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Raph Koster's Playable Worlds raises $25 million for its cloud-based MMO

Raph Koster and Eric Goldberg have raked in more money to fund their company's upcoming cloud computing-based massively multiplayer online game.

Playable Worlds, the online game company founded by massively multiplayer online game veterans Raph Koster and Eric Goldberg, has raised another $25 million in Series B funding for its upcoming cloud-native online game.

This round of funding was led by Korean video game publisher Kakao Games Corp., with participation from Bitkraft Ventures and Galaxy Interactive (the latter two companies had previously been part of Playable Worlds' $10 million Series A funding).

Lilith Games and Gaingels also joined this round of funding. The company says that this "strategic investment" will be used to drive talent recruitment for its cloud-native sandbox MMO games currently in the works.

No details have yet been shared about Playable Worlds' upcoming game, but Koster (CEO and company co-founder) said that the company's goal is to build a game that provides "a more meaningful experience consisting of rich simulations, fully persistent online worlds, and deeper social mechanics."

Goldberg (who also co-founded the company and serves as its president) spelled out the delineation between "multiverses" and "metaverses" in his explanation of the game. "Cloud-native online games lead to 'multiverses' of online worlds," he stated. "These lead to metaverses when eventually connected to the real world."

Translation: when the company says it's working on multiverse MMO projects, it's talking about online worlds that can interconnect with each other. When they're "connected" to the physical world, they become "metaverses."

Whatever Koster and Goldberg have cooking under the hood, it's definitely got investors excited. The pair have gone from raising $2.7 million in seed funding to now having raised over $35 million across multiple rounds of funding.

In 2019, Koster sat down to chat with Game Developer about where he wants to take the MMO business after many years away from it. At the time, he expressed interest in non-combat game mechanics, that focus on alternative ways for players to build lives in online spaces. 

"There are so many ways to exist and interact with these alternate, fictional worlds that to say combat is The Way is just so reductive," he said. "We've really started getting that lesson; for me it was a lesson we came into on Ultima Online.

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