Revolving Games Raises $ 13.2 Million to Build Blockchain Games With Former Rockstar Co-Founder Dan Houser as Consultant

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Spinning Games raised $ 13.2 million in additional capital to build triple A blockchain games. The team is led by three Pakistani gaming veterans (and brothers) Saad, Ammar and Shayan Zaeem; and his advisors include Dan Houser, co-founder of Rockstar Games.

In total, the company has raised $ 25 million over the past 2.5 years. The money came from Pantera Capital, Animoca Brands, Polygon, Houser, Dapper Labs, Permanens Capital Partners, Kenetic, Sarmayacar and DWeb3 Capital.

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It’s another sign of a brawl between game developers and how the industry is moving towards the bright new thing: using blockchain technology to authenticate unique digital items, establish player ownership, and allow players to deliver. feedback on decentralized games. Of course, some avid gamers might be horrified to learn that Houser, one of the creators of blockbusters like Grand Theft Auto V, supports a blockchain games company. But Houser is part of a sea of ​​veterans following the same path.

Saad Zaeem met Houser a few years ago and they started exploring ideas together. But they ended up doing different types of work. So Houser became an advisor (and investor) instead.

“Dan is an industry legend,” said Saad Zaeem.

The brothers said they started getting FOMO on Web3, especially after Apple changed its privacy policy and blasted many targeted ads for mobile games.

“We were founded in the era of Web2,” said Saad Zaeem, co-CEO of Revolving Games, in an interview with GamesBeat. “We were a mobile games company [first]. But we saw that Web3 was where we needed to go, so we pivoted it late last year.

Revolving Games will use the capital over the next two years to develop scalable and fully decentralized gaming experiences for globally recognized franchises and their own original intellectual properties. The company has already created publishing tools and other technologies to help launch Web3 games more quickly and efficiently.

The Zaeem brothers: (left to right) Saad, Ammar and Shayan in 2017.

“We love the work we see from Revolving Games and especially their passion for building a Web3 ecosystem of exciting and unique gaming experiences,” said Yat Siu, co-founder of Animoca Brands. “We believe Revolving Games has a bright future and are delighted to lend our support.”

The Zaeem brothers have been in the game for decades and have seen the irresistible opportunity to transition to blockchain gaming.

Revolving Games was first launched in 2020 as a free-to-play mobile game company. It is now comprised of two studios and a team of 105 people working on blockchain games in North America, Europe and Asia. Its first game, previously revealed at the Galaverse in June 2022, is a Battlestar Galactica-themed blockchain game in partnership with Gala Games and NBCUniversal.

The team has a large group of about 60 people in Pakistan.

“One of the benefits we have is a global team that helps us offload some of the costs and be a more efficient organization,” said Saad Zaeem. “Ammar and I have been running business for over 15 years, from an operational standpoint. We are in a very good position.

The Battlestar Galactica themed blockchain game will be a massively multiplayer online game of 4X strategy. Further details will be announced in the fourth quarter. The game has already been in production for about eight months.

Celestial legacy

Revolving Games is working on Skyborne Legacy.

His second game, Skyborne Legacy, is a social world trading and exploration role-playing game that will be distributed on the Polygon network. The company will self-publish the title.

Skyborne Legacy is a cooperative adventure RPG inspired by Nintendo classics like Animal Crossing and The Legend of Zelda, said Ammar Zaeem in an interview.

“You can think of it as a mix of Zelda and Animal Crossing, more like Zelda adventure and then Animal Crossing self-expression, but also with this social MMORPG system built around it with guild player lodgings, clerical-run cities , crafts, forays, etc. said Ammar Zaeem. “The whole concept of Web3 works really well. We are not convinced that you can update anything. [from Web3] in the Web2.

The team is made up of veteran game designers who have worked on successful games such as Star Trek Timelines, Warhammer, Kim Kardashian Hollywood, Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Shop Heroes, Zooba, Castle Age and many more.

“Our vision is clear: to create triple A quality games that turn heads among the best launches on major gaming forums like Gamescom and E3,” said Saad Zaeem. “As the world moves from a developer-owned ecosystem to a player-owned ecosystem, Revolving Games will be at the forefront of this evolution by continuing to release titles that rival the best video games in the traditional gaming industry. We are building the future. of the game and gameplay.

The game will be officially announced on October 4th, with a game teaser, roadmap, white paper, and details to be revealed during the live game demo and first AMA. The company will use Polygon’s blockchain technology to create the game.

“Web3 gaming is one of the most innovative and rapidly developing sectors of the cryptocurrency industry and we are proud to be at the forefront of this digital revolution,” said Paul Veradittakit, Pantera Capital’s general partner, in a press release. “Since 2013, we have been looking for new thematic ideas and innovative projects that disrupt traditional thinking and become an integral part of the global blockchain ecosystem; Revolving Games undoubtedly meets these criteria.

Urvit Goel, Polygon’s Head of Global Games Business Development, said, “We are thrilled to be part of this funding round. Revolving Games’ mission to create engaging and lasting Web3 experiences resonates well with Polygon’s gaming DNA. In line with our mission to enable players to truly own their assets and data, we are excited about this opportunity to support the studio’s long-term vision and goals and help take another step towards a more inclusive and diverse future. .

RG Investor Revolving Logos
Investors in revolving games.

Revolving Games is all about creating fun and sustainable games and has surrounded itself with strategic investors who will provide advice on everything from game development to marketing and brand partnerships to create truly engaging experiences.

“It is extremely encouraging to see that our vision resonates so well with some of the biggest players on web3,” said Ammar Zaeem. “With this support and funding, we will be able to strengthen our technology and create a more scalable and fully decentralized game-centric future.”

The team is comprised of industry veterans who have created several critically and commercially successful social games that have collectively generated over $ 2.6 billion in lifetime revenue.

“They are strategic investors who will take us where we want to go in terms of gaming travel,” said Saad Zaeem.

“Our goal is to rethink the way games should be designed for Web3,” said Saad Zaeem. “We really want to be one of those companies that defines what it really means to be in this era and what player ownership means.”

“It has less to do with the fact that I have invested so much money and extracted so much money, because it’s like a limited item. This is what we don’t really care about. It’s something we don’t focus on at all. Our goal is truly to deliver exceptional gameplay with the property.

It’s like having a game where you’ve maxed out five generals and want to sell them to someone who doesn’t have them, Saad Zaeem said.

As for the cryptocurrency winter and the NFT stagnation now, Saad Zaeem said the team closed the round in the spring and thus were able to collect a war chest that would help them through their toughest times. . When the company ships its game, the business environment is likely to be different.

As for the hardcore gamers who hate the blockchain, Saad Zaeem said: “That’s a question everyone is asking. They are very angry about it. Some developers say we’re giving up. We have not done anything about it. And the reason is that we would like to communicate individually about what it means to be a blockchain gaming company and to the community as a whole.

He said the idea of ​​having a fun game and winning in a game don’t have to be separate paths.

“Of the games released in the last year or more, I don’t think a blockchain game is on par with what you’ve seen with Clash of Clans, or what you’ve seen with Game of War. If you remember, free to play also got a bad reputation. Many detractors in 2008 would say that free play will never work. But it has really evolved, has it?

It likened the ability to sell blockchain items in a game to reselling a used game to GameStop so you can buy another game, and the company also plans to make it easier for players to integrate cryptocurrency wallets and other technologies.

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