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Gaming startup GOALS scores $15M seed round to build the number one AAA football game

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Gaming startup GOALS scores $15M seed round to build the number one AAA football game
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Online football game GOALS, has announced a $15M seed round. Northzone, a global VC firm which has backed Spotify, Klarna, Trustpilot, and Homa Games, led the round with participation from previous investors Cherry Ventures, Moonfire Ventures, Banana Capital and new investors Not Boring Capital and Cassius. The round features notable angels such as FC Barcelona star Gerard Pique, Sorare co-founder and CEO Nicolas Julia, Axie co-founder and COO Aleksander Larsen, metaverse expert Matthew Ball, and web3 authority Magdalena Kala. The funds will allow GOALS to double their headcount recruiting another 30 game developers by the end of 2022.

GOALS is a fast-paced and multiplayer-first football game primarily for PC and consoles that offers a unique and attractive way for gamers to own in-game digital assets as they play. With a focus on quicker and more responsive gameplay, GOALS is different from existing football games by creating a fun, competitive and rewarding experience. Being free-to-play and cross-platform, GOALS provides a completely frictionless opportunity for gamers and football fans to enjoy the beautiful game like never before.

Through the utilization of environmentally friendly blockchain technology, GOALS allows true digital ownership of in-game assets. These in-game assets are earned for free through gameplay and can be used in the game or traded freely at any point.

“We’re thrilled to announce a seed round by an amazing group of VCs and fantastic angel investors”, said GOALS co-founder and CEO Andreas Thorstensson. “We have been in the very fortunate position where investors reached out to us before we were actually fundraising so we were able to pick the ones we felt had the best fit for GOALS. The current investors have the perfect combination of expertise in gaming, sports, web3 and company growth. With GOALS I am building my dream company. It combines my deep interest in sports, gaming, esports and new technology. After playing most football games on the market and observing the esports scene for a long time I could see that gamers deserved something new. GOALS is a gameplay-first football game. Free to play, cross-play, multiplayer-focused, and esports-ready where the players can finally own their in-game items instead of renting them.”

Football and gaming are respectively two enormous markets. With 3.5 billion football fans and 2.9 billion gamers, the estimated market for virtual goods in this space is valued at close to $190bn. Major players have bet big on realism and licensing to sustain their market positions. This leaves a huge space for companies like GOALS who can deliver an esports ready product that offers the accessibility and non-stop action of other online giants like Rocket League. GOALS’ play-and-own business model is ideally placed to service the new market for NFTs which is itself estimated to reach $80Bn by 2025. Gamers will own their players and teams to take part in professional online leagues.

“Andreas has gathered around him a stellar team. They’ve identified a unique opportunity at the intersection of metaverse and football, the world’s largest sport. Web3 and the technology behind innovations like NFTs will power the next generation of businesses in this space and GOALS is poised to become a leader in their own category”, adds Pär-Jörgen Pärson, a partner at Northzone and sitting on the GOALS board.

“GOALS represents a rare investment opportunity. The game they’re building is original and fun, and their growth and business model is truly impressive. Andreas is as impressive a founder as I’ve ever met, has a solid vision and a clear execution plan. From a personal perspective too, this intersection of football, gaming, esports and NFTs covers so much of what I find fascinating. I’m really excited to see where we go from here” says Mattias Ljungman, founder of Moonfire Ventures.

“GOALS is not just a game, but a team on a mission,” says Sophia Bendz, partner at Cherry Ventures, which also led GOALS’ pre-seed round. “In just a few short weeks, GOALS grew its following to well over 25,000 people on social media and thousands upon thousands in Discord. GOALS is creating something people have long wanted. We’re excited to be with them on their journey in creating a new football game people love.”

Founded in late 2021, GOALS has already built a team with an impressive set of skills and track record of successes in entrepreneurship, engineering, game development, gaming, esport and web3. This funding will allow them to grow further in the game development area. As a gaming start-up, GOALS has taken the lead in offering a diverse and inclusive workplace to better attract developers from competing firms.

Gaming

Plinko: A Classic TV-based Game, Now on Spinmatic’s Portfolio

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Television is an all-time massive communication medium, and the desire of becoming rich and famous watching participants on different shows has always been part of our culture.

And it’s not the first time casinos make the most of a TV game and its success… Fortune wheels, bingo machines… and now, Plinko!

More than four decades ago, in January 1983, Plinko was introduced in the world-known TV show “The price is right”, and the game is still part of the programme nowadays, being considered very often as the most famous pricing game of all times.

Being aware of the tremendous possibilities of this easy-to-play yet trepidant game, Spinmatic is launching a brand-new game category on its portfolio.

Plinko consists of a board full of blocking pegs in the form of a pyramid, with a certain number of winning spaces at the bottom. The aim of the game is to place the balls in the best winning spot to be awarded with the displayed prize.

With Spinmatic’s latest creation, Pinky Plinko, the company combines the classic excitement of plinko with a dash of colourful Asian vibes – giving a new look to the usual plinko game.

Set against an Asian-inspired backdrop, players place their bet from 0.1 to 80 and watch the ball zigzag down through a bunch of pins, building up the excitement with every bounce. They can choose their adventure with the Risk Level feature. Whether they’re feeling daring or prefer a safer path, Pinky Plinko lets them adjust the risk to match their betting style. For those who like a touch of strategy, the Hold & Drop feature will let them decide the exact moment to let the balls fall. A simple addition of control that will definitely engage players.

