Uri Marchand talks to GameDaily about Overwolf's goal of putting creators first, and how this round of investment will help realize its vision.
This week, Israel-based mod development and distribution platform Overwolf announced the closure of a massive $52.5 million funding round led by Griffin Gaming Partners and Insight Partners. The influx will support the development of a new service platform called CurseForge Core, a software development kit that integrates with supported games. CurseForge Core will allow users to discover and install mods while in game, as well as help creators monetize their work.
Overwolf set the stage for this new platform in 2020 when it purchased CurseForge from Twitch. With the advent of CurseForge Core, Overwolf CEO and co-founder Uri Marchand said that the field of user-generated content (UCG) is poised for a renaissance.
“Overwolf wants to help reduce the barrier with game developers in regards to UGC,” Marchand told GameDaily. “After raising a bunch of money, most developers are focused on building a game and creating the best gameplay experience. They may want to embrace and integrate user-generated content, but struggle to handle content moderation and creators’ payments.”
CurseForge Core is a one-stop-shop in that way; it manages content moderation, live ops for UGC, and creator payment all in one. Overwolf’s goal is to help developers understand the process of UGC management and make in-game integration seamless and cost-effective. It’s a philosophy that has guided Marchand and his team since the company’s inception in 2010.
With the new funding round, Overwolf is closer than ever to realizing its vision, and Marchand is enthusiastic about the role CurseForge Core can play in today’s UGC-rich landscape.
“The Overwolf framework is more important today than we ever imagined, with more people turning to user-generated content to enhance the gaming experience,” he explained. “By offering CurseForge Core, we are accelerating the community-created content movement by enabling publishers to easily integrate mods safely and seamlessly into their existing and new games.”
Marchand said that the ever-rising costs of game development highlights the potential of creator collaboration. UGC can be instrumental in encouraging player engagement and retention, lightening the load on the developers when it comes to keeping the attention of their community.
The future envisioned by Marchand is one where the modding and creation community can more closely work with developers to build new gaming experiences. The result, he hopes, is richer and more varied products that can prosper through collaboration.
“In our eyes, the more content and customizability a game has, the more likely a gamer will keep experiencing its content, and by that, extending the longevity of the game and generating more value for game developers and publishers in the long run.”
Beyond building out CurseForge Core, Marchand said that Overwolf plans to use the investment round to expand the company’s team to 120 full-time employees. Additionally, he wants to ramp up investment in prominent modders to encourage creativity across Overwolf’s community, a concept that exemplifies Marchand’s belief that UGC is an important aspect of the future of game development.
“Overwolf has enabled creators to realize their visions, make games better, and ultimately create a brand new profession: the in-game creators,” he said. “Supporting in-game creators’ success is at the center of everything we do. With this funding, we will be able to continue to champion the rise of the in-game creator and create a sustainable career path.”
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