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: