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30: What to look for when video game investing | Steve Iles of Origin Venture Partners

27 Jul 2021 / Podcast Tax Enhanced

Video gaming is a huge market, but relatively niche within EIS. Steve Iles has spent his whole career working in and helping the video games industry and his current focus is at the intersection with funding.

We start off by talking about the history of video gaming and how it has shaped the industry as it stands today. This leads into the attractions of the different business models and what what does or doesn’t make a good video game. Steve then talks about lower-risk ways to create games, trends, how investors should or shouldn’t diligence video game companies and why gaming hasn’t taken off in EIS yet.

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Steve Iles is the Managing Partner of Origin Venture Partners. He has 25 years’ experience working as a senior business and production executive in the games business. He founded and ran the BAFTA-nominated development company Pocket Studios from 1999 to 2004, which grew to be regarded as one of the top 3 handheld console specialists in the games industry, developing many of the world’s major movie and comic book IPs. He has been responsible for the business planning, strategy and financial modelling of numerous companies and served as executive producer on over 40 major titles for top tier clients such as Universal, Disney, Marvel, LucasArts and Atari, including games based on Lord Of The Rings, The Hulk, Star Wars, Pirates Of The Caribbean and Alone In The Dark.

Steve has considerable commercial experience in working with and licensing IP having worked directly with major Hollywood studios and consulted for private investors and publishers. He has a proven track record of building exceptional development teams and managing projects to ship on time and on budget. He enjoys identifying and evaluating new business opportunities such as trans-media production and technology solutions, with a vision to developing and acquiring properties that could be exploited across film, TV, games, online, publishing and ancillary markets. Outside of the games business, Steve has also consulted as a senior IT specialist working on major Y2K infrastructure projects for global companies such as Dresdner Kleinwort Benson, City Bank, Worldcom, Glaxo and Chubb Insurance. He has also consulted on a new digital distribution solution for delivering movies direct to cinema for clients that included IMX, Warner Bros and Disney.

Origin Venture Partners is run and managed by experienced sector specialists with a variety of relevant and highly credible backgrounds that includes computer and video games, film, television and media financing, business strategy, auditing, evaluation and production experience. These combined skillsets provide an efficient commercial team for selecting and accelerating companies in the video games and related technology sectors. Together the members of the OVP team have been involved in over 200 released titles. They have worked with some of the largest franchises in the world including Lord of The Rings, The Hulk, Star Wars, Pirates Of The Caribbean, Call Of Duty, Destiny and Resident Evil. They have held executive roles in several of the largest publishers in the world, and also bring in specialist start-up finance and games finance experience having funded over £100m of projects in the past.

Thanks to Kealan Doyle at Symvan for the introduction.

Website originvp.com

Suggested reading

GamesIndustry.biz www.gamesindustry.biz
Newzoo newzoo.com
Gamasutra gamasutra.com