Game developer

North Texas video game developer Worldspark Studios lands $3 million for Metaverse platform » Dallas Innovates

With new funding, a local video game developer is looking to launch the first step towards creating an all-new virtual universe.

Worldspark Studios, a Farmers Branch-based video game development studio, announced its first outside investment with $3 million in seed funding. The raise was co-led by Hong Kong-based Animoca Brands and startup venture capital firm Shima Capital. Worldspark is now preparing to launch its first video game linked to blockchain technology.

“The dream of building a studio and making games to compete with the huge commercial players in space has always been that, a dream,” said Chandler Thomlison, co-founder and CEO of Worldspark, in a Average position. “With the rapid growth of blockchain and the incredible opportunities it presents, our dream is coming true and we are excited to engage our community to build the best studio and products possible.”

[Image: Worldspark Studios]

Fight on the blockchain

The company’s first title is Edenbrawl, a technological fantasy-style online multiplayer battle game. In-game, players will be able to buy and trade non-fungible tokens. However, the company notes that it wants to avoid “pay to win” items, which means that NFTs will be tied to things like character skins and weapon skins, rather than add-ons that will help players compete better.

Although Worldspark has not yet selected a blockchain network on which to build the game, it said it plans to hold a token sale in about seven to eight months, with the aim of launching a closed beta version of Edenbrawl towards the beginning of next year. Eventually, the company hopes the game will become part of the competitive esports scene.

“Worldspark values ​​social connections that can only be made through play, so we specifically design around social features, accessibility, and the new player experience to ensure our games can be enjoyed by all. “, writes Thomlison.

Worldspark wants Edenbrawl to be the first part of a metaverse surrounding the virtual world of “Eden,” a hub where players can socialize and trade NFTs. From there, the company plans to release other in-universe games, including an anticipated action role-playing game called Trials of Eden, a concept Thomlison likens to an old-school arcade.

“When you go to the arcade with your friends, you meet in the lobby to socialize and hang out,” Thomlison said. “From there, you’ll head downstairs to play the arcade machine of your choice. Eden is our lobby and Edenbrawl is our first arcade machine.

Added industry expertise

According to Thomlison, the game, formerly called Circuits and Shields, has been in the works for almost five years without any full-time employees. However, according to outlet Decrypt, the work has been supported by nearly 240 contract developers. Thomlison said the company, then known as Koza Games, initially tried to fund the project through a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign.

With the new funding, Worldspark says it is now able to hire full-time people. And it has already attracted industry experts. According to LinkedIn, creative director Edmundo Sanchez is a former head of creative art at Riot Games, best known for the League of Legends title. Chief Product Officer Sebastian Cardoso has also held senior roles at Riot and Electronic Arts, in addition to previously serving as CEO of game developers Symbiotic Entertainment and Flower Blade. And chief technology officer Tristan Root was previously head of engineering and features at Bungie, the developer of the Halo game.

“We’re going to be head over heels over the next few months revamping our art style, building Eden, and making drastic gameplay improvements to Edenbrawl,” Thomlison wrote.

Additional investors

Other investors who have joined the Worldspark round include AAG Ventures, Alameda Ventures, Double Peak Group, Forward Analytics, Infinity Ventures Crypto, Jump Capital, LD Capital, Lucid Blue Ventures, Moon Holdings, Onchain Group, Pillar VC , Sfermion, SL2 Capital, ViaBTC, and YGGSEA, the sub-DAO of crypto gaming group Yield Guild Games.

“Worldspark’s strengths largely lie in the traditional gaming space, so we will be leaning heavily on our startup partners to fill our gaps and bring the best possible product to market,” Thomlison wrote.

North Texas is the center of the game

The North Texas region has long been a hub for video games. In addition to housing the National Videogame Museum, Frisco is home to Gearbox Software, the creator of gamers like Borderlands, Half-Life, and Brothers in Arms. Other notable local video game developers include Richardson’s iD Software, one of the oldest operators in space with its first-person shooter Doom released in 1993, as well as McKinney-based Playful Studios and Dallas’ PeopleFun. , the developer of mobile game series. Wordscapes.

The concentration of developers in the local ecosystem has also given North Texas a leadership position in the competitive esports industry. The two biggest players are Dallas-based Envy Gaming, which recently merged with OpTic Gaming and includes celebrities like Post Malone, and Complexity Gaming, which was acquired by GameSquare Esports last year and includes the Jerry Jones family as stakeholders. Envy also owns the rights to operate Esports Arlington Stadium, which claims to be the largest in North America.

The Dallas Cowboys owner isn’t the only big-name local esports investor. Goff Capital is also a stakeholder in Complexity, while Texas Rangers chairman Neil Leibman previously formed Infinite Sports & Entertainment, which was acquired by Houston gambling club Immortals in 2019. Additionally, local billionaire Mark Cuban formed Mavs Gaming in 2018 and has invested in a number of esports-adjacent startups in recent years.

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