FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
THE REVOLUTION WILL BE DOWNLOADED: ANNOUNCING PLAYFIRST
Three Industry Veterans from AtomShockwave, Macromedia and Ubisoft Raise $5 Million in Venture Capital to Create New Games Publisher
San Francisco, CA - September 27, 2004 - John Welch, Brad Edelman and Jason Rubinstein are pleased to announce the formation of PlayFirst, a publisher dedicated to a new model of online game publishing. The company has already received five million dollars in first round funding from Mayfield and Trinity Ventures.
"The online game industry is still at its dawn," said John Welch, PlayFirst's co-founder and CEO. "Our management team is bringing a new model of publishing to what we see as an emerging market: popular games. With strong capital, expertise, technology and a focus on this market, PlayFirst plans to bring the best gameplay to all online consumer entertainment platforms - starting with internet downloads."
The three founders bring a wealth of experience to the new company. Welch is one of the architects of the new games business, having most recently built Shockwave.com into one of the top five games portals in the world. The technology and design innovations of Brad Edelman, PlayFirst's Chief Technology Officer, have resulted in the creation of some of the widest-used internet-related applications, including Macromedia's Flash Player, Shockwave Player, Breeze Live, Adobe PageMill and more. Jason Rubinstein, the Vice President of Marketing and Business Development, joins the company from Ubisoft, where he helped establish the company as a top player in all facets of online games; Jason is an industry veteran in the online games, entertainment and technology businesses.
PlayFirst will be a provider of simple but challenging games that become staples of daily gaming life. "We're going beyond the hardcore gamer," Welch said. "We want to reach families, women, and new audiences with games that are easy to play and fun."
"The downloadable games market represents a significant opportunity," said Schelley Olhava, Program Manager, IDC. "We expect purchased downloadable game revenue to exceed $760 million in 2007 in the United States."
"Interactive entertainment on personal computers and other consumer devices have started to supplant traditional forms of media such as music, box office and television," said Janice Roberts, Managing Director at Mayfield. "We see a tremendous opportunity for PlayFirst to expand the market for games beyond today's hard core gamers to the broader market on all relevant platforms."
"At Trinity Ventures, we don't just invest in plans, we invest in people," said Gus Tai, General Partner of Trinity Ventures. "And if anyone has the know-how to make the enjoyment of games as simple and broad as going to the movies or buying music, this is the team to do it. With management experience from companies that represent the best in technology, classic brand development and traditional games publishing, PlayFirst has both the diversity and depth of experience to capitalize on this opportunity."
About PlayFirst, Inc.
PlayFirst, Inc. publishes popular games targeted at the mass market through all online consumer platforms. As internet penetration has grown to 90 million users in the U.S. alone, including 30 million broadband customers, the internet has become a viable distribution outlet for games. PlayFirst produces games targeted at previously untapped demographics including women, kids and ethnically diverse audiences. The company was founded in 2004 by veterans of internet portals, traditional games publishers and technology firms and received venture funding from Mayfield and Trinity Ventures. The company expects to launch its first games online in late 2004 through entertainment portals and other direct-to-consumer outlets. For more information: www.playfirst.com
Mayfield provides "Venture Capital with Impact" and shows leadership in early-stage venture investing by teaming with exceptional individuals to create industry-leading companies. With $2.2 Billion capital under management, Mayfield has deep domain expertise in enterprise software, networking and communications technology. Since Mayfield's founding in 1969, the firm has invested in more than 400 companies, completed hundreds of mergers and acquisitions and taken 100 companies public. Mayfield's portfolio of companies includes those that represent the foundation of today's technology economy as well as companies striving to set the technology paradigms of the future. For more information: www.mayfield.com
About Trinity Ventures
Founded in 1986, Trinity Ventures is a value-added investor that provides capital, networks and resources to early-stage software, services, communications and networked systems companies. With more than $1 billion under management, Trinity Ventures has a proven track record of working in close collaboration with entrepreneurs to build leading companies, such as Extreme Networks, Crescendo Communications, Forte Software, Illustra, Starbucks and Blue Nile. For more information: www.trinityventures.com