Former Daybreak and H1Z1 vets Anthony Castoro and Jace Hall raise $9M for a ‘genre-defining metaverse’

    
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oh nooooo

The last time we heard the name Jace Hall, it was just about two years ago, when the version of H1Z1 esports he was heading up for Daybreak was on fire over a collapsing playerbase, imploding league, staff layoffs, the bizarre Daybreak ownership fibs, and allegations of financial shenanigans. In the tumult, Hall stepped down in 2019, and we don’t need to remind our audience what happened to H1Z1 after that, but we will. It was nothing. Nothing happened. It barely exists but for the players who keep trying to save it. It wasn’t even a footnote in the EG7 buyout. That’s where it is right now.

Anyhow, you might be surprised to know that Hall is back in the game industry, along with Daybreak’s former General Manager, the eternally popular Anthony Castoro. According to a new piece on GIbiz, Castoro has launched HiDef, Inc., with Jace Hall as CCO, as well as Rick Fox of Echo Fox esports fame and David Washington, whose resume involves public policy advising. The group has apparently scored $9M in seed and Series A funding. It’s not entirely clear what they’re building with this capital; the money quote is that it’s a “a genre-defining metaverse that places users of all ages at the creative center of its daily programming.” To be honest, that could be just about anything, from ROBLOX to Fortnite to Metaplace.

But Castoro’s Linkedin still has him at the head of several other startups, including consulting firm Protagonist Games, an “independent games and technology company specializing in multiplayer and online game experiences across many platforms,” so we doubt they’re straying far from the online games space here either way.

Here’s the whole H1Z1 esports meltdown to refresh your memory:

Source: GIbiz
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kelvar

Uh huh. They want to replicate the experience of destroying an amazing IP and alienating a ton of fans / built in player base.

Where can I invest???

Morgan Feldon
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Morgan Feldon

Someone likes setting money on fire just to watch it burn.

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Kickstarter Donor
Greaterdivinity

So…they want to create Fortnite. But just like, skip straight to the metaverse part and avoid the whole building an insanely massive playerbase and a brand with enough name recognition that it’s on Good Morning America?

Bold. Ambitious. I know little of these cats and the H1Z1/Z1/Zwhatever brand holds nothing for me, but they must be convincing some folks. Nearly $10M in funding is nothing to sneeze at.

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Bruno Brito

Bold. Ambitious.

Let’s see if that strategy pays, Cotton.

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Ironwu

I will never understand why these investors continue to give money to folks that have a proven record of not being able to design or develop games that people (in large part) simply do not want to play, or pay for.

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Jon Wax

you get to write off the losses? tax stuff? the aforementioned financial shenanigans?

Morgan Feldon
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Morgan Feldon

Are you implying… Laundering? Perhaps a little… express wash and tumble dry?

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Jon Wax

Sometimes if you score too high in 1 column maybe you need to lose something in another column so you don’t get dinged?

Chronic Enigma
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Chronic Enigma

I dont know man.. Im a indie developer trying to make my game and I’d KILL for investment. Its about who you know and what you can do to persuade people to back your idea. I personally am just not a sales / selling kinda guy. I’d rather just work on the mechanics and playability of the game.

Leo
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Leo

If you have a ton of money, throwing a bit here and there is no big deal. And then maybe you’ll get in on the ‘next big thing’. I mean I don’t think this is a good way to do stuff but that seems to be the way that the super rich and invest firms like to operate. It’s a whole different world for them.

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Kickstarter Donor
Greaterdivinity

If you’re an investment group with $5B you can afford to take a bunch of small risk bets at $5-10M a pop without hurting too much. If most fizzle, meh, you only need one or two bigger successes to recoup those losses. They know many investments will fail, it’s playing the field so to speak.

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Crowe

Exactly what Ironwu says. These guys have a proven track record that should tell any investor to stay far away.