Fenix ​​Games Raises $150M for Blockchain Game Publishing

Did you miss a session at the next 2022 GamesBeat Summit? All sessions are now available for viewing in our on-demand library. Click here to start watching.

Fenix ​​Games raises $150 million to build a new kind of publisher for blockchain gaming.

The idea is to create a publisher and platform company that plays a key role in bringing blockchain games to market. Fenix ​​Games plans to acquire, invest in and publish both existing games and future blockchain games.

Investors include Phoenix Group and Cypher Capital. The new company suggests that blockchain gaming — which has had a kind of Cambrian explosion in the past few years — is headed for a consolidation where big companies are going to emerge by acquiring or funding all the powerful startups. In other words, Fenix ​​Games hopes to be in a good position to roll up many companies together into a single strong company with a large portfolio — one that can survive the current volatility of the blockchain game.

“You can think of us as a VC fund,” said Phoenix Games CEO and co-founder Chris Coe in an interview with GamesBeat. “The market is the same as before [mobile gaming at the rise of free-to-play games] But it has yet to find its Clash of Clans for blockchain games. We are using the VC arm to fund the next generation of games. We’re actually going to start with a huge amount of capital to invest in those studios. We are looking to use our balance sheet to acquire a bunch of existing games in the Web2 space to build a portfolio. And that will be the right foundation for our portfolio.”

Chris Coe is the CEO of Phoenix Games.

Historically, the gaming sector has had participants who provide a market or platform for both
Gamers and Game Developers. In consoles, platforms included Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo. And in mobile, the platforms are Apple and Google.

In both these cases, an entire market was created and it led to an ecosystem to allow the use of content. However, for blockchain gaming, this market does not currently exist, Ko said. The company was started by a group of industry veterans in gaming, blockchain and financial markets.

“We plan to acquire, invest in, publish and operate games and studios in selected areas,” Ko said “We will have hundreds of millions to deploy to execute our strategy.”

Chains represent a potential platform similar to previous gaming cycles, but at this stage, don’t seem focused on creating a market for gamers, Ko said.

“We believe this is temporary because the primary apps on chains are going to be gaming,” Ko said “Infrastructure, equipment and support are non-existent. We believe there is an opportunity to elevate the role of publishing in the gaming ecosystem.”

Matt Knott is the COO of Phoenix Games.

More experienced gaming developers are leading the way in the expansion of blockchain gaming, especially in the wake of Apple’s privacy push in mobile games. But Fenix ​​Games believes that a very narrow set of games are being developed for the blockchain platform so far.

“We believe there is a structural gap – we aim to fill this gap with a redefined publishing group that leverages some of the traditional publishing functions, but with a new function,” Ko said. “Just as mobile free-to-play games had a mix of analytics and product management functions to launch, scale and manage live services, we believe blockchain will see a similar ‘mixing’ of gaming functions.”

Fenix ​​Games wants to combine its people skills with game publishing and product management. Functions will be rooted in product management, but will take discipline and power from financial services, mainly asset management.

The combination of these disciplines is what the company calls the game market economy. In its simplest terms, it will create the market for a game or games in order to maximize the potential players for that game. A key function of game market economics will be to scale the community before launching the game.

Antonio Hallak is Co-Founder, CIO and CTO of Fenix ​​Games.

Similar to the function of live operations that was built to sustain years after a game’s launch, Fenix ​​Games believes game market economics will play an important role months or even years before a game’s launch. This activity is necessary to fill the gaps that the platform owners used to fill.

“It’s a bit of a roll-up, but it’s also investing,” Ko said

Fenix ​​Games will focus on the marriage of game market economics and live operations to provide publishing services for all game models – premium, free-to-play and blockchain gaming across all platforms.

The announcement of the Phoenix Games took place in Dubai.

“I see a huge gap right now with different developers experimenting with game infrastructure, middleware and more. There’s no one who fills the role of publisher and trying to figure out how you go to market successfully,” Ko says “By adopting a publishing approach, we abstract ourselves from technologies. We play Switzerland when it comes to technology and we minimize risk.

In addition to raising its own funds, Fenix ​​Games will have access to much more capital — in the hundreds of millions of dollars — from allies among its investors.

Ko said that Fenix ​​Games is a next-generation game publisher that helps transform the next billion gamers into a blockchain-integrated future. Whereas traditional Web2 games have mature distribution platforms and markets that bring together billions of players and developers, Web3 lacks the infrastructure, tools, and support to enable widespread adoption.

As more quality developers embrace blockchain technology and design principles, Ko says the company sees an opportunity for publishing’s role to improve its value in games’ design, go-to-market and operations.

“And that means that we’re not bound by a single technology, we’re not tied to a single ecosystem,” Ko said.

Ko was previously Senior Vice President of Corporate Development at Mythical Games. He has nearly 20 years of gaming experience and has held general manager positions at Electronic Arts and Kabam. Prior to that, he was a portfolio manager at BlackRock and an equity research analyst at JPMorgan.

Other co-founders of Fenix ​​Games include Rudy Koch, chief business officer and co-founder of Mythical Games. Koch has 15 years of experience in game development on the biggest names in the industry: Club Penguin, Call of Duty, Skylanders and World of Warcraft.

Rudy Koch is Chief Business Development Officer at Phoenix Games.

Antonio Hallak is CIO/CTO and co-founder. Hallack previously served as Global Head of Electronic Commerce at Credit Suisse; Head of Prop Trading, Market Making, CTO and other senior roles in IB (Citi, Merrill, Goldman, Salomon Smith Barney, Bridgewater, etc.). He has been involved in prop trading, market maker and asset management in the crypto market since 2017.

Phoenix Games team in Dubai.

Matt Knott is the Chief Operating Officer and Co-Founder of Phoenix Games. He was previously Chief Operating Officer and Head of Games at Mythical Games. Prior to joining Mythical, he was Vice President and Group General Manager of EA Mobile. He previously oversaw the studio at Glu Mobile, ran indie studio Cie Games (and was sold to Glu in 2014 for $100 million), and held management positions at Blizzard Entertainment and Square Enix in business development roles.

“The four of us are moving forward with the company to expand on the things we’ve done in the blockchain gaming market from our previous lives,” Ko said.

And Happy Thanksgiving to you all.

Religion of GameBeat When the game industry covers “where passion meets business.” What does it mean? We want to tell you how news matters to you — not just as a decision maker at a game studio, but also as a game fan. Whether you read our articles, listen to our podcasts, or watch our videos, GamesBeat helps you learn about and engage with the industry. Discover our briefing.