Founded by Gaming Pioneer Dennis “Thresh” Fong, Crunchyroll Founder Kun Gao, and Cyence Founder George Ng, Forge Launches Into Beta Today Allowing Gamers to Automatically Earn Rewards Based on Their Gaming Profiles
SAN FRANCISCO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Forge, the first video game platform that connects and rewards gamers for their gaming achievements and ongoing play, opens to players today in beta. The platform is announcing today a $11 million seed funding round, led by Makers Fund, BITKRAFT Ventures, and Animoca Brands, with participation from Hashkey Capital, Polygon Ventures, Formless Capital and Adaverse. Forge’s existing investors include industry-leading strategics such as Griffin Gaming Partners, Riot Games, and Sony Innovation Fund. Forge’s angel investors include gaming industry leaders Riot Games founder Marc Merrill, Twitch founders Emmett Shear and Kevin Lin, TSM founder Dan Dinh, Kabam founders Kevin Chou and Holly Liu, YouTube founder Steve Chen, Krafton CEO CH Kim, former Discord CMO Eros Resmini (The Mini Fund), and ESL founder Ralf Reichart.
Founded by gaming pioneer Dennis “Thresh” Fong, Crunchyroll founder Kun Gao, and Cyence founder George Ng, Forge originated as a project within GGWP, an AI-powered game moderation platform that the team launched in 2020, and has since been spun off as a new company. Forge’s mission is to help gamers unlock the value of their gaming profiles and be rewarded for their contributions to gaming communities.
“We wanted to create a platform that finally rewards gamers for being who they are, through their profile and history as a gamer, through their passion, engagement, and community participation,” said Kun Gao, co-founder of Forge. “We feel very strongly that players should be able to control their gaming life. While Forge is just now entering beta, we already have an incredible lineup of dozens of games and partners who are looking to grow with us by giving gamers something special for joining their community.”
At launch, users will be able to link their disparate online gaming and social accounts to create a Forge profile that represents their unique passion and experiences across games. Players will then be able to access a seasonal Season Pass containing quests that allow them to earn XP to level up their Season Pass and unlock game content and access rewards, including in-game content from Forge’s partner games like cosmetics, item/character unlocks, virtual currency, and early beta access. All participating beta users will also be eligible to win additional rewards via Forge weekly bonus rewards, including everything from Amazon gift cards to a brand new gaming PC.
“We’re thrilled to support Dennis, Kun, and George – I am inspired by their passion, impact-orientation, and deep player, and extraordinary track-record,” said Andrew Willson, Partner at Makers Fund. “We expect Forge to become a critical part of the gaming ecosystem for players and developers alike. Developers can offer deeper engagement around their games, and provide rewards systems that benefit gamers and strengthen their relationships with the games they love.”
“At BITKRAFT, we are firm believers in Dennis Fong, Kun Gao, George Ng, and their vision to allow gamers to aggregate their gaming life and achievements into a single profile, and earn rewards based on their participation,” said Carlos Pereira, Partner at BITKRAFT Ventures. “What sets Forge apart is its unique flywheel approach, starting with carefully curated games and questing incentives to support community growth. This strategy creates an enriched user experience, driving more traffic to the platform and attracting games, studios, and publishers to join, resulting in a diverse selection of high-quality games expertly curated by Forge. Forge is not just a platform; it’s a catalyst for the next generation of player engagement and community growth.”
“We like Forge because it provides game developers with an authentic way to reach real gamers with an interest in their products,” said Yat Siu, co-founder and executive chairman of Animoca Brands. “Forge aligns well with the community-centric ethos of Animoca Brands, and we’re excited to be a part of its development.”
Forge is partnering with games including Genopets, Mojo Melee, Pixelmon, Portal Fantasy, Rushdown Revolt and The Sandbox for launch week, with new games added each week during the beta period, to help them reach the Forge community and reward their most passionate players and community members. Developers interested in joining the Forge platform can sign up at: https://forge.gg/developer.
Forge is now open to the public in Beta and users can sign up at forge.gg. Players who join Forge and participate in the community will have a chance to receive a limited edition founders badge which will unlock special features in the Forge community and on the Forge service.
