Today Benchmark announced an $11MM investment in NaturalMotion, a publisher of 3D games for mobile devices. I am joining NaturalMotion’s board of directors.
Many people in the packaged-goods games business know NaturalMotion from their Euphoria and Morpheme 3D animation engines, which have been used in high-end console games to produce incredibly realistic character animation (if you’ve played Rockstar’s Red Dead Redemption, for example, you’ve seen this in action). Torsten Reil, CEO of NaturalMotion, recognized that he could port a substantial subset of these technologies to the surprisingly-capable iPhone and iPad platforms, and in so doing leapfrog existing assumptions about what gaming could be on those devices.
The early results, My Horse and CSR Racing (which Apple recently demonstrated on stage at the WWDC keynote), show the incredible promise of console quality and production values matched with the successful free-to-play business models that have taken root in mobile gaming. NaturalMotion is in production on a slate of innovative products that will stretch the boundaries of some existing genres, as CSR has done with iOS driving games, and also create some exciting new genres we haven’t seen before on the platform.
I’m looking forward to working with NaturalMotion, and with an incredibly talented entrepreneur like Torsten Reil, on this exciting endeavor.