‘The line between pop culture and gaming is going away’
The COVID-19 pandemic is accelerating the adoption of new technologies and cultural shifts that were already well underway. According to a clutch of heavy-hitting investors, this dynamic is particularly strong in gaming and extended reality.
Unlike other segments of the startup and tech world, where valuations have been slashed, early-stage companies focused on building new games, gaming infrastructure and virtual or extended reality entertainment are having no trouble raising money. They’ve even seen valuations rise, investors said.
“Valuations have increased pretty significantly in the gaming sector. Valuations have gone up 20 to 25% higher than I would have seen prior to this pandemic,” Phil Sanderson, a co-founder and managing director at Griffin Gaming Partners, told fellow participants on a virtual panel during the Los Angeles Games Conference earlier this month.
Driving the appetite for new investments is the entertainment industry’s bearhug of virtual events, animated features, games and social media platforms after widespread shelter-in-place orders made physical events an impossibility.