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Old 02-14-2008, 07:26 PM   #1
the_logos
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Sparkplay raises $4.25 million

I'm posting this here purely as encouragement to text MUDers in general: We still matter. My new company, Sparkplay Media, just announced that we raised $4.25 million in funding from venture capital (VC) firms Redpoint and Prism (they've funded things like Tivo, Netflix, Gaia Online, MySpace, etc). If you're interested in the press release, it's here.

Why should you, as a text MUDer/text MUD developer care? It's not a huge deal for text MUDs but the #1 reason we were able to raise the money was because of my history in text MUDs. My first VC contact (Susan Wu) was through a VC that used to run a MUD in the mid-90s, and the lead investor in the round - Redpoint - sought us out rather than the other way around because we proved we could create compelling content that people will pay for at Iron Realms.

In fact, the whole thing was a refreshing surprise in more than one way (I wrote a blog entry) about a few elements of the process this morning). When we started pitching firms, I was kind of downplaying Iron Realms because I figured most VCs wouldn't really care about a business IRE's size.

The advice we got was to play up that experience instead, because the VCs who care about gaming (and there are an increasing number of them who actively look to invest in games and virtual worlds and such) know what text MUDs are and respect them. No, they're not going to fund text MUDs as the market for them is small, but some of them, at least, really respect the insight into the fundamentals of virtual worlds that text MUDs give an experienced text MUD developer. We (meaning all of us into text MUDs) can't rely on eye-candy, or surround sound, and have to figure out how to provide something so compelling that some people would rather play it than massively polished 3d games. What they (the VCs) hope is that we're able to apply the lessons we learned in text MUDs to create popular graphical games that don't have to try to rely on bleeding edge graphics, etc.

Anyway, I just thought it was really a nice surprise to find that the people operating at the top of the entrepreneur food chain give props to text MUDs.

--matt
P.S. We're also going to be hiring soon, including engineers and designers. I'd love to hire someone who comes from a text MUD background as one of the designers in particular for the reasons I talked about above. We're not accepting resumes yet but look for the announcement here when we are. Relocation to the Bay Area to work in our offices would be mandatory though.
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Old 02-14-2008, 07:36 PM   #2
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Re: Sparkplay raises $4.25 million

That's awesome news. I know that my involvement on Fallen Earth came about in large part due to the work I've done in text-based gaming, so it's good to see that investors are continuing to recognize the value of what we do from a development experience standpoint!
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Old 02-14-2008, 07:53 PM   #3
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Re: Sparkplay raises $4.25 million

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brody View Post
That's awesome news. I know that my involvement on Fallen Earth came about in large part due to the work I've done in text-based gaming, so it's good to see that investors are continuing to recognize the value of what we do from a development experience standpoint!
Damn right. Hope Fallen Earth is going well!

--matt
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Old 02-14-2008, 09:44 PM   #4
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Re: Sparkplay raises $4.25 million

congrats Matt!
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Old 02-14-2008, 10:36 PM   #5
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Re: Sparkplay raises $4.25 million

Congratulations Matt. I'm looking forward to playing Earth Eternal.
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Old 02-15-2008, 04:55 AM   #6
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Re: Sparkplay raises $4.25 million

Wait... Matt... offices... it's feeling a bit chilly downstairs.
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