Raph Koster is making a new MMO and just raised $2.7M in seed funding to do it

No screenshots yet, obviously.

So, who wants a new and well-funded MMORPG from the guy who literally wrote the book on virtual worlds? I knew you would. Raph Koster-led studio Playable Worlds announced today that it’s pulled in $2.7M in seed funding to build a new MMO with a team said to include devs from Disney, Amazon, Marvel, and SOE.

“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.”

MMO players will know Koster best from his roles shepherding classic sandboxes Ultima Online and Star Wars Galaxies, as well as consulting on upcoming PvP MMO Crowfall. We’ve covered his work extensively here on MassivelyOP – in fact, last year, we reported on a portion of his book that covered the early days of development in the MMO space.

According to Koster’s quotes in Game Daily, the game is “at least a few years out” and will incorporate lessons from multiple genres and eras:

“There are also a lot of lessons, hard ones, that take a while to learn if you come from more of a fire-and-forget game background. I’ve been doing service-based games pretty much my whole career, and not just with MMOs. After Galaxies, I did handheld console, I did web-based games, I had some successful Facebook games, did a couple of mobile AR games last year… I even worked on a digital bar trivia game. The same challenges keep coming up in different contexts. What we find exciting is that there’s a real opportunity to bring together lessons from all of those into one product. An MMO doesn’t have to be a heavy, multiple hour session experience. A game played in short sessions doesn’t need to be shallow.”

Source: Press release, Playable Worlds
In response to those who’ve inquired about the game’s budget, Koster has clarified that the $2.7M is additional investment, not the whole budget for the game.

Apparently, former Trion CEO Scott Hartsman is involved in this project. Here’s what he tweeted:

“Some of you know I’ve been pitching in with a new company some friends are building, and I couldn’t tell you who — They decloaked today! Huge congrats to the whole team!”

Previous articleStar Wars: The Old Republic reaches final phase of Onslaught testing, previews Mercenaries and Commandos
Next articleFinal Fantasy XIV outlines the changes being made for Mentors in patch 5.1

No posts to display

oldest most liked
Inline Feedback
View all comments