Train2Game News Hiro Capital II Announced

Hiro Capital – the leading specialist European VC focused on Videogames, Metaverse Technologies, Creator Platforms and Gamified Fitness – today announces the launch of HIRO CAPITAL II, a €300m ($340m) fund focused on backing the world’s emerging Gaming and Metaverse innovators.

Hiro II will be announcing its first investments in April.
 
Hiro’s new fund invests in entrepreneurial teams at Seed, A and B across the UK, Europe and North America (and selectively ROW), building innovative and disruptive leaders in Games, Esports, Creator Platforms and Gamified Fitness.
 
Founded in 2018, Hiro’s name was inspired by Hiro Protagonist, the sword-wielding, Metaverse-hacking samurai hero of Neil Stephenson’s seminal Snowcrash, a novel about video games, VR, digital assets and the neocortex.

Since launch, Hiro has been investing in sci-fi, story-telling IPs and the deep future of games and metaverse technology. Hiro believes strongly in Games as a force for good.
 
Building on the momentum of Fund I
 
Between 2019 and 2022, Hiro has made 21 Series A and B Games and Metaverse investments across the UK, EU and USA. The Hiro 1 portfolio is now c.80% invested and is performing strongly, across fast-growing investments such as Polyarc (Seattle) , FitXR (London), FRVR (Lisbon), Keen Games (Frankfurt), Snowprint (Stockholm), LOCO (India) and LIV (Prague). Hiro Capital also co-led a $22m investor consortium alongside Blackrock and Westerly Winds, as part of a Series C round in London-based gamified femtech star Elvie. Hiro’s investors included some of the world’s largest games and technology companies.
 
“We have been believers in the Metaverse since we created the fund in 2018. Our goal with Hiro is to bring founder-focused venture funding to Games studios and Metaverse technology creators. In 2022 we are at a pivotal moment in the very early phases of the Metaverse, VR, AR and Web3 — these revolutions will take at least a decade and much of the creativity and technology innovation will start in Games. As a team, we have the experience and networks to support the incredible talent that we find across Europe, the UK and beyond. Our new fund gives us more firepower to find and develop emerging stars and level them up to global scale.” Luke Alvarez
 
Hiro Metaverse Acquisitions 1
 
In Jan 2022, Hiro Capital 1 became the lead sponsor in a new acquisition vehicle focused on the Videogaming and Metaverse sectors. Hiro Metaverse Acquisitions 1 began trading on the LSE on Feb 7th, only the second ever SPAC to list in London. Hiro MA1 raised £115m (c.$150m) to target Games and Metaverse acquisitions in the $600m-$2.25bn range.

Investing in Games and the Metaverse
 
With Hiro Capital 1, Hiro Capital II and Hiro MA1, Hiro’s AUM total c.$650m, entirely focused on Games and Metaverse innovators in the UK, Europe and beyond.
 
Partners with deep knowledge of gaming
 
The three Hiro founding partners have co-founded startups generating billions of value in exits, have completed five public IPO’s and have scaled six >$500m-sized games companies.
 
Hiro Managing General Partner, Luke Alvarez, founded Inspired Entertainment, a >$600m EV Nasdaq-listed Virtual Sports games technology leader. Luke is also co-founder of Sknups — a Web3 games skin platform — and was a founding director of The Cloud Network, an early public access cloud platform backed by Accel and acquired by Sky.
 
Hiro General Partner, Cherry Freeman, co-founded the global community and e-commerce brand LoveCrafts and has spent 10 years working and angel investing in venture-backed tech companies including Elvie, New Voice Media and Mimecast (currently being acquired for $5.8bn) .
 
Hiro General Partner Sir Ian Livingstone is the co-founder and former chairman of Eidos plc (Lara Croft:Tomb Raider), co-founder of Games Workshop (Warhammer) and co-author of the Fighting Fantasy gamebook series. Sir Ian was also an early investor and chairman of Playdemic (sold to EA for $1.4bn in 2021), Tonic Games (sold to Epic in 2021) and Sumo plc (sold to Tencent for $1.3bn in 2022). Ian is also the founder of the Livingstone Academy, a creative, games and compsci focused UK Academy school. Sir Ian is passionate about games and technology playing a key role in educating the next generations of kids.
 
In addition to the success of Hiro Capital I, on Jan 1 2022 Ian Livingstone CBE became Sir Ian Livingstone CBE as he was formally knighted by HM Queen Elizabeth II for his services to the videogames industry.

For more information on Hiro Capital go to https://hiro.capital/

Train2Game News Ian Livingstone Knighted

Today, Hiro Capital is proud to announce that its co-founding Partner, Ian Livingstone has been awarded a Knighthood by HRH Queen Elizabeth II.

