- Random Games, a new game studio co-founded by industry veterans Tony Harman and Wyeth Ridgway, raised a $7.6 million seed round led by Resolute Ventures and Asymmetric.
- The company plans to disrupt the traditional videogame business model with the Unioverse, a “community-owned” game franchise that provides blockchain-based assets and free distribution to empower players and independent developers.
- The Unioverse team includes high-profile executive and creative talents from the tech, entertainment, and gaming worlds, and the funding will be used to expand the team, develop games, and create AAA-quality game assets freely available to the community.
Random Games, a new studio founded by industry veterans Tony Harman and Wyeth Ridgway, recently raised a $7.6 million seed round led by Resolute Ventures and Asymmetric. The funding will be used to support the development of The Unioverse, a community-owned game franchise that is designed to upend the traditional video game business model.
Harman, a gaming industry legend who has worked on popular franchises such as Grand Theft Auto and Donkey Kong Country, believes that The Unioverse will change the relationship between game developers and players in a way that benefits everyone involved. The franchise will kick off with a series of video games, but unlike other franchises, the assets used to create those games will be made available to other developers and the community, royalty-free. The Unioverse’s AAA-quality characters, artwork, models, music, and more can be downloaded and used by anyone to make their own games, comic books, movies, lunchboxes, T-shirts, and other merchandise. Plus, creators can sell whatever they make and keep the profits.
The Unioverse will use blockchain technology to empower players and developers. Players will purchase an NFT character avatar, which is used to access and play Unioverse games. Because these avatars are NFTs, players can keep or sell them as they wish, and avatars will be interoperable across games in the Unioverse. Developers can use the AAA-quality assets developed for the Unioverse royalty-free to make whatever type of game they want, without paying any royalties. Random Games will expand the Unioverse by taking revenues from character avatar sales to establish a Game Developer Fund to finance third-party titles, and also fuel the creation of more assets and deeper lore for the Unioverse.
The Unioverse team is rounded out by a number of high-profile executive and creative talents from across the tech, entertainment and gaming worlds. Paul Walborsky, who was previously Co-Founder of AI.Reverie, SVP at The New York Times and CEO at GigaOM, joined as Random Games’ President. The Unioverse narrative is being led by Brent Friedman who has written for such household names such as Star Wars, Star Trek, and Call of Duty. Visionary game designer David Jones has once again re-teamed with Harman as an investor in and advisor to the Unioverse.
According to Harman, The Unioverse is a massive “community-owned franchise” that flips the script on the relationship between developer, gamer, and fan. The franchise is a sci-fi epic that will span across 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 official high-quality artwork and other assets available as royalty-free downloads.
Random Games is actively seeking independent studios of all sizes to develop games set in the Unioverse. By providing AAA-quality assets for free, Random Games hopes to attract a wide range of developers and encourage creativity within its community. The Unioverse community is encouraged to create their own games, stories, and more with the official assets that will be available to them.
The Unioverse is poised to change the relationship between game developers and players by giving them the tools and resources they need to create and distribute their own content. With blockchain technology and community empowerment, Random Games hopes to disrupt the traditional video game business model and create a new paradigm in which everyone involved benefits.
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