London-based crypto video game studio Cauldron has raised $6.6m (£5.5m) as it aims to become the “Pixar of Web3”.
Web3 gaming uses blockchain technologies as part of the core mechanics. This can include earning and spending cryptocurrencies in-game and using NFT assets as items.
While there are already a number of video game companies exploring Web3 projects, it has yet to truly take off in the gaming world. The few blockchain gaming experiences released to the public have been described as clunky and plagued with problems.
Cauldron, however, believes it can differentiate itself from the competition with its focus on storytelling.
“A big bit missing from Web3 gaming is storytelling … people aren’t really coming back because there isn’t a reason to come back,” Cauldron founder and CEO Mark Warrick told TechCrunch.
Following the closure of the seed funding round, Cauldron is working on the development of three virtual worlds with fantasy and science fiction aesthetics.
Warrick has said that Web3 is “about ownership of assets”, which is the philosophy guiding the creation of what the company is calling Project Nightshade.
“If you’re not designing around owning a part of a universe, then existing entertainment can’t translate to that,” Warrick said.
The funding round was led by Cherry Ventures, with participation from Cassius, Seedcamp and Playfair.
The seed funding came only six months after a $1.4m (£1.1m) pre-seed round. The new funds will go towards hiring creatives from both the game and film industries to develop the virtual experiences.
“Our focus is purely on making our worlds more accessible to people out there,” Warrick said.
“We couldn’t think of a better way to do it than actually through the Web3 space because people really feel the sense of wanting to own things on the internet and owning a bit of a world.”