[toc]Tobias Sherman, former global head of esports for talent agency WME-IMG, is launching a game studio called Foundry IV.
The company aims to design and tailor games to an esports audience, gearing titles strictly toward professional leagues and competition.
A sound foundation for Foundry IV with MGM
Sherman brings with him co-founders Simon Abitbol and Lilia Russo Sherman, also former WME-IMG executives who helped conceptualize and bring to life ELeague.
Sherman broke ground in many regards at WME-IMG and now plans to break ground in this next endeavor. Foundry IV’s foundation is strengthened by an early seed investment from MGM Resorts International with a Series A funding round. Some professional sports organizations were also involved, according to a release from the company.
The hospitality and entertainment giant is a valuable weapon in Foundry IV’s arsenal given its overall aspirations. MGM’s deep Las Vegas ties in a city with designs on becoming a hub for esports intensifies Foundry IV’s prospects.
Currently, MGM is still working toward the launch of its esports arena at Luxor in Las Vegas in 2018.
Foundry IV: Blazing its own trail
According to the release, Foundry IV has piqued the curiosity of numerous publishers offering to join the project early on in hopes that they can develop esport titles for them. Foundry IV has so far declined offers as it opts to evolve its own way.
“We decided that in the best interest of the industry, it was wise to protect our IP to ensure we could execute on our vision, the right way,” Abitbol said. “That does not rule out working with a publisher, though; it’s just that there is no value in being beholden to one.”
Foundry IV aspires to pave a smooth road for investors down the line, many of whom will likely be new to esports. Foundry IV’s strategy includes drawing insights from professional players, the media and industry insiders during the development of its games.
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Cracking the esport code
Although Foundry IV has experienced velocity from initial investments, the company has a long road ahead.
The concept of building a game designed to succeed in esports is one that has previously failed while others have experienced unprecedented success, such as PlayerUnknown’s Battleground.
The algorithm for manufacturing esport titles is still being calculated. But striking gold now in this sector could pay off big for game development companies.