Forge is the first gaming platform that allows gamers to aggregate their gaming life and achievements into a single profile, and earn rewards based on their participation. The company is backed by leading investors and game companies including Makers Fund, BITKRAFT Ventures, Animoca Brands, Riot Games, and Sony Innovation Fund, and is founded by seasoned entrepreneurs in gaming and nerd culture. The Forge beta is now available at forge.gg.
About BITKRAFT Ventures
BITKRAFT Ventures is a leading investment platform for gaming and Web3 globally, and has been the most active gaming venture capital firm and lead investor in 2020 and 2021, according to research from InvestGame and Drake Star Partners. Founded by industry pioneer Jens Hilgers, BITKRAFT serves a worldwide network that spans many of the industry’s forward-thinking startups and founders—including former executives from the likes of Activision Blizzard, Riot Games, Epic Games, Google, and Apple who are working to build and operate the virtual worlds and economies of the future. BITKRAFT operates five venture funds with a total of over $570M in assets under management and has over 80 companies in its global portfolio as of January 2022.
BITKRAFT’s experienced international team works closely with exceptional entrepreneurs to create significant value through early candid partnerships, unique domain experience, entrepreneurial history, and a global ecosystem of strategic partners. Find out more about how BITKRAFT and its portfolio companies are pushing the boundaries of Synthetic Reality® by visiting https://www.bitkraft.vc/vision.
About Makers Fund
Makers Fund is a global interactive entertainment venture capital firm focused on early-stage investments. Makers is dedicated to furthering growth and innovation in the interactive entertainment industry. With more than 90 portfolio companies to date, Makers provides founders strategic value that is deeply catered to companies across the value chain in the industry. For more information, visit makersfund.com.
About Animoca Brands
Animoca Brands, a Deloitte Tech Fast winner, a Fortune Crypto 40 company, and one of the Financial Times’ High Growth Companies Asia-Pacific 2023, is a Web3 leader that leverages blockchain to deliver digital property rights to consumers around the world to help establish the open metaverse. The company develops and publishes a broad portfolio of products including original games such as The Sandbox, PHANTOM GALAXIES™, Life Beyond, and Crazy Defense Heroes, and products utilizing popular intellectual properties from the worlds of sports and entertainment, such as The Walking Dead, Power Rangers, MotoGP™, and Formula E. It has multiple subsidiaries, including The Sandbox, Blowfish Studios, Quidd, GAMEE, nWay, Pixowl, Forj, Lympo, Animoca Brands Japan, Grease Monkey Games, Eden Games, Darewise Entertainment, Notre Game, TinyTap, Be., PIXELYNX, WePlay Media, and Gryfyn. Animoca Brands is one of the most active investors in Web3, with a portfolio of nearly 500 Web3 investments, both directly and through Animoca Ventures, including Yuga Labs, Axie Infinity, Polygon, Consensys, Fireblocks, OpenSea, Dapper Labs, Yield Guild Games, Alien Worlds, and many more. For more information visit www.animocabrands.com or follow on Twitter or Facebook.
About Sony Ventures Corporation
Sony Ventures Corporation manages the Sony Innovation Fund (SIF), which invests in all stages of emerging technology companies as well as in startups solving global environmental challenges. SIF engages with pioneering startups to help fuel the development of disruptive technologies, launch new businesses, and contribute to the environment while seeking return on investment. Sony Ventures Corporation is headquartered in Japan.
About Riot Games
Riot Games was founded in 2006 to change the way video games are developed, published, and supported for players. In 2009, Riot released its debut title, League of Legends, to worldwide acclaim. League has gone on to be the most-played PC game in the world and a key driver of the explosive growth of esports. As League enters its second decade, Riot continues to evolve the game while delivering new experiences to players with Teamfight Tactics, Legends of Runeterra, VALORANT, League of Legends: Wild Rift, and multiple work-in-progress titles. Riot is also expanding the world of Runeterra through multimedia projects across music, comic books, board games, and the animated series Arcane.