Meteor Entertainment has raised $18 million in a second round of funding for free-to-play Mech Shooter Hawken, bringing the total to $28.5 million.
This amount is on par with many triple-A titles - a surprising show of confidence in a developer only known for one game currently in development.
Hawken immediately drew attention from consumers for its striking visual style and fast gameplay, but for investors, the appeal is the combination of high production values with a free-to-play monetization scheme.
The key concept attracting investment is disruption and the chance to get in on the next big thing in gaming.
“It’s clear from this investment that we do not believe the game industry as an investment category is going down,” Nate Redmond of Rustic Canyon Ventures told GamesBeat.
“From watching disruption in multiple industries and seeing it come to games, that is appealing to me as an investor and a gamer. We see how quickly it is happening. The incumbents see it, but they can’t change quickly enough to capture it.”
Startup studios like Meteor don't have the beareucratic overhead that keeps bigger companies on the back foot of inovation, and this flexibility could help bring Hawken to one of the biggest new markets for online games: China.
"Our management team is full of gamers and we believe there is an opportunity to disrupt online gaming in China,” said Jay Chang, chief financial officer at Kong Zhong.
Chang's company is one of Meteor's several new investors, and hopes to bring Hawken to a new audience of eager consumers.
"We think Hawken has the potential to be even bigger than World of Tanks. The Chinese market is maturing and there are a lot of users for free-to-play games.”