Horizon, the Web3 startup behind the NFT game Skyweaver, just raised a $40 million Series A funding round.
Video game publishers Ubisoft and Take-Two Interactive are among the notable backers.
Major video game publishers Ubisoft and Take-Two Interactive are deepening the NFT play space with today’s announcement of a $40 million Series A round raised by Horizon, the developer of the NFT-based competitive card game, Skyweaver.
Both companies are among those that participated in the funding round, led by Brevan Howard Digital and Morgan Creek Digital. Other funders include Polygonventure capital firm focused on games Bitkraft, metaverse investor All Kingdomspayment company Xsolla and Initialized Capital.
Horizon also attracted notable individual investors with the round, including Shopify CEO Tobias Lütke, Lolli co-founder and CEO Alex Adelmanand a pair of notable NFT game co-creators: The sandbox co-founder and COO Sebastien Borget and Axie Infinity co-founder and Sky Mavis COO Aleksander Larsen.
Skyweaver is a digital collectible card game similar to Blizzard’s popular game. Foyeralthough with the cards represented as Ethereum NFT assets that can be sold and traded – similar to rival NFT game raging gods. An NFT is a blockchain tokenwhich represents ownership of a single item, including digital assets such as artwork, collectibles, and video game items.
Horizon’s title first launched in closed alpha testing in 2018, but only released in open beta earlier this year for anyone to play. In addition to publishing the game, Horizon transformed the underlying technology into Sequencea development platform based on Ethereum and wallet that other creators can use to create their own Web3 games and apps.
In a post today, Horizon wrote that it would use the $40 million to further push Sequence, as well as continue improving and developing Skyweaver. It will also launch soon Niftyswapa decentralized marketplace focused on Ethereum and Polygon ERC-1155 NFTs, also known as semi-fungible tokens (SFTs), used for games and collectibles.
Horizon previously raised $13.3 million in seed funding, including $5 million tranche in 2020 led by Initialized and its now deceased co-founder, Alexis Ohanian. The Reddit co-founder has been a strong advocate for Skyweaver gaming and NFT as a whole, tweet today that it was a “non-obvious investment” at the time.
Ubisoft and Take-Two Interactive are two of the biggest video game publishers around. Ubisoft is the company behind massive franchises like Assassin’s Creed, Just Dance, and Far Cry, while popular Take-Two brands like Rockstar Games and 2K Games have produced hits like Grand Theft Auto, Red Dead Redemption, and NBA 2K.
The two also made previous moves in the Web3 space. Ubisoft has experienced with NFTs and blockchain technology for yearsand more recently intensified its efforts in publish in-game NFTs based on Tezos for the PC game Ghost Recon Breakpoint in December 2021. The company has also invested in and supported many other Web3 startups.
Take-Two, meanwhile, recently acquired mobile and casual game maker Zynga, which is currently working on NFT-based games. In January, Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick specifically cited “Web3 Opportunities” on the horizon, which he said the merged company would be in a better position to face.
Many players have pushed back against NFTs citing scams, rampant speculation and the environmental impact now reduced of the Ethereum top platform. However, many in the Web3 space – from developers at market builders— believe that NFTs will eventually take hold in the video game industry due to the potential benefits for gamers and creators.
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