ROKiT, maker of 3D smartphones and handheld devices, launched a $50 million development fund to support independent game developers.

The fund, ROKiT Games Limited, will invest in both mobile and console titles. Selected companies will be eligible to receive up to a $500,000 investment from ROKiT in exchange for an equity stake in the game.

ROKiT Games Limited already has invested in Ddraig House Game Studio, a U.K.-based company behind the Celtic heritage-inspired game “Lunafon: Tales of the Moon Oak.”

As a smartphone maker, ROKiT provides a unique opportunity to mobile game developers specifically, as selected games will be installed on ROKiT’s phones and promoted through its content network.

  • The global games market is expected to generate $152.1 billion in revenue this year, a 9.6% increase from 2018, according to esports market research firm Newzoo.
  • The gaming industry is dominated by a handful of companies that churn out blockbuster titles, including “Super Mario” maker Nintendo, “Grand Theft Auto” maker Rockstar Games, Electronic Arts, Activision Blizzard and Ubisoft.
  • Indie games, especially on mobile, tend to meet their demise quickly if they cannot sell large quantities or rack up high download totals, which make in-game advertising lucrative.
  • Alternative investment opportunities for developers have increased over the last few years. Some examples include the Indie Fund, a collective of successful developers who invest in up-and-coming games; Fig, a community-based funding platform; and Epic Games’ MegaGrants program, which provides grants to indie games built on its Unreal Engine.
  • Karma Take: While the crowded gaming market may make it difficult for independent developers to break through, its fast growth is opening doors for investors to champion alternative voices.