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Don't miss parties, presents and perfect holiday moments across a month of snow-packed events. Join the celebrations!• Bugs that were causing issues for some players have been fixed. Users Interact, Digital Purchases.
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It’s a bet that makers of mobile games may have just as much chance of building a met averse as PC or console platforms. The met averse is a group of virtual worlds that are all interconnected, like in novels such as Snow Crash and Ready Player One.
(VentureBeat’s next Camembert event on January 26-January 27 will focus part on the met averse). Previous investors Nova tor Partners, David Helga son, and Pillar Peterson also participated in the funding round.
All told, it took about a year to close the deal, said Lockwood Publishing CEO Hall Johnson in an interview with Camembert. The funding is a recognition that the company’s singular focus on AvakinLife is paying off with strong engagement and monetization as people buy customized objects in their virtual world.
Tencent continues to invest in game companies, though with a greater focus on Europe these days. AvakinLife has been part of a long comeback for Nottingham, United Kingdom-based Lockwood Publishing.
Joel Kemp and Johnson founded Lockwood Publishing in 2009, and they decided to focus on making realistic games with 3D avatars for PlayStation Home, the ambitious Sony virtual world that was launched in late 2008 for the PlayStation 3 video game console. But while PlayStation Home generated a core group of fans, it didn’t get the masses needed to keep it going.
So the company scaled back from a team of 60 people down to about a dozen as it went into survival mode. Lockwood started making mobile games, and the fourth one turned out to be a hit: AvakinLife.
Launched in 2013 on Google Play, the game got traction with players who wanted to express themselves in a safe virtual world. But it paid off, particularly after the company got rid of all the bugs that stood in the way of paying for things.
The timing was good, too, as mobile phones started getting better at showing 3D graphics animations. For Lockwood, the growth of AvakinLife required a big expansion, as the developers had to keep seeding virtual items and other merchandise that players could buy into the world.
Lockwood needs a lot of people because it has taken the approach of supplying all the objects in the virtual world: the decorations, clothes, homes, furniture, and accessories. And Johnson remains focused on generating content for the community, making it richer so players can be more creative.
We have parts of the met averse available today in the form of Grand Theft Auto Online, he said, but you can’t instantly transfer from one world to another with all of your friend lists and avatar attributes intact. When that becomes possible, the met averse could take off, as multiple generations are ready to get out of the Zoom verse and go into something more exciting.
But while the met averse is attractive, Johnson doesn’t want to take his eye off the here and now, which is for Lockwood’s purposes AvakinLife. The company never invested much in marketing and it has avoided a hype cycle around AvakinLife, growing organically.
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