Overwolf, a platform that enables creators to build, share and monetize items inside games, has raised a $75 million Series D funding round, led by Andreessen Horowitz (a16z). Previous investors, including Griffin Gaming Partners, Insight Partners, Intel Capital, Liberty Technology Venture Capital and Marker also participated. The funding will be pumped into Overwolf’s CurseForge Core, a solution that enables game studios, IP owners and in-game creators to build user-generated content inside games.
The world where "gold" and in-game mods were bought and sold has moved on considerably. Players are now being enticed by the ability to build and share experiences inside games, creating a whole new sector for creators and game-owners alike.
Based in Tel Aviv, Overwolf has raised over $150 million to date from investors including Andreessen Horowitz, Atreides Management, Griffin Gaming Partners, Insight, Marker, Intel Capital, Liberty Technology Venture Capital, Market and Ubisoft.
CurseForge Core is a white-label solution that allows publishers to easily integrate mods into their existing and new games.
As well as being a technical solution, Overwolf offers game developers a full-service UGC platform that will cover content moderation, IP and various other aspects.
Uri Marchand, Overwolf co-founder and CEO, said, “No single game studio can compete with the speed of execution and sheer creativity of a passionate community. Instead of resisting community creations, we have seen a shift in perception with leading game studios starting to embrace the value that these creators bring to the community and to the studio itself.”
Overwolf says it has amassed some 87,000 in-game creators, while more than 20 million gamers use Overwolf’s products monthly. It predicts it will pay out $29 million to in-game creators, nearly three times last year’s number. It’s also launching the Overwolf Creators Fund, a $50 million fund to support in-game app creators and mod authors, as well as game studios that plan to integrate mods into new titles.
Jonathan Lai, a partner at a16z, said: “The biggest social platforms today, including TikTok, YouTube, Instagram, are heavily driven by creators who generate content for friends, family, and the community. As games continue to evolve into social networks, creators and user-generated content will play an equally important role. Overwolf's platform makes it possible for any player to become a co-creator of their favorite game thanks to a robust development engine, an app store for distribution, and monetization tools for creators to earn a living from their work.”
Speaking to me over a call, I asked Marchand if Overwolf could conceivably become a sort of "building block" for a proposed metaverse-style environment?
“If we're talking about consistent experiences across games, then we can potentially create that and bridge the gap in a way that's aligned with the IP owners,” he told me.
“It could be a sword, or it could be a narrative, it could be a lot of those things. I think a big part of the metaverse apart from people being able to talk and switch between experiences and create ownership is creation -- and we're a company that's focused on the creation elements,” he added.
A competitor to Overwolf is Mod.io, which recently raised a $26 million funding round.