Welcome, Big Run Studios
It has been estimated that there are now over 2.7 billion gamers in the world. As this dynamic population grows and plays, opportunities are rapidly emerging to address new communities in authentic ways. Crafting experiences for these underserved audiences that ring true and are familiar yet fresh and approachable yet deep is difficult. Which is among the many reasons I feel fortunate to have gotten to know the founders of Big Run Studios. The team and strategy there are exceptionally well matched to this moment.
Founded by game industry veterans Andrew Bell and Buren Renick, the growing team also includes members with experience on premiere entertainment franchises such as Star Wars, FarmVille, Harry Potter, and Madden NFL. Together, they set out to create distinctive IP and cutting edge mobile gameplay for traditionally underserved audiences. As Andrew notes:
“As a studio, we feel it’s important to design diverse characters who are meaningful representations of the communities we live in around the world. Plus, we’ve seen how players respond favorably to characters they can relate to. Chelsea, our leading female character, is a great example. She’s designed to be genuine, approachable, fun, and social.”
It is clearly working. The team’s breakout hit, Blackout Blitz, is already one of the top bingo games on the app stores. Today, my partners and I are excited to announce our lead investment of the $5.25M round for Big Run Studios. I look forward to joining the board and working alongside the founders to grow the Chelseaverse. If that sounds interesting, please check in on them - they’re hiring!
About Transcend Fund
Transcend is a top performing early stage venture capital firm that partners with the boldest founders in the industry to collaboratively build the future of interactive entertainment.
Founded in San Francisco by gaming veterans, the Transcend portfolio features a preeminent group of high growth digital entertainment companies around the world.
About Shanti Bergel
Shanti is the founding partner of Transcend and a 30 year game industry veteran.
His global operating experience spans every major platform and business model transition of the last several decades and is animated by a career-long fascination with how changes in technology and distribution affect products, services, and communities.
Shanti is a recognized member of the Techcrunch List, speaks fluent Japanese, and is a frequent speaker on early stage investment, M&A, and strategic partnerships in digital entertainment.