Sir Ian is best known as one of the founders of Games Workshop (Warhammer) and Eidos (Lara Croft Tomb Raider) and as the creator of the Fighting Fantasy series of adventure gamebooks.

Over the course of his legendary career, Sir Ian has made innumerable contributions to the art and industry of video and role-playing games.

Three of Ian’s recent investments – Tonic Games (Fall Guys), Playdemic (Golfclash), and Sumo Digital – were acquired in 2021 at unicorn valuations and Hiro Capital has made 20 early-stage games investments in the last 2 years.
 
“With 5 unicorn scale games start-ups under his questing belt, Hiro Capital is proud to celebrate Sir Ian’s knighthood. His bravery, chivalry, courtliness and hermetical talents make him one of the most powerful paladins in video games. We are proud to have Sir Ian co-leading the Hiro Capital guild of mages and sell-swords as we ride forward into the Metaverse of 2022,” said Luke Alvarez and Cherry Freeman, Hiro co-founders. 
 
“Simply put, it is a huge honour for me and fantastic recognition for the UK games industry and the brilliant people who work in it. The industry has come a long way since I founded my first startup and I believe more than ever in Games and Gameplay as a global force for good.” – said Sir Ian Livingstone.

As a digital skills champion, Ian also recently founded the Livingstone Academy, which opened its doors in September 2021 – an all-through school for ages four to eighteen that aims to give its students the tools they need to succeed as young creators in a digital world. 

Find out more at https://www.livingstone-aspirations.org/ 

Train2Game News Before It’s Too Late Saving Videogames

The National Videogame Museum is launching a new initiative today at BFI Southbank, leading a network of museums and independent collectors who are engaged in videogame preservation.

The Videogame Heritage Society (VHS) includes the Science and Media Museum, Bath Spa University, British Library and Museum of London as well as many independent collectors. It will develop best practice and share knowledge across the museum sector and beyond about preserving and exhibiting videogames.

Ian Livingstone, chair of the BGI (the charity which governs the NVM) commented, “This group is for anyone who cares about or works in videogame preservation. We recognise that in the UK and around the world, the expertise in this field isn’t just locked inside museums and heritage institutions, but also inside a wide range of dedicated and passionate private collectors. The VHS will bring everyone together to preserve the important heritage of videogames in our country.”

The event today will also mark the launch of a new White Paper: ‘Time Extend’, on video game history, heritage and preservation. There will also be a special address from legendary Nintendo console designer Masayuki Uemura. The National Videogame Museum has worked closely alongside Uemura, who is a professor at Ritsumeikan University in Kyoto and is giving a talk at the NVM on 26th February.

The NVM preserves the history of UK development through its UK Collection, a special collection within the Museum that focuses on the story of British videogames creation. This was recently launched with Rebellion, the first studio to formally collaborate with the NVM on the project.

Gina Jackson, Trustee for the BGI, said “In order to develop as an art form, to become more diverse and reflect all kinds of areas of our lives, and to build a cultural confidence that is sometimes absent, we need to be able to learn about videogames. In order to learn about them, we need to be able to access them and make sense of them. The work we’re doing at the NVM and BGI isn’t out of nostalgia. It’s out of a concern for the future. We want to be able to inspire and educate new kinds of game-makers to make new kinds of games.”
 

Train2Game News Antstream streams retro games

Independent technology company, Antstream, announced their self-titled retro-games streaming service today and the first video games streaming service of its kind, Antstream.

Dubbed as gaming’s own version of Netflix, Antstream is a monthly subscription gaming service, offering players unlimited access to iconic games that can be streamed and played instantly via TV, PC, Tablet or Smartphone. Antstream is set to bring Classic PC, arcade and early generation console games to modern platforms, giving gamers instant access to their favourite retro games as well as the opportunity to discover even more.

“We see the future as bringing games to you on your device” says Antstream CEO, Steve Cottam. “Almost any book, music or movie is available to stream through services like Amazon, Spotify and Netflix, whereas most games have been lost as technology has moved on. Antstream enables decades of games to be brought back to life, with unique multiplayer challenges, achievements, leaderboards and modern control schemes.”

Antstream has already caught the attention of one of the UK Games industry’s most celebrated and successful entrepreneurs, Ian Livingstone CBE, now proudly serving as Chairman of Antstream.

“Antstream is an amazing concept – a Netflix of games, in which iconic games are streamed straight to any device…this is incredible and clearly is going to be the future. Antstream is a fantastic way for gamers of today to experience these classic games.”

The Antstream team have big plans for the streaming service, with a vision to offer users as many games as possible from retro classics to the latest day one releases. Retro is only the beginning!

