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Strider has raised $5.5 million so that it can co-create story-driven games with players using Web3 technology.
The idea is to build a gamified platform for storytelling, and the goal is to revolutionize how new intellectual properties are both developed and owned.
Makers Fund and Fabric Ventures led the funding, with participation from Shima Capital, Sfermion, Magic Eden and other notable funds, bringing the company’s total funding to date to $8.5 million.
The company was founded by game industry veterans, including former Andreessen Horowitz partner and TinyCo operations and growth executive Andrew N. Green. The company will use Web3 technology to enable players to be creators and own what they create, said Green in an interview with GamesBeat.
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The idea is to give players the ability to really quickly create a new world and IP, and to bring people into that world.
“It feels almost like a real integration between the creator and the content itself,” Green said.
Players can create quests and reap rewards for driving players to engage with the storytelling and quests and overall community.
Other founders include former EA Games and Jam City product management exec Michael Brozman, former Square Enix and Rockstar Games developer Michael Cala and former marketing specialist for TV and film Nick Braccia.
The Strider team has deep roots in narrative games and world-class entertainment intellectual properties, including Harry Potter, Grand Theft Auto, Red Dead Redemption, Westworld, Dead Space, Marvel Avengers, Watchmen and Futurama.
Strider’s mission is to give everyone the gift of being a creative storyteller. Strider will bring people into the heart of story creation through a powerful, fun toolset that includes social features centered around creating a “storyworld.”
People will be empowered to collaborate on a storyworld’s characters, settings, history, and all of the lore that unfolds in between in a fast accessible interface.
“At Strider, we believe that everyone, everywhere, is a storyteller, and creating stories together is a lot more fun than doing it alone,” said Green. “We are building a space where people can create and share those stories while being rewarded for their contributions. We grew up inspired by the incredible worlds of our favorite games, films and books, and spent years helping to build deep, narrative-driven games.”
Green added, “Now, we’re excited to build a platform that gives power to fan communities – to give voice and ownership to anyone who wants to be a part of the creative process. We can’t wait to build stories together. This is a game changer for accessible creativity.”
As part of the platform, Strider also aims to give creators the power to be the owners of their own creations, giving contributors unique opportunities to retain ownership as they build alongside the community.
“Andrew and the team have a bold vision for a platform that enables anyone to create and build aspects of a world and to collaboratively shape a larger universe together,” said Yohei Ishii at Makers Fund, in a statement. “Strider strips away the barrier to building fully three-dimensional worlds, investing in projects and helping build successful new IPs for the entertainment they want to experience.”
The financing will be used to expand the Strider team and help to bring content creators onto the platform with tools for production and distribution.
“Strider represents the way to a stronger and more loyal community,” said Ian Emerson at Fabric, in a statement. “We are incredibly impressed by the team’s dedication to give fans more opportunities to contribute to the worlds they want to experience, providing valuable input on story, game mechanics, visual assets and other facets of the world and lore, helping to build games alongside Strider’s community of like-minded creatives using blockchain technology to allow for deeper ownership as they build together.”
More details about Strider will be revealed in the near future.
How it will work
Most of the details aren’t available yet. But Green said the creators can be people like a community manager on a game team, creators who want to validate a new idea for a game, or people who just want to create alongside a community. On your own profile in the community, you will see the stories you’re participating in and the quests that you’re creating.
Players may be able to tap AI to come up with their creations, but Green said the company is still coming up with solutions that will be acceptable to all parties involved. He said it’s very clear that no one has solved the problem of using AI to create things without infringing on things created by human creators.
Players will be able to create and then vote on the best creations, allowing the best content to bubble up to the top.
“Everyone gets a chance at creating content, but there are still guard rails,” Green said. “We found that making creators be at front and center is really important.”
The company has nine people and it got off the ground in November 2021. It is tapping “vision holders,” or active players as part of the storytelling team.
Evolving the game plan
Green said the company started the fund after cryptocurrencies started crashing in the spring after the collapse of Luna. And it closed the funding after the collapse of FTX in the fall. So it took a lot of time, but the company managed to do the deal in spite of those calamities.
“We founds some great partners and we’re really excited,” Green said.
The company built some early crypto infrastructure and it is sticking with that because it believes in the long term that the utility of cryptocurrency is good when it comes to rewards and content ownership. But rather than start by selling non-fungible tokens, the company is focusing on creating a scalable loop of creativity that anyone can participate in, he said.
“Rather than a crypto-centric economy at the start, we’re just building a great experience,” Green said.
Green said the company’s thesis and vision hasn’t changed much, but the available technology is better.
“We’ve always been trying to empower communities to collaborate on stories together,” he said.
Originally, the company expected to establish itself as a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO), owned by the holders of its tokens. But the company went back to its mobile gaming roots, such as Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, and started concentrating on building a core fun experience. And he believes the team has done that.
“We’re just building a platform where everyone everywhere can build stories together, essentially,” he said.
The company is doing alpha testing now, and it is less of a game and more like a gamified platform for storytelling.
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