BOULDER, Col.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Random Games, a new studio reinventing the video game business through a combination of community empowerment and blockchain, has raised $7.6 million in seed funding. This multimillion-dollar round was co-led by Resolute Ventures and Asymmetric, with the participation of IGNIA, 2 Punks Capital, ID345, Polygon and notable game developer David Jones.
Random Games creates the Unioverse, a massive community-owned franchise that flips the script on the relationship between developer, gamer, and fan. The Unioverse will start with a series of video games, but unlike other franchises, the resources used to create those games will be made available to other developers and the community on a royalty-free basis. The Unioverse AAA quality characters, illustrations, models, music and more can be downloaded and used by anyone to create their own games, comic books, movies, lunch boxes, T-shirts – whatever they can think of. Plus, creators can sell anything they make and keep the money.
“Imagine if Marvel released character art and 3D models and told fans to start making their fan movies and comics and take advantage of that,” said Tony Harman, co-founder of Random Games.That’s how great this idea is. We have a team of world-class writers, artists and developers building the Unioverse and we’re basically giving it away!”
Random Games was co-founded by a few game industry veterans who bring a wealth of creativity and experience to global entertainment franchises. Harman previously led development and acquisition for Nintendo of America, launching iconic hits such as Donkey Kong Country and Killer instinct; and has led multiple independent game studios responsible for developing genre-defining franchises such as: Grand Theft Auto and to manhandle. Random Games co-founder, Wyeth Ridgway, was founder and CEO of Leviathan Games, which has worked with dozens of beloved franchises over the past two decades, including Terminator, Star Trek, South Parkand pirates of the caribbean.
Unioverse will use NFTs as part of its path to reinvent the games industry. Players purchase an avatar of an NFT character, which is used to access and play Unioverse games. Because these avatars are NFTs, players can keep or sell them as they please, and avatars will be interoperable across all games in the Unioverse.
“We are very excited to support such a strong team and look forward to seeing them build a franchise that literally changes the economy of gaming,” said investor Joe McCann, founder and CEO of Asymmetric.At the Uniover, blockchain technology has been organically and thoughtfully incorporated and will change the name of the game in the entertainment economy.”
In addition to fostering creativity in its community, Random Games is actively seeking independent studios of all sizes to develop games set in the Unioverse. Third-party developers can use the AAA-grade assets developed for Unioverse royalty-free to create any type of game they want — and sell those games without paying royalties. Random Games will also expand the Unioverse by taking revenue from the sale of character avatars to both establish a Game Developer Fund to fund third-party titles, as well as fuel the creation of more assets and deeper knowledge for the Unioverse .
“Rarely do you see a truly disruptive concept, cutting edge technology and a great founding team coming together in a single startup like this,” said investor Raanan Bar-Cohen, co-founder of Resolute Ventures. “Unioverse stands ready to transform the relationship between game developers and players in a way that benefits everyone involved.”
The Unioverse team is completed by a number of high-profile executive and creative talents from the worlds of technology, entertainment and gaming. Paul Walborsky, who was previously a co-founder of AI.Reverie, SVP at The New York Times and CEO at GigaOM, joined as president of Random Games. The Unioverse story is led by Brent Friedman, who has written for famous names such as: Star Wars, Star Trekand Duty. Visionary game designer David Jones has once again partnered with Harman as an investor and advisor to the Unioverse. Harman and Jones previously founded the independent game studios DMA Designs (Grand Theft Auto) and RealTime worlds (to manhandle, All points bulletin) and nWay (acquired by Animoca Brands).
Random Games will use the new funding to expand its team, work on its first Unioverse games, and develop AAA-quality game assets that are freely available to the community. Those interested in being among the first to learn about Unioverse news and community activities can visit UNIOVERSE.com, follow @The universe on Twitter and join the Unioverse Discord channel.
About random games
Random Games (https://random.games/) is a development studio leading the way in an entirely new concept in video games and franchise entertainment through a combination of community empowerment and blockchain technology. The company’s first franchise, The Unioverse, is a sci-fi epic spanning video games, comic books, novels, and more. At the same time, the Unioverse community will be encouraged and equipped to create their own stories, games and more with high-quality official artwork and other resources available as royalty-free downloads. Visit the Unioverse Discord server to join the robust Unioverse community.
About Resolute Ventures
Resolute Ventures (https://resolute.vc/) is a leading seed and pre-seed investor committed to forging connections with its community of founders who connect through shared tenacity and entrepreneurial spirit. As a community, Resolute is driven by a desire to work on impactful projects, advise startups from the start and provide support every step of the way. The founders and partners have worked on a broad spectrum of companies, including AI Reverie, Automattic, Bark, Bitium, Opendoor (OPEN), and more.
Asymmetric (https://asymmetric.financial/) is a multi-strategic investment fund that focuses on startups and liquid investments in cryptocurrency and Web3.