in a lot of Web3 metaverse gaming Play-2-Earn (P2E) protocols, a move that shows it is putting its money where its mouth is. With these broad investment activities, the company is optimistic that more milestones will be achieved by establishing the fund.
The Games Fund One backers are diverse and include “David Baszucki, founder of Roblox; Jason Citron, founder of Discord; Marc Merrill, cofounder of Riot Games; Mike Morhaime, cofounder of Blizzard; Aleks Larsen and Jeffrey Zirlin, cofounders of Sky Mavis; Kevin Lin, cofounder of Twitch, Mark Pincus, founder of Zynga; and Riccardo Zacconi, founder of King,” the announcement reads.