A16z Leads $15M Round for Game Studio Roboto Games


In a Series A round led by noted venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz (a16z), Robot Games, which aims to bridge Web2 experience with accessible Web3 in-game elements, raised $15 million. The firm launched its first game-focused fund in May with a commitment of $600 million. Despite the global bear market and recent implosion of FTX exchange, funding continues to trickle into crypto sectors.

In an interview with CoinDesk, Roboto Games founders Curt Bererton and Mathilde Pignol said the funding would be used to build out the company’s second game and hire artists and marketers. In addition to Ancient8, Animoca Brands, Gumi Cryptos Capital, Harrison Metal Capital, Makers Fund, Merit Circle, Transcend, and angel investors, the company has raised $19.5 million in total funding to date, including a seed round in 2019.

With headquarters in San Mateo, Calif., Roboto Games develops free-to-play games for the web, mobile, and PC that can be played with or without Web3 elements such as non-fungible tokens (NFTs) – or in-game elements coding to prove their uniqueness – or regular tokens. In addition, a platform to promote user-generated content (UGC) is in the works.

Roboto Games’ flagship title Last Mage Standing has already made waves, with millions of players according to Bererton. But the team is now hard at work on their newest offering: a survival/crafting MMO dubbed Foragers and Fighters. Aiming to launch an initial playable version in the first quarter of 2023, this new game takes inspiration from Minecraft and Genshin Impact and promises character collection, asset crafting and more. However, it will be devoid of Web3 features – at least initially.

Bererton explained that before launching any sort of NFTs or tokens related to the project, we need to ensure that the game core is solidified, working well, and is really fun. We do not want those NFTs to be invalidated by changes we make to a large part of the game, for example.

The team behind Roboto Games created ZipZapPlay, which made 20 social Facebook games including Baking Life and a UGC platform with over 200,000 games. They sold the company to PopCap shortly before Electronic Arts acquired PopCap in July 2011.

The free-to-play games made by ZipZapPlay require actively managed servers, which eventually went offline and made the games unplayable. Therefore, Roboto Games sees blockchain technology as a way to prevent future game deaths. In the event that Roboto shuts down, Pignol noted that the game code could be handed over to the players to continue.

The permanence of the data behind the blockchain, and what you can do with it, is not widely covered in Web3 media, Bererton said.

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