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Web3 developer Journey has acquired AR studio The Devhouse Agency to continue building out its metaverse partnerships with brands such as Walmart and Ralph Lauren.

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Photo of AR/VR developer The DevHouse Agency, taken from the developer's website.

Web3 firm Journey announced its acquisition of software development studio The Devhouse Agency. For Journey, this marks the fourth acquisition made by the company in 2022 as it continues to establish itself as a metaverse developer. 

When asked about the cost of this acquisition by Game Developer, a Journey spokesperson declined to disclose the dollar value. 

Said Journey's chief metaverse officer Cathy Hackl in a press release, acquiring The Devhouse Agency "expands our game development and engineering talent pool" for its clients. "Devhouse will be an integral part of Journey's mission to deliver immersive and industry-leading experiences for new and nascent customer touchpoints and journeys."

Since its founding in January 2022, Journey has primarily become known for helping retail brands such as Walmart and Ralph Lauren build their own metaverse worlds. In late September, it launched a Walmart metaverse inside the already-popular metaverse platform Roblox

The Devhouse Agency was founded in 2008, and Journey CEO Andy Zimmerman credited the studio with being behind "some of the most high-profile projects in the metaverse." Those projects, according to its website, include drone user manuals and the web3 game Chill Cowboy Country Club

What is Journey's future in web3 and games?

Speaking to Game Developer, Journey CEO Andy Zimmerman referred to his company's metaverse studio, which Devhouse will now join, as "the successful merging of game development talent and creative agency systems."

"We bring a balanced mix between game developers that understand and know what players want--we can put the player at the center of the park experience--while still helping the brands shine and enter these spaces organically because of our brand building expertise," he continued.

Zimmerman continued by attributing video games and the focus on in-game communities as a suitable "onramp" to web3 engagement. "The game industry has already done the heavy lifting and learning on how to capture and retain a user base in an immersive online social space."

"Whether it's an NFT monetized video game or a web3 ecommerce experience, making web3 fun through subtle (or not so subtle) gamification will be critical."

That Zimmerman thinks regular video games have served as a good foundation for web3 to build upon would perhaps hold more weight if regular game developers (as of a study from this past August) weren't extremely skeptical of the technology's practical applications.

In some cases, that skepticism is coming from inside the metaverse house. Earlier in the month, developers at Meta working on that company's own metaverse, Horizon Worldswere reportedly not using it all that much. 

About the Author(s)

Justin Carter

Contributing Editor, GameDeveloper.com

A Kansas City, MO native, Justin Carter has written for numerous sites including IGN, Polygon, and SyFy Wire. In addition to Game Developer, his writing can be found at io9 over on Gizmodo. Don't ask him about how much gum he's had, because the answer will be more than he's willing to admit.

Bryant Francis

Senior Editor, GameDeveloper.com

Bryant Francis is a writer, journalist, and narrative designer based in Boston, MA. He currently writes for Game Developer, a leading B2B publication for the video game industry. His credits include Proxy Studios' upcoming 4X strategy game Zephon and Amplitude Studio's 2017 game Endless Space 2.

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