The Forgotten City publisher Plug In Digital raises $75M for indie games

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Independent games publisher and distributor Plug In Digital has raised $75 million to publish more games like The Forgotten City.

Private equity firm Bridgepoint Group led the round, and the money will allow the company to invest in more development and expand its footprint with multi-platform intellectual property publishing deals, said CEO Francis Ingrand in an interview with GamesBeat. The company will also use the money to make strategic investments.

Ingrand started the company in Paris in 2012 and moved it to Montpellier, France, in 2019.

“I started with the idea of helping indies and publishers distribute digitally because 10 years ago it wasn’t easy,” Ingrand said. “It was new for them, and they were more specialized in physical distribution.”


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Plug In Digital will continue to operate independently in the games space and expand its publishing and distribution portfolio, increasing its footprint in both the digital and physical space with global, multi-platform IP.

“We have been following the video games sector closely for a period of time and are impressed by Plug In Digital’s journey to-date,” said Olivier Nemsguern, partner at Bridgepoint Development Capital, in a statement. “The company is well-positioned and has built a great brand in the publishing space, relying on its committed and skilled leadership team. We look forward to partnering with the company during its next chapter of development.”

Above: Francis Ingrand of Plug In Digital.

Plug In Digital grew quickly into a full-service games distributor and publisher for today’s most exciting games across PC, cloud, console and mobile platforms. The company’s two publishing labels, Dear Villagers and PID Games, boast an impressive portfolio that spans a variety of
today’s most popular genres, reaching players across all platforms and delivering playful, distinctive, and audacious games to global audiences.

In 2018, the company raised a small round of two million euros and it expanded into China. That was a small round, but Ingrand said he preferred to prove the company’s business and proceed step by step.

“This is our first real funding that will accelerate us on the publishing side,” Ingrand said.

With the pandemic, the company saw a surge of growth and so Ingrand decided at the start of the year to raise money.

“This turned out to be the perfect time to raise more money,” he said. “We can invest in production and M&A.”

Ingrand expects the company will acquire some studios to make its own games.

Plug In Digital has seen 50% annual revenue growth over the past five years, hitting a successful stride with its flagship publishing label Dear Villagers which has launched more than eight cross-platform, cross-gen titles into the global games marketplace since its inception in early 2019.

One of its most recent titles, The Forgotten City, has been lauded by international critics for its unique, eye-catching design as well as its exceptional narrative and dialogue and has been a remarkable commercial hit. PID Games, the second label under the Plug In Digital umbrella, is focused on offering studios flexible publishing or co-publishing support on PC, console, and mobile. The general business is split 50-50 between publishing and distribution now.

“Our top priority is Dear Villagers and to strengthen our game, but we will continue to invest in distribution,” he said.

PID is on track to publish 30 games this year from its global development partners. Other titles include Alba: A Wildlife Adventure and Paper Beast. The company has about 50 people and it is hiring.


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