M2 Week in Review - April 22, 2022
Tracking the business and innovation in the interactive and real-time content creation
Intel announced the formation of the Graphics Research Organization. Described as “a graphics lab to make games look more real and deliver virtual social interactions, democratized content creation and realistic visual effects.” One of the first areas of focus for the new group is real-time path tracing. It also plans to improve the way user content is generated in 3D spaces.
Raph Koster’s company, Playable Worlds has raised $25 million. Leading the Series B round was South Korea’s Kakao Games, along with other investors including Bitkraft Ventures, Galaxy Interactive, Lilith Games and Gaingels. This latest round will be used to further build out the, yet -to-be-announced MMO title the company is currently working on.
Samsung has invested $25 million in DoubleMe, along with other investors including Coentry Investment and NH Investment. DoubleMe specializes in personal volumetric capture technology it uses in its metaverse platform, TwinWorld. In TwinWorld users are able build and share mixed reality experiences in a physical location.
Epic has made an undisclosed investment in M-XR, a London-based 3D scanning and production company. Founded in 2018, M-XR is focused on the 3D asset creation process via 3D scanning. The company has developed a solution that allows users to measure and extract real-world materials across a 3D object, thereby providing a photorealistic render when placed in a game engine. Aside from building out more support for virtual world building, the investment will support deeper collaboration between M-XR and Epic’s asset library, Quixel.
Sony has announced it is looking to support ads in free-to-play Playstation games. The news comes just a week after Microsoft said it was planning a similar strategy of providing in-game ads. The idea is to provide an additional method for game developers to monetize their games. Expected to appear by the end of this year, the ads would most likely appear in games as billboards. Last month the company launched their new upgraded multi-tier version of PS Plus, and this week they announced the global launch dates: Asia markets (excluding Japan) – May 23, 2022, Japan – June 1, 2022, Americas – June 13, 2022, and Europe – June 22, 2022.
The Sandbox said it is planning on raising an additional $400 million, in addition to the $95 million it has already raised, bringing its valuation to $4 billion. In a separate announcement, The Sandbox announced it is partnering with FlickPlay to allow players to use blockchain assets across both platforms. The Sandbox co-founder, Sebastien Borget explained, “The integration is notable because it may be the first to bridge an NFT in the virtual world with usage linked to the physical world”.
Adidas announced it is launching the world’s first personality based AI-generated avatar creation platform through a partnership with Ready Player Me. The platform allows for interoperability of generative avatars across more than 1500 metaverse apps. In 2021 Adidas sold over $22 million in NFTs and minted a collection of 30,000 NFTs through Bored Ape Yacht Club and Punks Comics.
Read more news highlights below:
M2 INVESTMENT INDEX FOR THE WEEK OF: April 22, 2022
Total Investment and Acquistions for the week of April 22, 2022 = $1.490 billion