Random Games Hopes Royalty-Free ‘Unioverse’ Will Spawn New Games

With $7.6 million in seed funding, the Boulder startup will begin development on its first games and downloadable assets.
Written by Jeff Rumage
September 20, 2022Updated: September 20, 2022
Unioverse
Image: Unioverse

Video game developers have been racing to incorporate NFTs and blockchain technology by allowing players to buy, sell and trade special avatars and collectibles to enhance the in-game experience.

Random Games, a new Boulder-based studio founded by industry veterans, wants to take blockchain gaming to the next level with an idea that could disrupt and reinvent the video game industry.

Random Games announced Tuesday that it has raised a $7.6 million seed round co-led by Resolute Ventures and Asymmetric. The company will use the funding to create a franchise of video games called the Unioverse, where the characters, music and other assets are made publicly available for participants to use in their own games, comic books, movies or merchandise. The assets are royalty-free, so creators can keep the proceeds from whatever they sell.

“Imagine if Marvel released character art and 3D models and told fans to go make — and profit from — their fan films and comics. That’s how big this idea is,” Random Games co-founder Tony Harman said in a statement. “We have a team of world-class writers, artists and developers building the Unioverse, and we are basically giving it away.”

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Harman was in charge of development and acquisition for Nintendo of America, launching classic games like Donkey Kong Country and Killer Instinct. He went on to become the president of DMA Design, which created the Grand Theft Auto franchise, and several other independent game studios.

Harman co-founded Random Games with Wyeth Ridgway, the founder and CEO of Leviathan Games. Random Games’ president is Paul Walborsky, who co-founded AI.Reverie, a synthetic data startup that was acquired by Meta last year. The Unioverse narrative is being led by Brent Friedman, who has written for the Call of Duty franchise, Resident Evil 2 and other games and television shows.

“We’re very excited to back such a strong team and are looking forward to watching them build a franchise that is literally changing the economics of gaming,” Asymmetric founder and CEO Joe McCann said in a statement. “In the Unioverse, blockchain technology is organically and thoughtfully incorporated and will change the name of the game in the entertainment economy.”

Gamers will access and play Unioverse games by purchasing a NFT character avatar that is interoperable across all of the games in the franchise. The proceeds from character avatar sales will be used to fund third-party games in the Unioverse and to create more assets and narratives for the Unioverse.

Random Games said it will use its seed funding to expand its 50-person team and to begin work on Unioverse games and assets.

Jobs at Random Games

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