Recently, our Atomico games team outlined their investment thesis in an extensive two part blog post.   In that post we said that it is still early days for games and there are plenty of areas that have yet to be explored, let alone fully tapped. At recent meetings with companies, we’ve seen a number of cool things being done within social, on PC, with Twitch and YouTube. Boundaries continue to blur with the likes of EVE Online (from fellow Icelandic games company CCP), which has an in-game open economy, and Worlds Adrift that pushes the importance of game content creation by gamers even further and makes the integration of emerging player stories and sharing them on video platforms such as Twitch central to its marketing.   We also stated that the growing social element of a game is why we think another giant will soon emerge, built on a fusion of gaming and social networking. People are united by games — they always have been. From cards or chess to playing Doom or Civilization with your friends, as Mattias and Alexis did back in the early nineties — games are a fundamentally social activity; an ice-breaker between cultures and people as you […]

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In part two of our series on games investing at Atomico, I am joined by my fellow Games Team members and co-authors Stephen Thorne and Alexis Bonte as we lift the lid on our evaluation framework for any companies considering raising venture capital, we share the inside track on how Atomico works with our games company founders, and, finally, we share our view on what’s next for games in Europe in 2018 and beyond.   According to legend, the Chinese Emperor Yao 堯 (2356–2255 BC) designed Go for his wayward playboy son, Danzhu 丹朱, to instil in him discipline, concentration, and balance. Four thousand years later, games still have the power to inspire profound changes to the way we communicate, keep in touch with friends, even start businesses or learn the basic skills of life, and yes, entertain ourselves too. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Part Two: Hunting the next Supercell. Our evaluation framework There’s no silver bullet or magic formula for spotting the next great games company (or sure-fire hit game), and data alone will only get you so far… So at Atomico we have developed a framework for evaluating games by zeroing-in on the characteristics we believe the best-in-class […]

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This post originally appeared on Medium here. If you’d like more analysis and insight like this, delivered monthly(ish) to your inbox, sign up to The Operator’s Manual (our newsletter) here. Part One: Landscape and Heritage.   If there’s one area of the technology ecosystem in which Europe out-guns the Valley and – China aside – the rest of the world, it’s in games.   The European games industry is a non-stop unicorn juggernaut: more than a quarter (25.9%) of all the billion dollar-plus games companies founded over the last 15 years were born here. Among them, of course, a slew of Scandinavian household names such as Supercell (Finland), King (Sweden/UK), Rovio (Finland), Mojang (Sweden) and games engine-maker Unity (Denmark). The US, by contrast, has just three.   When you take into account the sheer scale and effervescence of the Chinese market – China overtook the US in 2016 to become the world’s largest market by spend, where gamers now spend over $25bn-a-year on games – it comes as no surprise that the country dominates the sector overall, claiming 11 of the 27 billion dollar-plus games companies founded over that period.   However – tellingly — if you focus on the […]

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