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Klang games has raised $41 million in funding to develop Seed, the player-built online universe. The company also announced that Electronic Arts veteran Isabelle Henriques has joined as co-CEO.
Based in Berlin, Germany Klang games aims to push the boundaries of massively multiplayer online (MMO) games with Seed, which will be an ongoing, large-scale world where players determine their destiny and share the experience with AI-powered virtual humans.
The online space colony game uses Improbable’s SpatialOS platform, which provides the infrastructure for small development teams to create massive simulations. The game takes place in the future but does not have fantasies like The Force. Instead, it’s more realistic.
The plan for Seed is to be a continuous, ongoing simulation where players are supposed to colonize an alien planet through cooperation, conflict, and player-to-player interaction. Utilizing unique gameplay based on managing multiple characters in real time, characters live on after the player logs out, making the world of Seed a living, breathing entity.
Animoca Brands and Kingsway Capital led the round, with participation from Anthos, Novator, Supercell, Roosh, AngelHub and New Life Ventures. Klang Games has raised nearly $80 million to date.
“This is a really big achievement for us. And we are very proud and happy to have this confidence from investors, especially the best in the business,” said Mundi Vondi, co-CEO of Klang Games, in an interview with GamesBeat.
Set in the new world of Avesta, Seed provides players with a platform where they can explore, participate in a player-driven economy, self-govern and contribute to their community. Seed is experienced through its AI-powered virtual humans called Seedlings.
Seedlings are customizable, allowing for creative player expression and relying on the active care skills of the players. Currently in a pre-alpha state, Seed’s focus is on creating an online space where people can connect, collaborate and build strong communities.
While Klang Games has been working on prototypes for a long time, Vondi is happy to reach this new stage of prototyping for the simulation-based MMO. Vondi hopes that Seed can solve many of the problems in online games when it comes to gathering a large number of people in one place, as companies hope to do with the metaversethe universe of virtual worlds all connected to each other, as in novels like snow crash and Ready Player One†
This new round of funding will be used to extend the rapid growth of Klang Games to accelerate the development of Seed.
The company hopes to nearly double its current workforce from approximately 70 to 150 in the year. It aims to create a collaborative and inspiring work environment in the heart of Berlin and enhance Seed’s scalable back-end and technical infrastructure.
“We’re definitely trying to hire people very aggressively for the next 12 months,” Vondi said.
Henriques, who is also Chief Operating Officer, came on board in February and has 14 years of experience in management, operations, strategy and production. She was a studio director and lead producer at EA and has worked on franchises including The Sims, Call of Duty and Madden NFL.
“We believe that Klang Games’ combination of design and technical prowess will make Seed a successful project, and our investment reflects our confidence in the team’s vision,” said Yat Siu, executive chairman of Animoca Brands, in a statement. declaration. “We are excited to explore the future of humanity together.”
Vondi started the company in 2013.
Inspired by CCP Games’ Eve Online, the team saw the magic of placing tens of thousands of people in the same universe.
“This is what we always wanted to do,” Vondi said.
“We are extremely impressed with Seed’s vision and the diverse high-performance team Klang Games has built,” said Afonso Campos of Kingsway Capital, a London investment company, in a statement. “Seed’s technology architecture, especially its gigantic scale and impressive autonomously performing AI, is enabling a new type of entertainment for a global audience.”
Henriques said the guiding light is to target a broad audience in the simulation genre, much like Electronic Arts achieved with The Sims and SimCity audiences. It’s more of a life simulation, just in a sci-fi setting. And the company reached a milestone where it simulated that there were 50,000 AI-controlled characters in one city.
“We felt like we could add meaning and belong to a lot of players, and as we started moving away from hardcore sci-fi and a futuristic focus, [we moved] into what makes a society and what makes a person feel belonging and caring, and feel part of something bigger,” Henriques said. “The team began to understand that Seed is more about that broader sense of community.”
As for the lore, it is realistic in its approach and promotes community, cooperation and conflict resolution in society.
“I think there are definitely similarities with The Sims,” Vondi said. “And so it is of course great to have Isabel on board.”
One of the keys is to make the game recognizable, such as knowing that a character has to eat because they are hungry. That serves to make a game more accessible. The team hopes to attract many people who don’t play games to the game.
Each player has a family that lives around the clock. And if players control multiple characters, they don’t have to worry so much about not having enough players in the game’s open world, especially in the beginning, as the player’s own multiple characters interact with each other. The aim is to make population centers such as cities interesting to visit.
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