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Sure Ventures’ Suir Valley fund backs gaming firm WarDucks in development of new AR game

The proceeds of the €3.3mln funding round would be used to help drive the development of the location-based game and expand WarDucks’ development team

Pokemon Go
Augmented Reality shot to prominence in 2016 with the release of mobile game Pokemon Go

Sure Ventures PLC’s (LON:SURE) investment fund, Suir Valley Ventures, has backed the launch of an augmented reality (AR) mobile game being developed by game company WarDucks.

The company, which invests in start-ups in the fintech, AR, virtual reality (VR), and Internet of Things (IoT) spaces, participated in a €3.3mln funding round announced by WarDucks on Thursday.

READ: Sure Ventures reports progress across portfolio despite volatile market weighing on NAV

The proceeds would be used to help drive the development of the location-based AR game and expand WarDucks’ development team.

Suir, in which sure holds a 23% holding, had initially invested €300,000 for a 10% stake in WarDucks in September 2017. Sure said this had led to an unrealised gain of around four times since then, which would value the stake at €1.2mln.

The developer is headed by Nikki Lannen, a former senior member of Facebook Inc’s (NASDAQ:FB) gaming team, and counts co-founder of the BAFTA award-winning Romero Games studio John Romero among its creative consultants for the new game.

Romero is best known for his work on notable gaming franchises such as Wolfenstein, DOOM, and Quake.

WarDucks has already found success with previous titles being released on a number of VR platforms such as Samsung Gear, PlaystationVR, and the Oculus Rift.

“There’s a huge opportunity in AR location-based mobile gaming, which combines the local appeal of real-world maps with engaging gameplay,” said Lannen.

AR gaming shot to prominence in 2016 after Pokemon Go, a mobile game where players would travel around the real world catching virtual creatures, became immensely popular and eventually one of the most used and profitable phone apps that year.

"We are delighted to be part of this investment round as WarDucks focuses on launching a new location-based AR reality mobile game", said Sure's chief investment officer Barry Downes.

"Traction for these games continues to gain momentum; for example, Pokemon Go has made US$2bn since it launched and is still making over US$2mln a day."

In early trading on Friday, Sure Ventures shares were steady at 99p.

--Adds Suir stake information, CIO quotes and updates share price--

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