Note: Fig was acquired by Republic in April 2020.
Fig is an investment crowdfunding platform for investing in the development and production of video games. While Fig does include rewards-based funding options similar to Kickstarter, but Fig also offers an investment option for some of the campaigns.
Fig’s model is to provide game developers a cash advance to develop their new game, as well as supporting the developer to build a marketing and PR strategy to help drive sales. With this support, developers can ostensibly then focus on designing their game and producing the best product. Fig demonstrates an admirable level of transparency by sharing detailed performance of all games funded by investors through the platform on their blog.
Fig is well-financed, having raised $7.8 million in its Series A round led by Greycroft and Spark Capital, and in 2018, Fig acquired Ownage Ltd., a blockchain-based platform for digital gaming to help grow its publishing services.
Types of investments Fig offers
Investors on Fig pledge funds to support the development of specific video games. Investors choose the video games they want to back from the Fig platform. The minimum investment varies, but is generally around $1,000, in exchange for a portion of future sales (after expenses) from the game.
What do you get when investing with Fig?
Investors in a game on the Fig platform typically aren’t investing directly in the game itself, but instead receive “Fig Game Shares”. These Game Shares are shares of capital stock with no voting rights, but are entitled to a share of the specific game’s profits. Game Shares are different for each game on the platform, and non-transferable between games.
According to the company:
You are investing in stock of Fig Publishing Inc., created to pay dividends based on the sales receipts from the game, after it has been released. Fig receives a revenue share of the game’s sales receipts from the developer as compensation for our publishing services. Those receipts are then apportioned between Fig and the investors, based on the proportion that the investment proceeds represents to the development amount paid to the developer.
How does Fig make money?
Fig does not charge a direct fee on investment, but it does take a piece of the revenue share before investors see any returns. Deal terms are dependent on the specific deal, however, Fig generally takes a portion of sales themselves to pay-off distribution, marketing and other fees. The company also receives a percentage of game sales for several years after the games release.
Potential returns and cashflow
Investors in Fig Game Shares are returned dividends which are calculated about every six months. Before investors see any dividends, the game developer and Fig itself hold the rights to the first returns. In the event a game is sold to a third-party, which has already happened with two Fig games, the dividend distribution model stays intact, or, proceeds from the sale are considered revenue and are distributed as dividends to investors. Investors should note that in some cases the upside is capped – either as a multiple of the original investment (for example, 2.5X), or after a certain amount of time has passed since the game’s commercial release (for example, 24 months).
Breadth of offerings on Fig
The availability of investments on Fig is limited. Currently there is only one game available for investment on the Fig platform (and that investment is only open to accredited investors), as all other games are either fully funded or in the pre-order stage. Fig is dependent on developers not only creating new and innovative games, but also seeking to sell a portion of their future sales for this work.
Regulatory framework and due diligence expectations
Fig offers investments under both Reg A+ and Reg D. The company states that it does detailed due diligence on every game pitched to the platform. The Fig team evaluates the game and its developer to determine whether it has the potential for significant income generation. The company looks for talented developers who have experience delivering games within budget, and games which could generate significant sales based on growing a community and fanbase.