Brock Pierce is an entrepreneur best known for pioneering the market for virtual goods in online games. He has founded nine companies, acquired more than 30 others, and closed more than a dozen corporate finance transactions, securing more than $200 million on behalf of his companies. He is currently Executive Chairman of Playsino, a Managing Director of the Clearstone Global Gaming Fund, and sits on the boards of IMI Exchange, Xfire, Five Delta, EverTune, and Spicy Horse Games.
Among his current game ventures, Pierce is the founder of Playsino, a cross platform publisher and developer of social casino games. Playsino’s investors include Tomorrow Ventures, Siemer Ventures, and many of Southern California’s most successful entrepreneurs. Pierce also founded IMI Exchange in 2004, which raised over $100 million from blue-chip investors such as Goldman Sachs and Oak Investment Partners. During Pierce’s tenure as CEO, he rolled up many of the world’s most successful trading platforms for virtual goods and established operations in Shanghai, Hong Kong, Seoul and the United States, supporting more than 600 employees. Today, IMI Exchange owns the world’s leading marketplaces for the trading of virtual goods, with sales exceeding $1 billion annually. Pierce was more recently responsible for acquiring Xfire from Viacom in late 2010. Xfire is a social network for hardcore gamers, with over 23 million registered users. Xfire has raised $8 million since being spun out and is backed by Intel Capital, Electric Sheep, and Tomorrow Ventures. Xfire was previously acquired by Viacom in 2006 for $110 million. Pierce joined the board of American McGee’s Shanghai-based Spicy Horse Games in December 2011.
Among his past game ventures, Pierce founded ZAM Network. ZAM is one of the world’s largest gaming media properties, providing information and services to more than 15 million hardcore PC gamers each month and generating more than 500 million monthly page views. ZAM was sold in January 2012 to Tencent, the largest Internet company in China and third-largest in the world. Pierce also co-founded GamesTV, a joint venture with Shanghai Media Group. GamesTV was a televised game channel similar to G4, serving the mainland Chinese market over the SMG Digital Platform. Pierce was also the founder of IGE, the company which pioneered the market for virtual goods in online games in the Western world. IGE generated nearly $100 million in revenue in 2006 and was sold in early 2007.
Pierce primarily works in the game business, but has a few other current, non-gaming businesses. He is co-founder of Five Delta, a stealth ad tech company. Pierce is also co-founder of EverTune, a patented, proprietary technology that keeps any stringed instrument in tune for the life of the string set by utilizing a spring-based constant tension system.
Prior to entering the game business, Pierce co-founded Digital Entertainment Network (DEN), one of the first and most ambitious digital media companies. DEN raised more than $88 million from investors, including Microsoft, Intel Capital and NBC. He began his career as a successful Hollywood actor, starring or appearing in 12 major motion pictures, including The Mighty Ducks and First Kid, as well as many commercials.
Pierce generally plays the role of strategist and dealmaker in each company after attracting the management teams and capital. He is currently an advisor to Casual Connect, GamesBeat, and Digital Media Wire. Pierce is also an active angel investor, a founding mentor of the Founder Institute’s L.A. chapter, and a member of SoCal Tech and Media Entertainment Technology Alliance. Pierce is an active supporter of non-profit and advocacy organizations and a member of Clinton Global Initiative.
Both Wired and Fortune magazines have written lengthy biographical feature stories on Pierce’s career. In addition, he has been a guest lecturer at Stanford, UCLA and USC, as well as many video game and entrepreneurial conferences.