We are thrilled to welcome Look North World into the Lvp portfolio, an experimental game studio building innovative and high-quality games on creator platforms, starting with Unreal Engine for Fortnite (UEFN).
Look North World (LNW) was established by seasoned veterans of the gaming industry, including: Alex Seropian, the visionary behind Bungie (the iconic Halo series) and Industrial Toys; Patrick Moran, former CPO at Kongregate and Jay Pecho whose experience comes from Disney and EA. The founding team also includes industry wizards such as Art Director Prashant Paatil, Principal Artist Aaron Marroquin and Creative Director Kyle Marks. We were fortunate enough to lead their seed round earlier this year, and are excited to tell you more about them – not least in that they’ve broken an Lvp record in being the fastest to ship a game following investment.
A New Gaming Frontier
Look North World is seeking to leverage the increasingly social nature of online gaming by building on user-generated content (UGC) platforms. These platforms combine a giant social graph with an immersive virtual world fuelled by interoperable content and a pipeline of eager creators and consumers. As we explored when announcing our investments into Treehouse Games and Singularity 6, games have become social squares: places where friends go to have fun, hang out and are co-present. With pressure to provide favourable revenue-sharing models and nearly one billion monthly active users across the main UGC platforms and social squares, these creator platforms are set to revolutionise game publishing in empowering developers to tap into a massive user base and experiment with novel ways of engagement and monetisation.
We are particularly excited about the ability to develop games on these platforms as they enable a simplified (and potentially more lucrative) environment for developers compared to the challenges that are now commonly encountered in traditional game development; a true resetting of the playing field in allowing developers to ship in months, not years, and budgets in the thousands not the millions. We, here at Lvp, look for those moments in new markets that allow for first mover advantage and real venture opportunities.
Although building on these platforms does pose new challenges as teams venture out into this uncharted territory, it also signals a whole new world of opportunity. Many of the hit games we know so well today came from creators as game mods: birthing many billion dollar games such as LoL and Counterstrike, not to mention the Battle Royale genre. Look North World, being in the heart of this creative destruction, are well-placed to capitalise and build that next great game. In Alex’s own words “Through experimentation, we will see what the players like and involve them in decisions. We are jumping into it with a ‘the virtual sky is the limit’ mentality. As we develop creative ideas, we will learn how these platforms engage, entertain and boost social interactions in order to iterate accordingly.” The ability to constantly test and iterate is a huge advantage that is not afforded to gaming studios outside of these platforms.
This heralds an exciting future for gaming and entertainment, and one that we are thrilled to dive into with a seasoned team, who have been behind games that have already defined the gaming industry.
As mentioned at the beginning, Look North World have already iterated and released a game in a matter of a few months: shipping their first game on Fortnite, Outlaw Corral (Fortnite “Island Code” 0985-8384-1768, link is also here). Inspired by the popularity of skill training maps in the first weeks of UEFN, the team are enabling Fortnite players to train for end-game Battle Royale 1V1 showdowns, using it as a first opportunity to test their publishing mettle.
Keep checking their website and follow their socials (here) for announcements on new games, as they plan to release a couple more before the end of the year! The first 1,000 discord members will be automatically added to the company’s beta test channel to help test new games before release.
We are absolutely delighted to have led this round and join Look North World on its journey. All we can say is, look out world, here’s Look North World…