New York-based gaming start-up Pahdo Labs has raised $15 million in a Series A funding led by Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) with participation from Pear VC, BoxGroup, Long Journey Ventures, Neo, and Global Founders Capital.
Pahdo Labs’ next project is codenamed ‘Halcyon Zero’ and is set to launch its Pre-Alpha playtests later this month. The game promises a blend of action role-playing and anime aesthetics that allows players to build their own anime-inspired worlds.
This world-building is made possible with AI-enhanced tools and procedural generation which emphasises both creativity and social interaction in the anime RPG realm.
Pahdo Labs founder and CEO Daniel Zou said, “I started Pahdo Labs to ensure that the next generation has access to similar types of enriching and rewarding social and creative experiences online. Our mission is ‘Creating a world where players are empowered to create things of lasting value.’ For me, lasting value means both lifelong memories and the pride that comes from creation and the act of releasing that creation into the world.”
AI-powered UGC platform
The funding has allowed the New York-based gaming studio to grow its team to a 21-person, full-time, international staff based in New York, Vancouver, South Korea, Berlin and beyond. Tech workers from Boston/Silicon Valley and industry veterans from Riot Games, Capcom, and Electronic Arts have all joined to work towards bringing the studio’s vision to life.
Jonathan Lai, general partner at A16Z Games said, “We were impressed by Pahdo’s execution speed and believe the team is well positioned to deliver an incredible next generation anime RPG platform powered by user-generated content and AI.”
Pahdo Labs’ upcoming game is built on the Godot Engine which will see players collaborate to traverse the Chaos-infested wilderness, battling anime-themed bosses to uncover the mysteries of Chaos. The gameplay is designed to be dynamic, with a focus on teamwork and fluid combat. The Pre-Alpha version will feature four character classes and will be available on multiple platforms, including PC, iOS, and Switch.