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Having spent over $18M, Shroud of the Avatar dev seeks more investment

The company, founded by game dev veteran Richard Garriott in 2010, seeks to raise $2 million in the next two months as it tries to wrap up work on Shroud of the Avatar.

Texas-based game studio Portalarium has evidently taken to the equity crowdfunding platform SeedInvest to try and raise funds as it continues to work on its Ultima-inspired fantasy RPG Shroud of the Avatar.

The company, founded by game dev veteran Richard Garriott in 2010, seeks to raise $2 million in the next two months, and will have to return any investments if it doesn't hit a minimum amount of $500,000.

What's more notable, perhaps, is that the company has published a record of its finances to SeedInvest for potential investors to review. They show Portalarium has spent over $18 million (raised from outside investors as well as a lot of crowdfunding, both independently and via Kickstarter) in the past 5 years -- and that it has just over $500,000 left.

That's a big deal given that the company says it burns over $200k a month on development costs, which may account for why it lays out a release window for Shroud of the Avatar (the first episode, at least) that starts in July and runs through November. 

It's also interesting to see a game company try to lay out the risks of game dev to a broader audience of potential investors: 

"Investment in the Company is highly speculative because it entails significant risk that we may never become commercially viable," reads an excerpt of the company's SeedInvest post. 

"We need to complete development of our product, and while the funds raised through this offering will be used to fund the development of our product (i.e., the game Shroud of the Avatar), we will require additional funding after this offering to complete the development and then launch our product. Once developed, we will need to transition from a company focused on development to a company that is also capable of successfully marketing, launching and operating the product. We may not be successful in such a transition." 

On the other hand, the company also seems to be taking a page from Kickstarter and its own crowdfunding experience by offering investors the promise of in-game rewards: everything from a golden cloak at $500 to a golden airship at $30,000. 

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