Free-to-play multi-player mech-stomping indie extravaganza Hawken has just received its biggest boost yet: investment totalling $10 million for its owner Meteor Entertainment.
Revealed by VentureBeat
, the investment comes from a group including Benchmark Capital and FirstMark Capital. While likely unfamiliar to those outside the venture capital circuit, the names should resonate with anyone who has played League of Legends: the pair invested in its creator Riot Games.
It was an investment which paid off: despite having just one million users at the time, Chinese gaming giant Tencent bought Riot Games for over $400 million last year based on its projected growth. As a result, Benchmark and FirstMark got a major return on investment.
It's a success the pair, along with the other investors in the round, are hoping to repeat. Considering Meteor has no track record of which to speak - the company has no previously published games, and Hawken will be its first commercial release - it's a major gamble.
Hawken, which was revealed to be going free to play by developer Adhesive Games
earlier this month, is certainly drawing the crowds. Powered by Epic's Unreal Engine, it promises fast multi-player mech-based combat familiar to those who enjoyed classics like the MechWarrior francise or Microsoft's Heavy Gear series.
While neither Adhesive Games nor parent company Meteor Entertainment have indicated the precise method by which the free-to-play title will generate revenue, there's clearly something in the pipeline. When investors are willing to pony up $10 million based on an unproven and unreleased concept game, there's something they know that the general public has yet to discover.
Hawken is due to officially launch as a PC exclusive, following the collapse of a planned console version, on the 12th of December this year. Pre-registration for a closed beta began earlier this month, based on a Ponzi-style recommendation system.