Playable Worlds Raises $2.7M to Create a New Sandbox MMORPG, led by Raph Koster, Designer of Ultima Online and Star Wars Galaxies
SAN MARCOS, Calif., — Playable Worlds, an online game company created to change the way immersive worlds work, announced today it has raised $2.7 million in seed funding, led by BITKRAFT Esports Ventures with participation from 1UP Ventures and several game industry angel investors. The company is led by a distinguished team of developers with many decades of collective online game experience from Disney, Marvel, Sony Online Entertainment, and venture-backed startups.
Raph Koster, CEO and Founder of Playable Worlds, is the award-winning lead designer of Ultima Online and creative director of Star Wars Galaxies, a former executive at Sony Online Entertainment and Disney, and founder of Metaplace. Alongside Raph, Playable Worlds has assembled a deep talent bench of veterans that includes former senior technical leader at Amazon and Disney, Dorian Ouer, as Chief Technology Officer; veteran comic book illustrator for Marvel and DC and award-winning art director for MMOs, Mat Broome, as Studio Art Director; industry expert with experience shipping and leading live operations for web, console, and mobile games, Brian Crowder, as Lead Server Engineer; and lead designer of more than 30 commercially published games, Greg Costikyan, as Lead Game Designer. Additionally, co-founder Eric Goldberg is head of business, strategy, and corporate development for Playable Worlds and has served as a strategic advisor or board member for over 60 companies including Playdom, PlaySpan and Pixelberry.
Playable Worlds is building an online world where a broad range of players can find a home, whether their preferred playstyle is exploring, adventuring, socializing, crafting, or player versus player combat. These diverse communities can each play the game in their own way, or cross over with one another, delivering diverse play experience and enriching the world. Bringing together proven features from some of the world’s most popular games in a unique combination that hasn’t been seen before, the team is developing a broadly appealing and novel experience that leverages modern cloud architecture, simulation, and AI. The funding will be used to scale the expert team and accelerate product development.
“I’m incredibly excited to bring a new world to players,” said Raph Koster. “Technology has caught up to the visions we always had of alternate worlds where entire societies can form. It’s time for that dream to be fulfilled.”
“We are honored to work with Raph Koster and the entire Playable Worlds team as they redefine MMOs with new levels of community interaction synonymous with streaming culture,” said Scott Rupp, a partner with BITKRAFT Esports Ventures. “Playable Worlds is building on Raph’s incredible heritage of MMO design innovation to create a completely new experience that will push the boundaries of persistent game worlds and social competitive play.”
For more information about Playable Worlds, please visit http://www.playableworlds.com.
About BITKRAFT Esports Ventures
An early and mid-stage investor focused on the esports sector, BITKRAFT discovers, supports, and scales esports startups globally along with the industry’s most influential companies. BITKRAFT Esports Ventures was founded in 2016 by esports legend, Jens Hilgers. Hilgers previously founded ESL and served as CEO before selling the majority stake to MTG in 2015. In addition to serving as Managing Partner at BITKRAFT, Jens is the Co-Founder and Chairman of G2 Esports.
About Playable Worlds
Playable Worlds, Inc. is an online game company focused on immersive worlds, based in San Marcos, CA. Founded in 2018 by online gaming veterans Raph Koster and Eric Goldberg, Playable Worlds creates next-generation online worlds by combining the latest technology with expertise in service operations, community building, and online game design.