The Gaming Founders Podcast Episode 3: From a Double Exit to Double Loop Games, Serial Gaming Entrepreneur Emily Greer
Welcome to The Gaming Founders Podcast, where we interview founders that have shaped the gaming industry. You’ll hear origin stories, tactics that helped founders and companies survive and thrive, and key lessons for anyone building the next generation of gaming companies. Your hosts are Eden Chen, CEO of Pragma and Kevin Zhang, Partner at Upfront Ventures.
Today’s guest is Emily Greer, Co-founder and CEO of Double Loop Games, building meaningful and charming experiences for anyone that likes to play games, regardless of whether they self-identify as gamers. Previously Emily cut her teeth over 13 years as COO then CEO of Kongregate, a leading browser then mobile publisher behind hundreds of indie games played by tens of millions of players. In this episode, you’ll hear how Emily credits her brother for her getting the gaming bug, the evolving sibling dynamics during the growth of Kongregate, their acquisition by retailer GameStop, the lucky Jeff Bezos money that helped them survive the crash of 2008, and her decision to start over again, founding Double Loop Games.
The Gaming Founders Podcast is brought to you by Eden Chen, CEO of Pragma, and Kevin Zhang, Partner at Upfront Ventures.
Pragma is a venture-backed backend game engine founded by the engineering leaders who built the platforms for some of the largest live service games including League of Legends, Fortnite, Destiny 2, and Plants vs. Zombies 2. Pragma powers services like accounts, matchmaking and player data for the world’s most ambitious live service games. Eden Chen is a serial entrepreneur and cofounder of Pragma, Fisherman Labs and Lightmark Capital, and started his career in investment banking at Citigroup and Lehman Brothers.
Founded in 1996 in Los Angeles with investing professionals based in LA and SF, Upfront Ventures has backed startup teams across all technology sectors, with about half in Southern California, and the rest across the US and Europe. Kevin Zhang is an avid gamer and former neurobiology researcher who leads gaming and healthcare investments at Upfront Ventures, including Pragma.
Emily credits her brother for catching the gaming bug
The co-founding of Kongregate with her brother Jim
The gaming distribution landscape in the mid-2000s
Changing sibling dynamics as co-founders
User acquisition, leveraging Emily’s background in marketing and data analytics
From bootstrapping to raising VC dollars
Kongregate’s acquisition by Gamestop
Jeff Bezos money in the nick of time during market crash of 2008
Being a 40-something woman in the gaming industry
Advice to founders - exercise, take time for yourself, you don’t need to give up things you love
Retention, recruiting and building culture