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Former Rockstar North boss nets $110M to launch what sounds a lot like a metaverse

Leslie Benzies established Build A Rocket Boy to create a "community-driven gaming" space called Everywhere.

Chris Kerr, News Editor

January 17, 2024

2 Min Read
A screenshot from Everywhere showing towering structures and neon horizons
Image via Build A Rocket Boy

Build A Rocket Boy (BARB) has raised $110 million to continue building its immersive game platform Everywhere, a triple-A franchise called MindsEye, and a suite of accessible UGC design tools dubbed Arcadia.

The studio is led by former Rockstar North president Leslie Benzies and unveiled Everywhere at Gamescom 2022.

Everywhere is described by the company as a space for "community-driven gaming" that will allow players to "build, play, and connect" using its Arcadia tools. It all sounds a bit metaversey and a quick glance at the Everywhere website doesn't do anything to dispel that notion.

There were rumors the title would leverage blockchain technology, but BARB quickly dismissed that idea and explained Everywhere is being built on Unreal Engine 5. The studio did, however, hire a small number of staff to "research" blockchain tech.

MindsEye, meanwhile, is billed as a triple-A story-driven title that will explore key societal issues including "increasing inequality, the explosion of artificial intelligence, the rise of military robots and the impending climate crisis." Notably, MindsEye will launch in Everywhere but is described as a "distinct" product by the studio.

Build A Rocket Boy champions the power of player-led creation

BARB currently has almost 300 employees working from offices in Scotland, Hungary, and France and claims the cash injection will help it teams build and supports its three flagship products.

The investment round was led by private investment firm RedBird Capital Partners with backing from Galaxy Interactive, NetEase Games, and more.

"We are excited to partner with RedBird and our other investors to help us launch Everywhere, MindsEye, and what we believe will be game-changing UGC design tools in Arcadia. RedBird's expertise in building successful entertainment and media platforms will be invaluable and makes them a perfect partner," said studio founder Benzies.

"I started Build A Rocket Boy so that I could continue to share the stories I love with players and give them a place to create and share. We believe in a future where game creation is put in the hands of the players, and we will empower them with the tools to help shape this vision with us."

About the Author(s)

Chris Kerr

News Editor, GameDeveloper.com

Game Developer news editor Chris Kerr is an award-winning journalist and reporter with over a decade of experience in the game industry. His byline has appeared in notable print and digital publications including Edge, Stuff, Wireframe, International Business Times, and PocketGamer.biz. Throughout his career, Chris has covered major industry events including GDC, PAX Australia, Gamescom, Paris Games Week, and Develop Brighton. He has featured on the judging panel at The Develop Star Awards on multiple occasions and appeared on BBC Radio 5 Live to discuss breaking news.

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