£5m investment for Manchester games developer

Creative Industries | Funding | Leisure & Tourism | North West | Retail

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A Manchester games developer has secured a £5m investment from Foresight Group LLP.

Steamforged Games is a developer and retailer founded in 2014 by Rich Loxam and Mat Hart. Rich and Mat were both games enthusiasts who dedicated their free time to create ‘Guild Ball’, a sports-based miniature game which went on to achieve critical acclaim. Since then, the team has developed a portfolio of games based on both original and licensed IP.

Steamforged has previously won licences to develop games for several renowned video games titles, carving out a niche in a market estimated to be worth around £2.3bn. Their first licensed game based on the hit video game Dark Souls™ sold more than 100,000 units globally and more recently the team has developed and released a tabletop game based on world-wide sensation Resident Evil™ 2. Steamforged is the preferred tabletop games partner for the likes of Bandai Namco, Capcom and Sony.

The investment from Foresight will support new product development – the company’s principal growth driver. There are eight new games in the pipeline for the next two years. The investment will also support the development of retail channels and help accelerate international growth.

In addition to the funds, Foresight has facilitated the appointment of Ian Livingstone CBE, one of the founding fathers of the UK games industry and Co-founder of Games Workshop, as a Non-executive Director. Ian will use his extensive industry experience to support Steamforged’s growth strategy over the coming years.

Commenting on the investment, Rich Loxam, CEO of Steamforged said: “Steamforged has grown beyond all of our expectations over the last five years and Foresight’s investment gives us the scope to drive the business forward in the years to come. We look forward to working with Foresight and utilising the investment to continue development and extend the reach of our games.”

The deal was led by Investment Managers Ben Dawson and Matt Pomroy from Foresight. Ben Dawson, who will join the Board, commented: “Steamforged has achieved a lot in a short space of time and on limited resources. The team has an excellent track record in creating, developing and launching games, and with a strong product pipeline, combined with our investment, we see very exciting times ahead.”

Cowgill’s corporate finance and tax team advised the management on the investment from Foresight.

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