Emergent Game Technologies, a Calabasas, Calif.-based provider of videogame development applications, has raised $12.5 million in fifth-round funding. Hopewell Ventures was joined by return backers Worldview Technology Partners, Jerusalem Venture Partners, Walker Ventures and Adena Ventures.
Emergent Game Technologies, an acknowledged leader in the fast growing middleware market as the supplier of Gamebryo technology, which speeds the development of video games, has closed more than $12.5 million in a new round of funding.
Emergent’s Gamebryo development environment reduces risk for every type of video game, from casual games to high performance AAA titles that push the capabilities of today’s consoles and multi-core computers. Use of the Emergent platform allows developers to assign engineering staff, artists, designers and programmers to higher level game-specific tasks, helping the team deliver projects on time and on budget. The company plans to announce a new product, promising “development at the speed of light,” at the Game Developers Conference March 23 – 27, in San Francisco.
Hopewell Ventures, a new investor, led the round. Other investors include Worldview Technology Partners, Jerusalem Venture Partners, Walker Ventures and Adena Ventures.
“We are looking very carefully at every investment we make these days,” said Thomas Parkinson, partner at Hopewell Ventures. “The market for middleware keeps expanding, as innovation and consumer expectations grow. Everyone is looking for ways to minimize risk without compromising quality. Emergent offers solutions that scale across game budgets, genres and platforms. Further, we believe the new technology Emergent plans to release shortly will establish the company as the leader in the middleware industry.”
Analysts see a healthy, worldwide market for development platforms and tools over the next five years.
“As game developers search for options to cut costs and reduce expenses in 2009, more of them will be looking to third-party game middleware companies like Emergent to help cut development time, free up engineering resources and increase efficiency,” said Christine Arrington, senior analyst, Acacia Research Group. “Demand for middleware that performs these tasks is likely to remain solid through the tough times ahead and then quickly return to strong growth during the next five years.”
CEO Geoffrey Selzer says Emergent has experienced rapid growth over the last few years because the company has taken a fundamentally different approach to the market. Instead of creating tech specialized to a particular game, Emergent has focused on developing technology to meet then needs of all developers. A key to Emergent’s success has been providing customers intimate support and collaboration by working as an extension to their development teams.
“Though the video game industry is weathering the worldwide liquidity crisis better than most, increased financial pressures are intensifying the many difficulties the industry is facing such as bloated budgets, increased complexity of core technology and changing consumer expectations,” Selzer said. “We very much appreciate our investors’ vision. They see the significant opportunity Emergent has to be of service to developers and publishers alike.”
Gamebryo is optimized for development on PLAYSTATION 3, Xbox 360, PC and Wii. Publishers that have used Gamebryo include: Disney, Google, Electronic Arts (EA), Mythic, Take Two and THQ to name but a few. Gamebryo was recently used as the development platform for the next gen console title Civilization Revolution by Firaxis and by EA-Mythic on its successful title, Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning.
“We have invested enormous development time in our new product, layered on top of our rock solid, stable Gamebryo technology,” said Selzer. “This new product will massively speed up the development of games and other 3D interactive experiences.”
Gamebryo is a high quality, mature, fully documented software product, used worldwide. To date, Gamebryo has been used in more than 250 shipped games titles ranging from massively multiplayer online games, high-end retail games across multiple genres and casual games. Another 150 games are being developed on the platform.
Emergent is headquartered in Calabasas, Calif., and has offices in Chapel Hill, NC; Austin, Texas; London; Tokyo; China; and Korea. To learn more, visit www.emergent.net.