D2C Receives First Round of VC Funding


Someone needs to keep their eye on the newest, most interesting companies out there, and I think I know just the person. Our friend Liz Gannes over at New TeeVee pointed me in the direction of Dan Primack, a savvy financial blogger and esteemed Editor-at-Large for Thomson Financial. Primack’s latest column has some very interesting things to say about one casual gaming company in particular.

Scott Orr, the man who designed the best-selling console game series, Madden NFL Football, has received the first round of institutional funding for his latest endeavor. D2C Games, or Big Dog Games, is Orr’s latest project and is dedicated to creating casual games on multiple platforms. On top of that, D2C is an official Sony publisher and is working on a couple of titles that are due out next year.

Joining Orr is Bart Besseling, Founder and CEO of Quarium, Inc. and old colleague from Electronic Arts. Between the two, they have plenty of gaming credentials, so it will come as no surprise if the company does well. This isn’t the first time that Orr has started a company and brought it through the venture capital process. Recently, Orr’s other company, Glu Mobile (formerly Sorrent) has just filed for an Initial Public Offering (IPO).

After reading over the column and taking a look at the D2C website, I was curious as to what makes one company more attractive to Venture Capitalists (VC) than others. Is it based on a company’s concept and business plans or, maybe, just knowing the right people? Well, I decided to ask someone who would know: Dan Primack.

“VC investments in gaming publishers are mostly about the personalities/management team. This is a hits biz more than anything, so VCs need to believe their team is able to produce. This is why NEA just backed those folks who did Grand Theft Auto, or why Rubicon is backing Big Dog (i.e., Scott Orr). There are thousands of able game developers from a technical standpoint, but the real value-add are the creative folks who can inject some unqiue desireability into the code…”

So, strangely enough, the games business imitates Hollywood in this instance. Who says there isn’t any rock star game developers? Anyone who’s interested in Venture Capital and what’s hot should definitely keep an eye on this column.

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