Way back in 2017, we learned about a then-new SpatialOS MMORPG called SEED from Klang Games. SEED was supposed to be a colony-centered sandbox MMO where players run colonies of settlers, all set against the backdrop of an advanced AI and economy with splashes of strategy and survival mechanics to liven things up. By 2019, the game had announced an alpha and raised almost $38M, funded in part by the investment arm of no less than the LEGO company. But the game hasn’t really blown up in hype since then, in spite of running multiple playtests and at one point teasing a Kickstarter that never materialized.
It turns out it’s still kicking – and still raising money. This morning, Klang Games announced that it’s brought on a former EA studio director as its new Co-CEO and COO, as well as brought in an additional $41M in Series C investment funding.
“Klang Games is pushing the limits of what constitutes an MMO world with SEED, a persistent, large-scale virtual world in which players shape their realities. Set in the new world of Avesta, SEED offers players a platform where they can explore, participate in a player-driven economy, self-govern, and contribute to their community. SEED is experienced through its AI-driven virtual humans, called Seedlings. Seedlings are customizable, allowing for creative player expression, and rely on the active caretaking skills of the players. Currently in the Pre-Alpha state, SEED’s focus is on creating an online space where people can connect, work together, and build strong communities.”
According to the studio, the funding will be used to boost the staff from 70 to 150 people at its Berlin, Germany, HQ, and “[f]urther [develop] and [improve] the scalable back-end and technical infrastructure of SEED.”
There’s a bit of a downside here, and that’s the fact that the lead investor this round is Animoca Brands, which is essentially a Web3 metaverse cypto company. Indeed, you’ve probably seen the name pop up in other articles, as the company is also an investor in Richard Garriott’s blockchain MMO and recently bought out Darewise and its upcoming MMO Life Beyond to turn it into a blockchain MMO.
However, the press release announcing the investment today doesn’t actually mention a pivot to the blockchain at all; it merely states that Animoca will provide support services. “With its extensive experience and over 340 investments in companies focusing on the development of Web3 and the open metaverse, Animoca Brands will provide Klang Games with critical support and networking opportunities.”
Still the company hasn’t ruled it out, either. “[W]e’re focusing on making a game first of all – for all other topics, if we find there’s value for our players, we will think about it, but only then,” a company rep told Discord followers back in November. A similar query as of this morning has thus far gone unanswered by staff as I type this. [Update: Still not answered 24 hours later.] Either way, we’ll be keeping an eye on it until we know for sure.
Here’s a quick run-down of all our coverage of the game’s development to date: