Hawken wins $10 million from League of Legends backers

By Brenna Hillier, Monday, 27 February 2012 22:02 GMT

Fascinating indie mech shooter Hawken has won $10 million in funding for its creators.

VentureBeat reports the princely sum was ponied up largely by Benchmark Capital and FirstMark Capital.

Both companies threw their financial clout behind a little start up called Riot Games for some obscure little online title called League of Legends. League of Legends now attracts millions of users every day, and Tencent bought Riot Games for $400 million last year.

“We were tremendously thankful to be associated with Riot, but we viewed the market as much bigger than a single title. We think that $8 billion to $10 billion will migrate away from packaged goods games and free-to-play will be a lightning rod for those dollars,” Benchmark’s Mitch Lasky said.

“We are seeing the rise of the direct-to-consumer model, where all is downloadable and free-to-play. Gamers are willing to pay via virtual goods to do that. League of Legends is a fantastic title, but it is just one game and one genre that has blown up. We think it’s possible to produce very high quality games that have huge audiences that are willing to pay,” First Capital’s Rick Heitzmann, added.

The free to play title is being developed by Adhesive Games, which has spun out a separate division, Meteor, to handle the publishing side. Hawken is expected to launch on December 12.

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