Leading investment firm Andreessen Horowitz (A16Z) has launched a $600 million fund exclusively focused on the gaming industry.
Called Games Fund One, the new vertical is led by general partners Andrew Chen, Jon Lai and James Gwertzman.
The new fund will invest in Game Studios, consumer companies and infrastructure like creating the metaverse.
“GAMES FUND ONE is founded on the belief that games will play a pivotal role in defining how we socialise, play, and work over the next century, Andreessen Horowitz said in a statement late on Wednesday.
The most successful games today, such as Fortnite, League of Legends, and Minecraft, are communities that retain loyal, long-term users and generate billions of dollars in annual revenue.
“We believe games infrastructure and technologies will be key building blocks of the Metaverse, an opportunity that dwarfs the current $300 billion game industry itself,” the investment firm added.
The fund’s backers include co-founders at gaming companies like King, Discord, Roblox, Zynga, Twitch, Blizzard and Riot Games.
The rapid growth in the number of gamers worldwide has created a thriving ecosystem of consumer apps to support them.A
“As games become the dominant way people spend time, we believe some of the most innovative consumer companies will be built around player communities,” said A16Z.
“Not only is this infrastructure important for games in its own right, we also believe that the coming Metaverse will be built by games companies, using games technologies,” it added.
From content creation to multiplayer enablement to virtual economy management and live ops, the games industry has already solved many of the problems that need to be solved to create the Metaverse.
In the 2010s, A16Z backed companies like Zynga and Oculus.
“Along the way, we have also bet on emerging technologies, like web3 and instant games and VR/AR,” said the company.