Our investment in Bossa Studios: funding the next generation of innovative games
At Atomico we take investing in fun seriously. Our recent report on the evolution of the games industry shows that it is now worth over $100bn in annual revenue. We’ve seen the explosive growth in the games sector first-hand on our journeys with portfolio companies Supercell and Rovio as they’ve scaled around the world, delighting millions with their creations.
While mobile gaming has enjoyed a meteoric rise, we’re now also seeing a renaissance in groundbreaking PC gaming, and in particular in independent PC games studios. Worlds Adrift is setting new standards of ambition and creativity, and we’re thrilled to announce we’re leading a $10m Series A investment in Worlds Adrift’s developer, BAFTA-winning, London-based Bossa Studios.
We’re excited to partner with Bossa as they take gamers to new universes, and look forward to working with their impressive team. Bossa’s founders Imre Jele, Roberta Lucca and Henrique Olifiers have enormous experience in the sector, having been integral to the success of Runescape, one of the most popular MMO games in history.
Bossa has a track record of producing industry-leading innovation, and its games are characterised by vivid imagination and outstanding creativity. Previous successes I am Bread and Surgeon Simulator demonstrate the studio’s preparedness to take calculated risks based on their intuitive understanding of what gamers want, before gamers themselves know they want it. We have every confidence in their strategy.
For instance in Worlds Adrift, Bossa is fusing their renowned creativity with the next wave of technological innovation, and applying it to online PC gaming. Gamers will be stunned by the way in which Bossa has produced a truly immersive experience that enables the crowdsourcing of the collective imaginations of its players. In Worlds Adrift, the universe is crossed on ships conceived and built by players, which in turn can be destroyed and harvested to produce even more creations. These ships stick around indefinitely as a reminder of players’ past glories and defeats, adding colour to a universe already jaw-dropping in its rich detail. Worlds Adrift is also the first game to be built on Improbable’s SpatialOS platform, and will redefine what’s possible for gamers in the Massively Multiplayer Online (MMO) market, which accounts for a large portion of the PC market’s $30bn revenues.
More broadly, Bossa has also shown that it intuitively understands the recent evolution in the way gamers share, download, and engage with games. The market has been supercharged by the presence of digital distribution platforms like Steam, as well as content sharing services like Twitch and YouTube, which have transformed the way people enjoy games. With Surgeon Simulator and I am Bread going viral with streamers, Bossa’s team has shown us that they know how to make games that will flourish in this new landscape, developing titles that often run on user-generated content, and engage intelligently with influencers. Bossa develops games that are as interesting to watch as they are to play, and its user-generated content leads to unique crowd-sourced worlds that reinforce player loyalty.
While today Bossa is a boutique operation, its games’ network effects give the studio a global presence that belies its size. These effects are particularly important as we see individual games move towards becoming platforms in their own right and distribution channels for other services. So while we have every confidence in Bossa’s grasp of what gamers want now, we’re even more excited about how they are positioned for the coming platform age.
When they’re not immersing themselves in Worlds Adrift, Mattias Ljungman, Alexis Bonte, and Stephen Thorne will be sharing the deep sector expertise they’ve developed from working with our successful games portfolio companies to help Bossa scale towards becoming a category leader. Mattias and Alexis will both be joining Bossa’s board.