Manticore Games raises $100M for user-generated games in the ‘multiverse’
The metaverse is the universe of virtual worlds that are all interconnected, like in novels such as Snow Crash and Ready Player One. But to Manticore Games CEO Frederic Descamps, the multiverse is more like a collection of universes of high-quality user-built games that is like an endless arcade. And he hopes that one chunk of the multiverse will be housed under one roof, through the Core platform, at Manticore Games.
The creators use Core, a platform with tools that make it easier for players to create their own games. It’s not unlike Roblox’s user-generated content, which enabled Roblox to go public at a $41.9 billion valuation. But Core games use Epic’s Unreal Engine, with graphics that have both greater variety and higher quality than many blocky Roblox titles, which are often for kids. Core is more like Roblox for adults. Because Roblox has become so valuable, it’s clear that investors believe that Manticore Games could have a similar value.
The amount of the funding is big, but it’s almost becoming normal for successful game companies to be able to raise such amounts. Last week, Rec Room announced it had raised $100 million at a $1.25 billion valuation, and on Tuesday, Dapper Labs (the maker of CryptoKitties and NBA Top Shot) raised $305 million.
“UGC, gaming, online virtual events and communities, the creator economy these all have strong fundamentals,” Descamps said in an interview with GamesBeat. “We knew at some point we would have to raise more money because what we’re doing is extremely ambitious. The surface area of what we’re building is vast. The demand side, the supply side, the engine, the servers, the tech, the community. This is lots of work.”
But Manticore itself doesn’t make games. It just helps its creators do so.
“We provide the infrastructure and economic system and the tools for collaboration,” Descamps said.
With Core, players are creating their own worlds, and the virtual environment is seamless. You can go into a hub and see all of the popular games that you can go into. And when you are in a game, it is amazingly easy to open a portal and move to another game. Players can even connect their games through these portals, which take seconds for players to traverse. The players can keep their avatars and use them in any number of the game worlds.
XN led the funding round, with participation from other strategic and institutional investors such as SoftBank Vision Fund 2, London Venture Partners (LVP), as well as returning investors Benchmark, Bitkraft’s new Opportunity Fund, Correlation Ventures, and Epic Games.
The Redwood City, California-based company will use the investment to accelerate Core’s growth by bolstering its creator programs and further developing the most advanced game creation and publishing tools of any major user-generated content (UGC) platform.
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