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Former WME | IMG Global Head Executive of Esports Launches FOUNDRY IV Inc., a New “Esports First” Game Studio and Media Company


Tobias Sherman and his team step into esports game development

LOS ANGELES, CA, November 8, 2017 – Following an unprecedented run at Hollywood powerhouse agency WME | IMG, executive Tobias Sherman along with his co-founders, Simon Abitbol and Lilia Russo, are unveiling their new plans with the launch of Foundry IV.

After years of innovating behind the scenes and publicly advocating on behalf of esports, the trio has recently formed a brand new enterprise centered around the first “esports specific” game development studio and media company.

“We at Foundry IV are creating competitive titles from the ground up with esports being the primary focus in every aspect. Historically, for publishers, esports has been used as a marketing tool, always secondary to traditional game development,” explains Tobias Sherman, CEO of Foundry IV, and two time 40 Under 40 Award recipient this year (SBJ/SBD & Leaders). “Another key differentiator is that franchise owners will gain an equity stake in every game we develop and all revenue streams associated, whether it’s sales on PC, sponsor partnerships, media, or the league itself. This is a true collective effort that provides owners the value they deserve, players gameplay they’ll love, and fans an exceptional viewing experience.”

Simon Abitbol, CTO of Foundry IV, weighs in by saying, “We are creating a game with esports being prioritized at the earliest DNA decisions, all while treating the community as a partner. Several publishers asked us to design an esports title for them, however, we decided that in the best interest of the industry, it was wise to protect our IP to ensure we could execute on our vision, the right way. That does not rule out working with a publisher though, it’s just that there is no value in being beholden to one.”

“Many traditional sports team owners purchased esports franchises and are now asking themselves, what did I actually purchase and how do I capitalize?” says Lilia Russo, Co-Founder of Foundry IV. We help better define value and truly support traditional sports team ownership and investors as they become acclimated in an industry that is new to most of them.”

To differentiate itself in the marketplace, Foundry IV intends on achieving many important goals, including the few key pillar concepts below:

Allowing professional sports organizations and investors to own not just the league franchise slots, but also the game and intellectual property.
Creating an “esports first” game from the outset, with input from existing pro-gamers, journalists, and industry professionals.
Giving access to fans far earlier than traditional publishers so the community can play a critical role in the development of the game.

With a seed round investment from MGM Resorts International, Foundry IV is currently working through Series A, comprised of professional sports organizations and other investors looking to garner maximum value from the esports industry.

Rick Arpin, Senior Vice President of Entertainment for MGM Resorts International, said, “As a leader in the Entertainment industry, we are focused on the continued evolution of esports and its importance as a strategic initiative for our company. We already have hosted some of the largest esports events in our arena venues and are prepared to open the Esports Arena at Luxor in 2018 with our partners at Allied Esports. Through our partnership with Foundry IV, we will develop additional esports ventures that solidify our position in the esports community.”

Foundry IV’s notable advisory board boasts many prominent figures in media, tech, art and culture. This includes Brian Witten (veteran Hollywood producer), Chris Nunez (renowned tattoo artist, TV personality & entrepreneur), and Tom Hayes, SVP & Head of New Media, Paramount Pictures.

“Tobias Sherman and the Foundry IV team have played a pivotal role in esports’ meteoric rise,” Hayes asserts. “With a legacy of success through innovative new products, Foundry IV’s next venture is sure to change the esports landscape as we know it.”

For more information about Foundry IV, or for interviews, please contact Eileen Koch of EKC PR at 310-441-1000 or email



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