Former Riot Games bosses have announced the establishment of The Believer Company, a new development studio with considerable seed funding.
The new company was founded with $55 million in Series A financing from a variety of sources, led by Lightspeed Venture Partners. The round was funded with support from Andreessen Horowitz (a16z), plus seed funding from Bitkraft Ventures, Riot Games, 1Up Ventures, Don Thompson’s Cleveland Avenue, Michael D. Eisner’s Tornante Company, and other venture partners.
Their team is focused a first project: a “next-generation open-world game” that is “anchored by an original IP” where “player choices matter,” Further, the game teases it will have “gameplay systems that bring players together rather than pushing them apart.”
Believer’s leadership includes veteran developers like ex-Riot Games Vice President Michael Chow as CEO and Chief Product Officer Steven Snow, who was a founding member of Riot Games.
“Players are the best audience to serve in the world. They’re noble, smart, discerning, and infinitely inventive,” Chow said. “We hold their investments of time, skill, and hard-earned money as sacred, and we will always put their needs first at every stage of Believer’s journey. We look forward to growing our team with people as passionate as we are and we are actively seeking like-minded talent to believe with us.”
“I couldn’t be more excited to begin this journey with Steven,” Chow added. “He’s a loving, stalwart champion of players—at times viciously protective of their best interests. There’s no better flag-bearer for what we’re setting out to do.”
Snow also talked up the new studio, adding, “The last few years have brought forward some very exciting technologies. In our world, where the player is the focus, our goal is to bring select technologies into the development and gameplay spaces explicitly for the betterment of our players and the games they love.
Bringing free-to-play to North America and Europe with League of Legends really changed the landscape of how games as a service could work. It is our privilege to have the opportunity to help shape the future responsibly. And we are excited to say ‘no fucking thanks’ to the technologies that won’t make the game more fun.”