For more information on Antstream, please visit the official website. You can also follow Antstream on Twitter and Like it on Facebook.

Train2Game News Train2Game TV

wpid-train2gametm_positive_72dpi_rgb.jpgTrain2Game is proud to announce the launch of Train2Game.tv an information hub to share how other students do it, what they are achieving and much more.

The TV is on air 24/7 and includes Train2Game interviews with big industry names such as Peter Molyneux, Ian Livingstone, other industry veterans and the views of Train2Game students.

The channel also has a link to lead you to www.train2game-news.co.uk where you can keep up to date with all the goings on of the games industry including what new games are being released, up coming game events and what Train2Game students are currently working, how their City and Guilds is helping them and the latest jobs

If you would like to see all this information simply visit http://www.train2game.tv and enjoy all the knowledge readily available. Get inspired with Train2Game TV

Train2Game News From Bedrooms to Billions out now

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“From Bedrooms To Billions” – a movie documenting the history of the UK games industry is OUT NOW exclusively at Europe’s Number One Retro Gaming Destination, Funstock.co.uk

After being successfully funded via Kickstarter the creators went on to develop a fascinating 150 minute in-depth journey told through interviews and archive footage featuring industry legends including Peter Molyneux, Ian Livingstone, David Perry, David Braben, Ben Daglish, Oliver Frey, Miles Jacobson, Jeff Minter and many more.

The movie tells the story of how the creativity and vision of a relatively small number of individuals allowed the UK to play a key, pioneering role in shaping the billion dollar video games industry.

In addition to the original 150min documentary the Special Edition version (available on Blu-Ray and DVD) features over 150min of additional content, numerous game ‘making of’ features, industry stories and ‘making music on the C64’ features with Rob Hubbard and Fred Gray.

General Manager of Funstock.co.uk, Andy Pearson quoted:

“From Bedrooms to Billions is the definitive documentary on the UK video games industry. It features virtually every personality you can imagine from the golden age of gaming, with exclusive interviews shot for this movie. It is expertly crafted by veteran film makers with a strong passion for the games industry – and this passion shines through. It is an absolute MUST see for anyone with even the slightest interest in gaming. It’s a fascinating story, told by fascinating people.” Andy Pearson, General Manager, Funstock.co.uk

Visit here for more information:  http://www.funstock.co.uk/from-bedrooms-to-billions-home

Train2Game News Creative Industries responds to budget

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Creative Media businesses welcomed the Government’s Budget announcement today that it will continue to contribute to Creative Skillset’s Skills Investment Fund , (SIF) for another two years.

The Government will provide £4 million to co-invest with industries, matching pound for pound support  for training and development in film, high- end TV, visual effects, video games and animation.

Creative Skillset welcomed the Chancellor’s announcement of children’s television tax relief from April 2015 and look forward to discussing the establishment of appropriate mechanisms for ensuring they also contribute to enjoy co-investment in training and skills and support industry sustainability.

Josh Berger CBE, President & Managing Director, Warner Bros. Entertainment UK & Ireland , said:

“As we produce more and more world-class content in the UK, it is crucial that we continue to invest in the next generation of talent. The Skills Investment Fund is a key part of that and we welcome this further Government support.”

Ivan Dunleavy, Chief Executive of Pinewood Group said: “Growth in the creative sectors has been much faster and more impressive than forecast and industry needs to scale up and skill up quickly to meet that need. This support to training and skills is what we need to help to deliver that.”

Ian Livingstone, CBE- Chair of Playdemic, Midoki and Playmob and Creative Industries Champion for the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills said: “Creative Skillset’s Skills Investment Fund has been a massive success story for industries that must address talent development to keep pace with global competition and drive growth. Today’s commitment from the Chancellor is both vital and very welcome.”

Dinah Caine CBE, Chief Executive of Creative Skillset said:
“Creative Skillset’s Skills Investment Fund has been a game changer for our industries. We have invested directly in companies, over 1,000 new entrant trainees have been placed in the tax break industries, 376 companies have benefitted and over 10,000 training opportunities have been made available. With the additional support announced by the Chancellor today, we can continue to invest in training that will help deliver growth in these sectors and we thank him for that.”

The investment will be available from April 2015.

Train2Game News: Something Money Can’t Buy

NicolaHi guys, I’m Nicola, the winner of the Rapid2D competition that you can see on the front page of the Train2game site.

Nicolas chequeThis article is partially to share a world of thanks to the people at Train2game that helped me and continue to support me to reach my dream, partially for all the people that write on the forum asking questions like “is this real or is it a scam?” , “should I start this course?” and “will I gain success?”…

Nicola Modern JagoBut, above all, this article is for you, students that, like me, are inside Train2Game to follow your dreams.

