Guildford, UK-based Lionhead Studios has announced what it describes as "a multi-million pound investment" from a consortium of three leading UK venture capital firms.
This major round of investment for the Peter Molyneux-headed developer, recently associated with Xbox title Fable
, and currently working on projects including Black & White 2
and The Movies
, was led by Ingenious Ventures and IDG VE and included technology specialist Add Partners.
This move is particularly interesting, considering that venture capital firms have traditionally been leery of game development, seeing the hit-driven games industry as inherently 'risky'. Recent U.S. venture capital deals have generally occurred in relation to mobile gaming publishers (where an 'explosion' of possible profits is expected), and some MMO creators such as Turbine Software and Perpetual Entertainment (where monthly subscription fees allegedly ameliorate risk).
Nonetheless, VC companies such as Ingenious Ventures, previous investors in properties such as Simon Fuller's 19 Group (pop music managers and creators of Pop Idol
and American Idol
) have obviously decided that the renowned Molyneux, original founder of Populous
creators Bullfrog Software, is a good bet, with Antony Fraser of Ingenious Ventures commenting: "The games produced by Peter Molyneux and his team already captivate huge numbers of people around the world and we hope that, now Lionhead is producing games for consoles, there will be many more gamers who can enjoy them."