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Omni Creator Products Corporation (OCP), founded by former Epic Games employees, announced today it has raised $4.3 million in funding to build its first product, an accessible game creation platform that offers players the chance to create their own worlds without a huge learning curve.
The company was founded by brothers Nick and Mike Atamas. The round of fundraising was led by Upfront Ventures, and Kevin Zhang of Upfront will be joining OCP’s board. Participants in the round of fundraising include Eden Chen of Pragma, former Epic Games president Paul Meegan, and Everblue Management.
OCP’s big project is to build a world where players have the tools of creation available should they want them, but to also have a story they can follow if they don’t want to access the creation options themselves.
Meegan said of the project in a statement, “Developers have worked for decades to make games a medium where players participate in the process of creation. Many games have gotten parts of it right, but generally as an afterthought — with the results being either too simplistic and underpowered or too close to developer tools and therefore difficult to use. Nick and Mike have set out to solve this problem from first principles.”
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Both of the Atamas brothers previously worked for Epic Games — Mike as head of strategy for Unreal Engine and Nick as a UI developer on Unreal Engine 4. They were inspired by the desire to create their own games within the ones they enjoyed as children.
“We realized that there isn’t actually a solution for that need, which is pretty universal. People who love games — that’s how they want to create within games. They want to take the canvas they already love and express themselves through it,” said Mike Atamas in an interview with GamesBeat. “We want to build our own world using tools that we’ve created ourselves, intentionally so that we can hand both over to the player. The players can experience the world and the game and at the same time they have the same tools that we use.”
Nick Atamas added that the point of their new product is not to offer professional game creation software but a tool where players have options: “We’re not trying to give players the most general purpose tools. That’s what professional tools are for. The point is to give a more constrained set of meaningful choices about how they want to modify and craft their own world.” He likened it to playing a tabletop campaign.
Mike said in an interview with GamesBeat that the incident that made him eager to take the plunge was the birth of his third child. According to his account, the experience happened so quickly that medical personnel were not present, meaning Mike delivered his own child. “Afterwards I called Nick and said, ‘If I can deliver a kid, pretty sure we can do a startup.’”
Nick says the moment was less dramatic for him, but no less effective. “I realized that Mike has the legal and business expertise and I have the tech and UX expertise to actually do this. That was a scary moment.”
Future plans for OCP, according to the Atamases, is to bring in third-party creators to test OCP’s creation tools.
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