Play-to-earn (P2E) gaming startup Battlebound has announced a $4.8 million seed round led by Andreessen Horowitz (a16z), with participation from Play Ventures and CryptoKitties developer Dapper Labs, according to a draft blog post provided to CoinDesk.
Angel investors who participated in the round included Yield Guild Games CEO Gabby Dizon, Dapper Labs CEO Roham Gharegozlou and a16z adviser Alex Price.
The funding will help Battlebound scale and release its two game titles in development in phases that are quicker to market. The company will also expand its development and operations teams, Battlebound CEO Adam Hensel told CoinDesk in an email.
A16z has become one of the dominant players in crypto investing. Last summer, the firm raised $2.2 billion for its third crypto fund, which was the largest ever in the crypto industry until Paradigm raised a $2.5 billion fund in November.
“The founding team of Battlebound is a rare mix of web3 savvy and veteran game development expertise – collectively Adam Hensel and team have helped build some of the industry’s most successful games such as Teamfight Tactics, League of Legends, and Overwatch 2,” Jonathan Lai, general parter at a16z, told CoinDesk in an email. “Their inaugural project ‘the Evaverse’ was proof of their capabilities with a small team, and we’re excited to support them as they scale up to even more ambitious experiences on chain.”
Founded in May 2021, Battlebound is currently developing two games. Evaverse is a metaverse game that’s open platform for other non-fungible token (NFT) communities to integrate playable avatars. The second game, codenamed Project A, is a next-gen creature collection game in which players can discover, battle and own assets. Project A will also be interoperable with Evaverse.
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Last year, Battlebound launched an NFT collection of 10,000 playable game avatars, which generated $3 million in funding. The next NFT collection will launch later this year.
However, Evaverse doesn’t require players to connect a crypto wallet or purchase an NFT to begin playing.
“All our games will be built for NFT and non-NFT players alike, said Hensel, who previously worked as a technical artist at Riot Games. “We believe the blockchain ownership model enhances an already superb gaming experience. Like free-to-play games, players should have a great time playing before committing to any purchase.”
Project A is in the early pre-production stage with the launch potentially coming in early 2023.
“We believe in building very closely with our community and sharing in the journey with players. We will have an immersive development process that encourages and rewards players for being part of it as the game takes shape,” said Hensel.
Battlebound is developing a tokenomics model based on the native EVA token, which will back the earning economy within Evaverse and is expected to launch later this year.
“Our priority for launching the tokens at Battlebound is to create long-term sustainable growth in the ecosystem that shares rewards with our players for spending their time and energy playing our games,” said Hensel.