Direct Investments

Mercia appoints games industry veterans to new advisory board

Mercia Technologies PLC (Mercia), one of the UK’s leading investors in the digital entertainment sector, has appointed three senior figures from the industry to its newly created Digital & Digital Entertainment Advisory Board.

Nick Parker, Matt Woodley and Rob Precious have over 70 years’ experience between them in the gaming industry. Their appointment further strengthens the expertise within Mercia’s Digital & Digital Entertainment investment team, which is led by the former CEO of SEGA Europe and America, Mike Hayes.

Nick Parker is one of the gaming industry’s foremost analysts advising large corporates, banks and investors. A former Vice President of Sony’s European games business, he has since helped launch Atari’s GameNation portal and subsequently founded GameVision, the gaming industry’s standard in consumer intelligence. Nick now advises a range of companies, from the BBC and Vodafone through to British Telecom and Sky PLC.

Matt Woodley has held creative and marketing roles at some of the most established companies in the industry, including SEGA, Atari and EA. Matt is now a partner with Tenshi Partners, a team of experienced entrepreneurs who advise corporates on strategy and provide mentoring for start-ups.

Rob Precious has held senior sales and business development roles with Criterion (sold to Electronic Arts in 2005), IGA Worldwide and Geomerics, where he developed the company from pre-revenue through to acquisition by ARM PLC in 2013. Rob now mentors start-ups including Mantle Technologies, a 2015 Diamond Award winner at MassChallenge London. He is also an investor himself, backing firms such as Mantle Technologies and PlayCanvas.

The Advisory Board will meet quarterly to discuss industry trends, identify potential growth areas within the sector and help shape Mercia’s investment strategy. Companies within Mercia’s Digital & Digital Entertainment portfolio include: nDreams, a developer and publisher of virtual reality games and experiences; VirtTrade, a digital trading card platform provider; Soccer Manager, a free-to-play online football management game; and Edge Case Games, a development studio currently working on Fractured Space, a space battle game.

Mike Hayes, Investment Director and Head of Digital & Digital Entertainment at Mercia, said:

“Nick, Matt and Rob all bring with them a wealth of knowledge and insights as well as an extensive network of contacts to build on our existing expertise and industry connections within the sector.

“The creation of the Advisory Board comes at an exciting time for the games industry. Not only are new techniques like VR helping to create more realistic experience for games players, but gamification also offers the opportunity to transform business models and improve outcomes in a wide range of other sectors, from healthcare to financial services.”