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Metaverse game and esports developer Play-and-earn Atmos Laboratories recently raised $11 million in seed funding for Atmos, a competitive virtual world set in a sci-fi universe.
The game is designed to accelerate the rise of indigenous metaverse sports where you feel like you are in a sports show with fans cheering you on. It’s like a mix of sports and esports.
You can think of the image of flying around in weightlessness in Ender’s Game. In Orson Scott Card’s famous science fiction novel, teams competed in weightless space. It’s one of the inspirations for Atmos, Dylan Bushnell, vice president of game design for Atmos Labs, said in an interview with GamesBeat. And they want that experience to be better than a real-life sport.
“I don’t want to go to a basketball game. I want to put myself in the battle room of Ender’s Game,” said Bushnell, the son of Atari co-founder Nolan Bushnell.
In this case, it’s not exactly Ender’s game. It’s a kind of 3D run-and-fly game with wearable exosuits that look like vehicle skins. You definitely need to be able to deliver superhuman performances in these kinds of games.
“If you’re not limited by what a human can do, you shouldn’t be limited by what a human can do,” Atmos Lab CEO Kevin Beauregard said in an interview with GamesBeat. “What we wanted to do was make games like Ender’s Game, and like Quidditch and Harry Potter. They are contextual to the world in which they are experienced, and there is a deep history and tradition built around them. We think someone who is a sports fan, but not a current esports fan, could jump in and get excited because they understand what’s going on.
In some ways Atmos builds a game like VR title EchoVR, except not in VR.
“We wanted to answer this question: ‘When you’re on the field at a Lakers game in the metaverse, where are you really? What do you see? Who plays? And what are they playing? said Beauregard. “Because it’s not basketball. And that was the starting point for how we could build a world where native contextual metaverse sports can exist. And we finally decided to build a whole world around that.
Sfermion led the round, including investors Animoca Brands, Collab+Currency, FBG Capital, Alumni Ventures, RedBeard Ventures, DWeb3, LD Capital, GSR Markets Limited, CoinGecko Ventures, Avocado Guild, UniX Gaming and more.
“Atmos offers a refreshing blend of stunning aesthetics, competition and a true digital economy, while maintaining this commitment to true ownership of assets worldwide,” said Andrew Steinwold, managing partner at co-lead investor Sfermion. “The Atmos Labs founding team has assembled an incredibly talented group that you would expect from a company many times its age, from game design and mechanics to creative development.”
The funding will be used to build the foundation for the Atmos virtual game world, grow the community and expand the Atmos team.
To date, competitive sports in virtual environments have enjoyed limited global adoption and have failed to definitively refute criticisms from skeptics, such as doubts about the public’s legitimacy and exclusive definitions of the game.
However, with the advent of virtual reality spaces powered by blockchain, DeFi and NFT technology – the “metaverse” – concepts inherited from gaming and sports are likely to be inverted, putting the player and even the viewer at the center. of the ecosystem is placed.
One of the things the team wants to do is bring the sophistication and fidelity of professional sports camera work to video games.
“We’ve clearly seen this big increase in Twitch and streaming over the past few years. And I don’t think our cameras have caught up at all,” Bushnell said. “I’d like to see more dynamic cameras.”
The company has 18 employees. Although small, the team does some interesting things. He created a nine-issue comic book from Tommy Lee Edwards and other well-known comic book creators. This captures the backstory and traditions of the world.
“It’s one of the great corners in the sport,” Beauregard said. “These stories and special moments in sport arise. We like this idea of emerging storytelling where we combine what users do within Atmos with these other media.
A new play and earn metaverse, Atmos builds an immersive experience that combines an esports component with the fandom and sense of place that comes with conventional sports in a new virtual universe.
Aiming to fuel the metaverse’s native sports category, the game and its story are built by veteran veterans of gaming, crypto, automotive, industrial design, comics, film, etc. through NFTs, DeFi, and emerging metaverse principles, Atmos players will not only play, but actually own their gear, teams, identities and moments.
The next evolution
For Beauregard, Atmos is the next evolution of gaming.
“People are going to gather around the spectacle of competition in the metaverse, just like in the physical world. We’re building indigenous metaverse sports and entertainment,” he said. “A category that we believe will bring excitement and substance to the metaverse concept as a whole.”
I asked who would be the main audience.
“The honest answer is that we want native gamers as well as crypto natives,” Beauregard said. “We want to make sure we close that gap. We want to create high quality gameplay first. Blockchain is a tool, something we can build better with.
Bushnell added: “We are committed to building a world where players can generate value from play, own and trade interoperable assets on non-proprietary markets, and control the ecosystems they have helped create. Crucially, apart from that of all blockchain-related integrations, the games we develop can stand on their own.
Beauregard, who once played semi-professional hockey for the Louisiana Ice Gators of the Southern Pro Hockey League, has a passion for sports and competition. and he has long been involved in the development of blockchain and DeFi decentralized finance. The company started in 2021 and originated within Bloq, a company specializing in infrastructure and applications for Web3.
Beauregard has been building non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and decentralized financing since 2016.
“It’s about protecting players and player property,” he said. “What NFT and DeFi unlock is user protection. These are property rights within our game in our ecosystem, and it’s about making sure the player has them. This does not mean that there are no rules. It means that the user owns what he owns in the game.”
In the coming months, Atmos will launch a transmedia campaign to describe and explore the canonical knowledge and drop a first set of playable objects. The company is targeting a closed alpha for early adopters in the fourth quarter.
The creators hope that there will be several buckets of experiences that will draw people to the gameplay, whether you want to be a competitive player or a spectator. Or they can focus on creating.
The title will be a competitive flight-based racing game.
“Our goal is to recreate the experience of a triple-A racing game in 3D space,” Bushnell said. “We haven’t really seen this kind of world yet. Plus, our crafting system is super advanced. We are basically taking the breeding systems you find in many crypto-based games and adapting them to a more conventional asset-modification system.
The suits that players build are made up of modularly manufactured parts. Players therefore have a lot of freedom to adjust their combinations. Beauregard considers exosuits to be portable vehicles.
“A lot of the inspiration came from the design of the cars in terms of how these parts fit together,” he said.
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