Game Companies Raised Record Funds in 2011

Extracted 05MAR2012 from

Game fundings destroyed the record book for fundings this year as 145 companies raised more than $1.540 billion in 2011, not counting initial public offerings.

In 2011, games took center stage. Game investment changed fundamentally during the year, as investors shifted their money into social, mobile and online games as they chased after users who were embracing the newest platforms for games...

Keep in mind that Nexon raised $1.2 billion and Zynga raised $1 billion in their IPOs in 2011, bringing the total amount of capital raised by game companies to $3.75 billion...

Even if you don’t count those two IPOs, venture capital funding for games has never been bigger. Zynga, the social gaming giant and creator of FarmVille and CityVille, accounted for a third of all of the venture funding raised in 2011.

Those numbers chronicle the biggest gold rush in the history of games. Just a few years ago, venture capitalists were afraid to invest in games because they were a lot like Hollywood movies, where it was too hard to pick the hits. But the collision of the web, social, mobile and online gaming trends led to a huge disruption for the industry and lots of opportunities for game startups.

Major VC firms such as Accel Partners, Sequoia Capital, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, DCM, Andreessen Horowitz, and others all poured money into big game companies this year. Google Ventures became an active strategic investor as it recruited startups to make games for its Google+ social network.

Investors and startups saw huge exits, starting with Electronic Arts’ purchase of PopCap Games for $750 million in cash and stock plus $550 million in potential bonuses.