Our Investment in Smith & Tinker

It is time to announce the newest member of our portfolio: Smith & Tinker. Consider this more of teaser announcement since S&T is not quite ready to describe in detail just what it is they are up to. As a preview, we’ll say this much: they fit within our human-computer interaction (HCI) theme and the tagline on their web site reads, “reinventing play for the connected generation”. To quote further from their site, S&T says the following:

We see a future in which unconnected products like toys, games, books and movies will not be able to compete with the dynamic and exciting world of the internet. To meet this future, Smith & Tinker is creating connected entertainment products that move seamlessly back and forth from online to offline and immerse the audience in a community of fellow participants from around the world.

We should also mention that the three founders of Sling Media, Blake Krikorian, Jason Krikorian and Bhupen Shah helped us out and lent their opinions and expertise when we were performing our due diligence on the company, and that the three of them were impressed enough with what they saw that they became personal investors in the company, an endorsement that meant a lot to us at Foundry Group and to the fine folks at S&T.

We are certainly excited to be part of Smith & Tinker, led by serial entrepreneur and creative force Jordan Weisman and his co-founders Joe Lawandus and Tim Lebel, who are supported by a stellar team of employees and a great group of board directors, advisors and observers including Gilman Louie, Jim Whims, Randy Rissman, Steve Arnold, Foundry Group’s Ryan McIntyre, and co-founders Jordan Weisman and Joe Lawandus.

Intrigued? We can’t wait to talk more about S&T when the time is right, and we look forward to aiding and abetting them in their quest to reinvent play. This will be fun…

  • Glenn Byrum

    I am a huge MechWarrior fan. Hopefully this investment makes a new PC game that much more probable, quicker to arrive and of higher quality.

  • David I.


  • accarroll

    I wonder what these guys have in store for shadowrun. Im so pissed off that FASA went out of buiseness and left the whole shadowrun community hanging. Hopefully we will get a shodowrun 2.

  • Charles Goin

    Being a HUGE Battletech and Mechwarrior fan, I hope a MMORPG is in the works. With all the years “Wasted” playing and joining MW2, MW3 and MW4 units and houses, etc.. online and creating our own “MMORPG” via GameSpy, etc.. I can think of no franchise already out there with a huge fan base, story line, and more.. that is just ready to become a HUGE MMORPG.

    Here is my pitch to S&T and Foundry if for some reason this idea eluded you to this point..

    With all BattleTech books, MW2, MW3, MW4 story lines, the storyline is there to build from.

    The fact the graphics for the MW4 gaming engine were really good, (Actually MW4 was better than WoW is now and I think the Wii has proved good games out wiegh overdone graphics) means you don't have to build a whole new graphics engine. MW4 had a online gaming system already built in.. so online combat is already fairly easy figured in. These grahics engines are now 6 or so years old so they shouldn't tax older computers, so should flow as MMORPG fairly well so latency shoudnt be a problem.

    • Charles Goin

      So using the original MW4 engine as a base, with a possibly a combination of the MechCommander interface for group battles, and a new “World” interface there is no reason with a little effort and inginutity a true MMORPG BattleTech game couldn't be done realitively easily. At least in Alpha form.. Then from there you could build a Beta and invite the Mechwarrior/Battletech community to join..

      Let me be the first to say sign me up and I would GLADLY pay a monthly fee to be a BETA tester.. as I think many other Mechwarrior/Battletech fans would.

      BTW If you are working on a MMORPG of Battletech.. please email me a NDA and sign me up for the Alpha. I have been a Beta tester on closed beta tests of MW3, Mechcommander, IGI:2, and done a few dozen other Open BETA tests..

  • Glenn Miller

    I was a Mechwarrior 4 and mercs fan…have all the add ons clan and IS pks BK.and yes there is a huge mechwarrior fan base out there all ready in place….I think people play a game like mechwarrior for different reasons then people play a game like WOW….Although we do enjoy the the Story line and the RPG aspect of the game,I think that the majority of players play for the “Squad” based team play and tactics.Also on the graphics note;Of course we need a new graphics engine..In this day and age of up to 32 GB of RAM,Quad Cores and SLi graphics card setups it would be foolish to think Mechwarror wouldn't need a face lift in order to capture the imagination and market share of a new Mechwarrior generation brought up on state of the art graphics.On the flip side of the coin,us old hardcore MW players would buy a new version of MW because it is mechwarrior.