Meteor Entertainment has raised $10 million to launch a downloadable online game called Hawken. Hawken is described as a fast-paced shooter where players can get inside gigantic powered armor and hammer on each other in ruined cities. Investors backing the project include Benchmark Capital and FirstMark Capital (who invested in League of Legends makers Riot Games). That game was so successful that China-based Tencent bought spent more than $400 million last year to acquire them and their game. League of Legends has been downloaded 35 million times and has an estimated four – five million daily active users.
"We were tremendously thankful to be associated with Riot, but we viewed the market as much bigger than a single title,” Mitch Lasky, a partner at Benchmark, said in an exclusive interview with VentureBeat. "We think that $8 billion to $10 billion will migrate away from packaged goods games and free-to-play will be a lightning rod for those dollars.”
Hawken is being developed by Adhesive Games, and it will be published by parent company Meteor Entertainment. Meteor's chief executive Mark Long hopes to recreate the magic that Riot Games did with its game by targeting the hardest of hardcore gamers/
The game will be deployed via digital distribution via the web and using free-to-play business model and hybrid cloud publishing infrastructure that can host other games.
“We are seeing the rise of the direct-to-consumer model, where all is downloadable and free-to-play,” Rick Heitzmann, founder and managing director of FirstMark Capital, told VentureBeat. “You can disrupt the business with a free-to-play title. Gamers are willing to pay via virtual goods to do that. League of Legends is a fantastic title, but it is just one game and one genre that has blown up. We think it’s possible to produce very high quality games that have huge audiences that are willing to pay.”
Hawken is scheduled to launch on Dec. 12. The developers have launched a beta sign-up that has already seen more than 200,000 sign on to play.
You can read the rest of the exclusive interview with the principles in this deal on VentureBeat.