Will Wright Raises $6M for Synthetic Media Games at Gallium Studios
Video game developer Gallium Studios has raised $6 million in a funding round led by Griffin Gaming Partners to create independent simulation games running on blockchain. Founded by Will Wright and Lauren Elliott, the designers behind Sim City and Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego, respectively. Gallium is working on projects including a memory simulation game called Proxi and a metaverse game called VoxVerse.
Gallium was founded by Wright and Elliot to focus on simulation games that can leverage new technology like Web3 and AI. Proxi applies those concepts in what Wright has referred to as self-discovery. The idea is that exploring the game helps players learn about themselves through their own memories. Voxverse is more outward-facing, setting up a metaverse for games and other experiences that Gallium is developing with Gala Games and Unity. The new funding will help push both those projects along and create space for new ideas. It’s only a small part of Griffin’s latest involvement in the new kind of gaming after raising $750 million for an investment fun around the subject two years ago.
“This is a great time to be designing and publishing the next generation of simulation games, and we’re happy to be partnering with Griffin to make that happen. We’re at a point where advanced AI and the core features of blockchain technology can combine to support Will’s vision to keep players at the center of the development process,” Elliott said in a statement. “Game design should always put players first.”
The artificial worlds envisioned by Gallium, whether based on memories or imagination, are at the heart of a lot of experiments in entertainment. Netflix recently created a whole metaverse maze to promote The Gray Man film, while MTV made the metaverse and its synthetic popstars a whole category for this year’s video music awards. While gaming is a natural home for advanced graphics, synthetically generated gaming doesn’t even need 3D engines to operate. For instance, AI Dungeon leverages advanced language models to produce the text and images of the game and interact with players a various characters they encounter. It can even generate 80-style video game art of the players and other characters, but the core concept of synthetic media is the same regardless of its form as words or as graphics.