Klang gets $8.95M for an MMO sim sitting atop Improbable’s dev platform

techcrunch Klang.png

Berlin-based games studio Klang, which is building a massive multiplayer online simulation called Seed utilizing Improbable’s virtual world builder platform, has just bagged $8.95M in Series A funding to support development of the forthcoming title.

The funding is led by veteran European VC firm Northzone. It follows a seed raise for Seed, finalized in March 2018, and led by Makers Fund, with participation by firstminute capital, Neoteny, Mosaic Ventures, and Novator — bringing the total funding raised for the project to $13.95M.

The studio was founded in 2013, and originally based in Reykjavík, Iceland, before relocating to Berlin. Klang’s original backers include Greylock Partners, Joi Ito, and David Helgason, as well as original investors London Venture Partners.

The latest tranche of funding will be used to expand its dev team and for continued production on Seed which is in pre-alpha at this stage — with no release date announced yet.

Nor is there a confirmed pricing model. We understand the team is looking at a variety of ideas at this stage, such as tying the pricing to the costs of simulating the entities.

They have released the below teaser showing the pre-alpha build of the game — which is described as a persistent simulation where players are tasked with colonizing an alien planet, managing multiple characters in real-time and interacting with characters managed by other human players they encounter in the game space.

The persistent element refers to the game engine maintaining character activity after the player has logged off — supporting an unbroken simulation.

Klang touts its founders’ three decades of combined experience working on MMOs EVE Online and Dust 514, and now being rolled into designing and developing the large, player-driven world they’re building with Seed.

Meanwhile London-based Improbable bagged a whopping $502M for its virtual world builder SpatialOS just over a yearago. The dev platform lets developers design and build massively detailed environments — to offer what it bills as a new form of simulation on a massive scale — doing this by utilizing distributed cloud computing infrastructure and machine learning technology to run a swarm of hundreds of game engines so it can support a more expansive virtual world vs software running off of a single engine or server.

Northzone  partner Paul Murphy, who is leading the investment in Klang, told us: “It is unusual to raise for a specific title, and we are for all intents and purposes investing in Klang as a studio. We are very excited about the team and the creative potential of the studio. But our investment thesis is based on looking for something that really stands out and is wildly ambitious over and above everything else that’s out there. That is how we feel about the potential of Seed as a simulation.”

Article: https://techcrunch.com/2018/07/16/klang-gets-8-95m-for-an-mmo-sim-sitting-atop-improbables-dev-platform/

Klang Games raises $8.95 million for space colony online simulation - Exclusive


Klang Games, a Berlin-based game development studio, has raised $8.95 million in funding to support Seed, an artificial intelligence-driven massively multiplayer space colonization online simulation.

The online game will use Improbable’s SpatialOS platform, which provides the infrastructure that allows small development teams to create massive simulations.

Northzone — the early-stage venture capital firm behind Spotify, iZettle, and Avito — led the funding round. Earlier this year, Klang Games also received a funding round that Makers Fund led. Other investors in that round included Firstminute Capital, Neoteny, Mosaic Ventures, and Novator. To date, the company has raised $13.95 million.

“We’re truly humbled to have secured the Series A for the development of Seed, a project that we believe will play an integral role in the next generation of social simulations,” said Mundi Vondi, CEO of Klang Games, in a statement. “We are honored to share our vision with Northzone, and are more excited than ever to tackle this very ambitious project.”

Original backers of Klang include Greylock Partners, Joi Ito, and David Helgason, as well as original investors London Venture Partners.

“Klang has everything you’d want as an early stage investor — massive vision, experienced team, and an incredible early version of the product. We’re thrilled to be partnering with the team to help bring Seed to market,” said Paul Murphy, partner at Northzone, in a statement.

Seed is a continuous, persistent simulation where players are supposed to colonize an alien planet through collaboration, conflict, and player-to-player interaction. Using unique gameplay based on managing multiple characters in real time, characters live on after the player has logged off, allowing the world of Seed to be a living, breathing entity.

The founders previously worked on titles at CCP Games, including Eve Online and Dust 514.

By building on the cloud-based SpatialOS, developers can use standard tools and game engines to design, build, and manage games that go beyond the limits of a single-server architecture. It allows for a swarm of hundreds of game engines, running in the cloud, to cooperate together to simulate a world much larger, richer, and with more players than any single engine or server could.

Ex-CCP Games developers Oddur Magnússon, Ívar Emilsson, and Vondi founded Klang in Reykjavik, Iceland. It has since moved to Berlin. In 2016, the studio launched ReRunners: Race for the World for iOS and Android.

Article: https://venturebeat.com/2018/07/16/klang-games-raises-8-95-million-for-space-colony-online-simulation/

Seed, Klang's ambitious EVE-like MMO, teases scale of interconnected world


Seed is a hugely ambitious in-development MMO that echoes EVE Online, Rimworld and The Sims. Developed by Klang Games and powered by Improbable's SpatialOS tech, its persistent simulation is inspired by Facebook and its construction and management systems pull from the likes of Dwarf Fortress. Its hugely ambitious, and its latest trailer teases the scale of its interconnected world. 

That's featured above, which the developer's Jonathan Baker says is designed to "offer a glimpse into the world of Seed and hint at some of the project's possibilities, allowing for the community to envision their own playing ambitions."

Baker says the short above aims to showcase the connections between characters—known as 'Seedlings'—and their environments. "Everything is connecting to everything else," says Baker of the trailer's overarching message. "And that these connections - physically and theoretically - can multiply."

When I spoke to Klang Games co-founder Mundi Vondi about Seed last year, we discussed how these interconnected characters will help reduce grind. This excerpt is interesting:

Players can control up to ten players. A lot of game design that's usually very tricky—like sleeping, disease, mental issues, ageing—they're pretty difficult if you're one character. But when you have ten you can actually do something with it. One can be sleeping, one can be somewhere else and so on. A lot of grind gets solved with this, so they basically work autonomously. They set their routines, and so they look through that and work on what their priorities would be. 

We're basically grouping together all these players and we can basically throw loads and loads of players into it. This means that we can hopefully, one day, have players building their own businesses and ultimately we want to see a world where people have furnished apartments, people are walking back and forth from their jobs. 

Seed does not currently have a release date, but Klang says it will keep the community updated about its future test plans via its website and Discord

Article: https://www.pcgamer.com/seed-klangs-ambitious-eve-like-mmo-teases-scale-of-interconnected-world/