With its attractive features, gorgeous graphics and the thrill of big wins, it promises to be a hit with players looking for an entertaining and rewarding plinko game. Whether they’re a fan of traditional plinko or looking for something new to try, Pinky Plinko will provide them with an exciting challenge.

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Gaming

Paddy Power Launches Industry First Exclusive Online Gameshow

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Paddy Power has launched a new online game – Paddy’s Mansion Heist – becoming the first company to create an exclusive branded gameshow. The game is available to all UK & Irish players.

The first-of-its-kind online Live Casino Game Show has been made possible through collaboration with Playtech Live Casino. The gambling software development company worked closely with Paddy Power to create a custom designed, immersive and large-scale studio showcasing what a year of innovation and creativity can produce.

Set within Paddy’s Mansion, the game offers players the opportunity to pull off the ultimate heist. Paddy’s Mansion Heist incorporates high tech engine technology, enhancing player experience, which was the main priority during game development.

With market leading four live action bonus rounds and entertaining presenters, users have the chance to bet on Paddy’s 54 segment wheel and explore the Mansion through a series of interactive rounds, stealing “lucrative loot” from each room.

The game culminates at Paddy’s legendary Vault, where players will be teased with scenes of Paddy’s shimmering gold. Participants can win up to a maximum of 4000x their bet – however, it’s not going to be easy.

Roisin Hogan, Commercial Director at Flutter, said: “PP Games’ longstanding partnership with Playtech has led us to developing one of our most exciting games ever – Paddy’s Mansion Heist. This game represents Playtech’s and PP Games’ commitment to innovation and delivering an unparallelled customer experience. We are thrilled to bring this exciting game to market.”

Kevin Kilminster, Chief Product Officer at Playtech, said: “We are proud to collaborate with an iconic brand like Paddy Power, one of Playtech’s longest standing partners to launch Paddy’s Mansion Heist. Bespoke games have become essential to cater to the evolving market demand for personalised, entertainment-led experiences. Mansion Heist delivers on the theatre and engagement that Paddy Power players have come to expect.”

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Gaming

Huawei Game Salon 2024: HUAWEI AppGallery bridges the gap between East and West, helps partners go global

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AppGallery, Huawei’s official distribution platform, held the Huawei Game Salon – Cloud Collaboration (Europe) in Istanbul, Türkiye, from 30 May to 1 June. The event aimed to strengthen collaboration between AppGallery and its partners and bring robust public cloud infrastructure to enterprises in Europe.

In the past decade, Huawei has forged strong relationships in the European market; bridging East and West and supporting local growth. Huawei has enabled Chinese developers to reach a broader European gamer audience, and Turkish game developers to increase their visibility in Europe.

The Huawei Game Salon showcased Huawei Cloud as a premier business solution, offering professional, fast, stable, and secure one-stop cloud services for gaming enterprises seeking to build high-quality, holistic cloud gaming experiences.

Türkiye: An Exciting New Gaming and Live Streaming Hub

With Europe’s mobile game market predicted to hit $8.56 billion in 2024, Huawei is intensifying its focus on Europe’s gaming scene. Türkiye, which boasts a growing number of talented developers and a large, dedicated player base, is key to Huawei’s plans.

Home to 30 million gamers, Türkiye leads the gaming market in the Middle East. In 2023, the industry generated $300 million and witnessed 16% year-on-year growth. With smartphones being the main device used by European users to access games, and over 75% of the Turkish population owning a smartphone, its mobile gaming market has huge potential.

The pan-entertainment sector reached a market value of $228.7 million last year, with over 62.5 million users, representing 73.1% of the total population. According to AppAnnie, in-app payments for pan-entertainment applications in Türkiye totaled US$76 million in 2023, propelling Türkiye into the top five globally.

Huawei Gaming Salon Welcomes Valued Partners

The Huawei Gaming Salon warmly welcomed leading Chinese developers such as Funplus, Tencent, Moonton, and miHoYo, among others.

“Our intention is to foster a vibrant gaming community in Europe. By collaborating closely with our partners, we hope to deliver cutting-edge, reliable, and top-notch gaming experiences to the region.” Shan Xuefeng, Managing Director of Huawei Consumer Cloud Service, Europe Ecosystem Development & Sales Department shared.

Productive CP-Gamer and Local Partner Sharing Sessions

A CP-Gamer Interactive Sharing offered Chinese developers the chance to dive into the success stories and experiences of Huawei’s European partners, game developers Playrix and Com2us. During this exchange, Playrix and Com2us stressed that adapting to local users was key to their success in Türkiye. Thereafter, a Local Partner Sharing session added further perspectives to the day’s discussions.

Full Day of Activities: HUAWEI Cloud Data Center

Attendees were treated to a Turkish Cultural Experience and explored the HUAWEI CLOUD Data Center. A Farewell Dinner was held, the perfect goodbye to the event.

Huawei’s partners, including Tencent, Moonton, miHoYo, and Funplus, were highly impressed and expressed their enthusiasm for working with Huawei in the future, with plans to publish their games on AppGallery in Europe in the second half of 2024.

Jaime Gonzalo, Vice President of Huawei Mobile Services Europe, said, “Mobile gaming is a global phenomenon. Our goal is to bridge the gap between top developers from around the world and European gamers. To achieve this, we offer comprehensive support from development to commercial monetization, which is crucial for helping partners expand internationally.”

 

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