The power of games to connect us has been showcased dramatically throughout the recent pandemic but the inherently collective nature of multiplayer gameplay has long underpinned many of the most revered franchises in the industry. Whether it’s working together to achieve a common goal or competing against one another, shared experiences with other players are inherently compelling. According to the ESA in fact, more than 80% of gamers play with others every week. As impressive as that number is however, it also hints at a number of long standing accessibility challenges.
As I noted on the debut of our first fund, “Even the largest franchises in the industry are often carefully targeted to appeal to narrowly defined interest groups and designs with the broadest appeal tend to be just as easy to put down as they are to pick up. Crafting experiences that are not only beloved for years but approachable, deep, and meaningful is extraordinarily difficult. But, the opportunity to transcend those boundaries is the very real promise of now.” While social play has long been a primary active ingredient in gaming, making it authentically accessible to its full potential audience is deceptively hard as it traverses game design, tech stack, social engineering, economics, and much more.
That is why the team at Transcend is very pleased today to welcome Roboto Games to our portfolio and to announce our participation in their recent funding led by Andreessen Horowitz. I have known the founders of Roboto for 15 years and fondly recall the acquisition of their first studio, ZipZapPlay, by PopCap in 2011. Mathilde, Curt, and their team of gaming veterans have designed and scaled games to over 65M+ players. With Roboto, they now aspire to apply that considerable experience to a simple but ambitious vision of crafting multi-platform experiences that are “Good Alone. Great Together.”
My partners and I are excited to welcome Roboto to the Transcend portfolio and very much look forward to working alongside the team as they craft meaningful social play for years to come. You might consider doing so as well - they are 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.