AI-driven MMO receives backing from Greylock Partners (Discovery Fund), Joi Ito, and David Helgason
BERLIN – 25.05.17 – It has been announced that the Harvard Law Professor and activist, Lawrence Lessig, has teamed up with the Berlin-based independent game developer, Klang, to construct the political framework of the up-and-coming AI-driven simulation MMO, Seed.
Lawrence Lessig will be working with Klang to develop Seed's in-game political structure, which will be a defining moment in online multiplayer gaming.
“Seed will give players an extraordinary opportunity for engagement and creativity as players,” Lessig commented. “I am eager to see whether we can give them the same opportunity for engagement and creativity as players in a community.”
Seed is a continuous, persistent simulation where players are tasked with colonizing an exoplanet through collaboration, conflict, and other player-to-player interaction. Using unique gameplay based on managing multiple characters in real-time, communities are built even when players are logged off, allowing the world of Seed to be a living, breathing entity.
“We’re building a virtual world filled with vast, player-created communities where every player-action has a repercussion in the game world. For example, a player might chop down a tree, which affects the planet's ecosystem. This wood can then be sold on, which has an impact on the economy, and if the player chooses to, use the money to bribe another player, which affects the balance of power. We create and provide the tools and incentives to build these communities...the rest is up to the players,” explained Mundi Vondi, Klang CEO and Co-Founder.
With over 30 years' combined experience working on MMOs EVE Online and Dust 514, Klang holds a deep-rooted understanding of designing and operating persistent worlds. This experience will be applied to develop Seed's large, player-driven world.
Also joining Klang and Lessig on the project is the renowned 3D animator, Eran Hilleli, who will be leading the art direction of Seed. Working on a variety of projects, Hilleli has earned acclaim for his signature art and elegant animation style.
In addition, the project has received financial backing from Reid Hoffman (Greylock Partners via Discovery Fund), David Helgason (Unity), and entrepreneurial investor Joi Ito.
Klang will leverage this financial backing to grow the studio and complete the development of the first internal release of Seed. The aforementioned stakeholders also join Klang backers London Venture Partners (LVP), and Adalsteinn Ottarson (Riot Games).
“We're extremely proud to have the backing from some of the best investors. This funding, along with their valuable experience, will be crucial to making this project a reality,” commented Vondi.
Seed is being built in partnership with distributed computing startup Improbable, and is building Seed on Improbable’s SpatialOS platform. Improbable’s technology allows the creation of massive simulations - “virtual worlds” - at a far greater level of scale and complexity than previously possible, which are also able to support more simultaneous users. Klang is also a part of the SpatialOS Games Innovation Program, in partnership with Google Cloud, which recognises and supports groundbreaking games built on SpatialOS.
Klang plans to start opening up an external playable version of Seed in early 2018. In the meantime, MMO fans can discover more about Seed via the project's website: seed-project.io
About Lawrence Lessig
Lawrence Lessig is the Roy L. Furman Professor of Law and Leadership at Harvard Law School. He is a Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Philosophical Association, and has received numerous awards, including the Free Software Foundation’s Freedom Award, Fastcase 50 Award and being named one of Scientific American’s Top 50 Visionaries. Visit, www.lessig.org
Founded in 2013, Klang is an independent game development studio born in Reykjavík, Iceland, now based in Berlin, Germany. Klang was founded by ex-CCP Games developers Oddur Magnu´sson, I´var Emilsson, and creative Mundi Vondi. Collectively, the team has over 30 years of experience in developing games – from large-scale MMOs to console FPS. In 2016, the studio launched the award-winning title ReRunners: Race For the World for iOS and Android, which was met with critical acclaim. Visit, www.klang-games.com ??
Founded in 2012 and headquartered in London, Improbable is a technology company dedicated to building technology to enable powerful virtual worlds and simulations designed to help solve previously intractable problems. In gaming and entertainment, this enables the creation of richer, more immersive and persistent virtual worlds. The Company’s cloud-based platform SpatialOS is now available for games development teams of all sizes at https:// spatialos.improbable.io/
In May 2017, Improbable announced a $502m Series B funding round, led by SoftBank. Andreessen Horowitz and Horizons Ventures also joined this round with follow-on investments.