Coherence said it raised $8 million in funding for its low-latency multiplayer network technology for game developers.
Griffin Gaming Partners led the investment to support the development of Coherence‘s network technology that makes multiplayer game development accessible to all developers, said Dino Patti, CEO and cofounder of Coherence, in an interview with GamesBeat.
The Malmö, Sweden company said the funding will help it grow its team and roll out its technology to game creators with the hope of democratizing the development of real-time multiplayer experiences.
Patti, the former CEO of Playdead started the company in 2018 with Tadej Gregorcic, chief technology officer (and a science fiction fan), and Senta Jakobsen, chief operating officer. They’re all veterans of well-known companies. Patti said he started the firm after a number of conversations with former Unity CEO David Helgason.
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A number of other investors participated in the round. Griffin is the largest game-focused venture capital fund with more than $750 million in its second fund.
Patti said Coherence is an open, easy-to-use, and highly scalable platform for building multiplayer games and virtual worlds. Coherence will initially launch with a Unity software development kit (SDK) and plug-in (with other platforms to follow).
He said it allows developers to have a working multiplayer prototype running in a matter of minutes.
“We are thrilled to be working with the talented team at coherence to create the next generation of multiplayer technology for games,” said Anthony Palma, partner at Griffin Gaming Partners (and an excellent Warzone player). “As a former game developer, I know the challenges Dino and his team are addressing for creators firsthand. We are excited to see them empower more game makers to build scalable and complex multiplayer experiences with coherence.”
Coherence currently has a number of new job openings. Patti was inspired by Unity for enabling developers to make games without having to be a hardcore programmer. But he felt that multiplayer networking was esoteric and needed tools to make it more accessible.
“Everybody wants to make multiplayer tools, but nobody can make them,” he said. “So much of multiplayer gaming is boring as a result. We thought if it was easy to develop, iterate, test, and launch a multiplayer game, then we would transform the industry. That’s what we set out to do.”
He said the company has about five engaged accounts now, but it can’t reveal them yet. And it provides a full stack of services for developers to use. Patti said the tools are flexible, allowing developers to prototype and change their multiplayer architecture.
“If you suddenly decide you want to have a car driving game, you can do that and have fast response times,” he said. “If you want to make it an MMO, you can change it for that. We build on a scalable architecture.”
The company isn’t yet emphasizing huge multiplayer games, like rival Improbable, which is conceiving how to make games with thousands of players at once.
Over time, the company will adapt the tech to work for the Unreal Engine. The scarce talent is the network engineer, who is hard to hire for independent game studios. That’s the kind of talent that Coherence has hired in its staff of 20. Rivals include companies like Improbable and Microsoft’s Playfab. Patti believes that things will get harder for everybody as companies try to build the metaverse, which has to operate in real time.
“We are game developers with a lot of experience,” he said. “We started making this from the bottom up. We use all of the tricks in the book. It’s a hard thing to understand if you don’t know what you are doing.”
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