On June 18, thanks to Eric Wiltsher and Harry Cole, I spent a wonderful, amazing, unforgettable day meeting famous people inside the game industry.

Andrew Webber (Microsoft), Nicola, Andy Payne

Andrew Webber (Microsoft), Nicola, Andy Payne

I had a tour in the Microsoft Lift London Studios (Soho, London) and I saw a real team working on a game. I shook the hands of people like Andrew Webber, Ian Livingstone, Andy Payne, Lee Schuneman, and I received more than 6 hours of mentoring about how to become someone inside the games industry. Precious information that certainly will help me.

Nicola and Philip Oliver

Nicola and Philip Oliver

When, 8 months ago, I started the course never, if someone said “Nicola, prepare yourself because the next year you will meet the life president of Eidos” I wouldn’t have believed it and never would have I felt so close to changing my life for the better.

Ian Livingstone

Ian Livingstone

So, for all of you that sometimes feel bad and think that nothing will change, keep focused on your dreams, take ALL the opportunities that Train2Game gives you and you’ll find that surely you’ll be rewarded.

Great Future, my friends.

Nicola Valcasara

Train2Game News: Make Something Unreal Live winners game comes to app store

Warlock of Firetop MountainTrain2Game Student studio and Make Something Unreal Live 2012 winners, Commando Kiwi, have released their first game on to the app store.

The game, Warlock of Firetop Mountain: Lost Chapters, was created by the students in their spare time for last years Make Something Unreal Live contest, held by Epic. The game was created using the UDK software and is based on the very first Fighting Fantasy novel, Warlock of Firetop Mountain which was written by Ian Livingstone and Steve Jackson.

The studio, which consists of Cat Forsyth, Martyn Whittel, Tom Chipchase, Jonny Robinson, Ashley Taylor, Adam Sherratt, Aaron Reeve, Andrew Smallwood, Tom Constable and Ezekiel Morris, have been working on the game since the beginning of 2012.

The students won the competition after demonstrating their game to a number of industry professionals, including Peter Molyneux, Cliff Bleszinski and Jon Hare. The final descision was that of Ian Livingstone and Steve Jackson who decided Commando Kiwi’s game best captured the essence of Fighting Fantasy.

The game is a third person action game which puts you in the shoes of the adventurer who is travelling through the deadly Firetop Mountain in search of the fabled treasure of the all-powerful Warlock. The game features enemies and locations from the classic book with a battle system based on the system from the book its self. The unique combat system based uses skill and luck combinations made famous by the series of novels in an intuitive Active Time Battle System.

The game is available for free to download now from the app store.

You can re-live the Commando Kiwi story in the video below:

Train2Game News: Mid-week round up – 30.01.13

It’s time for another Train2Game mid-week round up!

As the Kickstarter draws to a close for the Gamestick console, images of the android gaming machine have been released. You can visit the Kickstarter site to view the console and add to the cause if it takes your interest. http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/872297630/gamestick-the-most-portable-tv-games-console-ever

In previous Bioshock games, the moral decisions have been to choose whether the Little Sisters lived or died. In Bioshock Infinite, the decisions you have to make are more powerful and less commonplace. BioShock Infinite will still present plenty of moral quandaries, but these are not tied to a specific system that in turn determines what ending you’ll get.

Google is to provide UK schools with 15,000 free Raspberry Pi Model B computers. Qualifications awarding body OCR will also create free teaching and learning packs to go with each Raspberry Pi. Responding to the news, games industry veteran Ian Livingstone said: “Putting Raspberry Pis into the hands of children on this scale is potentially the most positive initiative to spur digital creativity since the advent of the BBC Micro in the 1980s.”

Lifetime Xbox 360 sales look certain to overtake those of current-gen leader Nintendo Wii in the UK. Microsoft’s console was less than 200,000 sales behind Wii at the end of December, having sold over four times more units than Wii in 2012. Nintendo UK confirmed before Christmas that around 8 million Wii consoles had been sold in the UK. Despite a reported 33% decline in video game console sales last year, Xbox 360 is said to have outsold its current-gen rivals by a “significant margin” in Britain during 2012. Nintendo DS and PlayStation 2 remain the UK’s first and second best selling games consoles respectively, with Wii and Xbox 360 currently in third and fourth spots.

Temple Run 2 has been released for iOS and now Android. The sequel to the hit game has hit 20,000 downloads on iOS alone. Developed by Imangi Studios, the app rushed to the top of the free App charts on iOS in just eight hours, and also hit number three in the Top Grossing chart. In its first week on sale, Temple Run 2 racked up 210 million sessions and 1,775 years of gameplay.