The race is on to build music’s definitive metaverse. Could this virtual world be developed by a well established company like Epic Games?
Epic has already built a sprawling virtual world in its hit videogame Fortnite, using its own games engine Unreal Engine.
News of Epic’s acquisition of Rock Band creator Harmonix last month added more weight to the firm potentially becoming music’s metaverse king, after it claimed that, as it works “to build the metaverse”, the Harmonix team’s “expertise is needed to reimagine how music is experienced, created and distributed”.
Other possible contenders for constructor of the conclusive ‘metaverse’ include kids gaming platform Roblox, which went public on the New York Stock Exchange in March hitting a $45 billion company valuation, and tech giant Meta (Facebook), which is pumping $50 million into a metaverse project of its own, and project.
Then again, could music’s metaverse crown be snatched by a newcomer, like Los-Angeles and London-based gaming venture PIXELYNX?
PIXELYNX has just raised $4.5 million in seed investment to build a music metaverse, and says that it aims “to transform the way artists connect and engage with their fans through gaming experiences”.
PIXELYNX was created by musicians Joel Zimmerman aka deadmau5 and Richie Hawtin, as well as music and gaming industry veterans Ben Turner, Dean Wilson, and Inder Phull.
The company adds in a release announcing the fund raise that it is focused on creating “a new virtual world ecosystem that makes it easy for music artists to launch their own interactive environment”, and furthermore, to monetize their presence on the platform “through NFTs, playable experiences, and virtual performances”.
The funding round was led by Animoca Brands, a company that says its “driving digital property rights via NFTs and gaming to help build the open metaverse”.
Additional investors in this round include Solana Ventures, Alameda Research, Alumni Ventures’ Blockchain Fund, Hyperedge Capital, Republic Realm, SevenX, and Sfermion.
The company recently announced that it will use Pokemon go creator Niantic’s Lightship Platform and the Augmented Reality Developer Kit (ARDK) to develop a mobile app version of PIXELYNX’s new gaming platform.
PIXELYNX says that these investments will fund the development of its gaming platform, which is due to launch in 2022 and is being developed by a team of gaming industry veterans who previously worked at Activision, EA Sports, Epic Games, Ubisoft and Microsoft.
“Fueled by the ingenuity and creativity of Richie and Joel, PIXELYNX helps artists create their own immersive worlds that can be used to build community, release music, playable NFTs and launch forward-thinking blockchain strategies.”
Inder Phull, PIXELYNX
Inder Phull, CEO and co-founder of PIXELYNX, said: “Fueled by the ingenuity and creativity of Richie and Joel, PIXELYNX helps artists create their own immersive worlds that can be used to build community, release music, playable NFTs and launch forward-thinking blockchain strategies.
“Fans can play and engage with artists in the metaverse and experience a new interactive format that blurs the lines between music and gaming. These investments from Animoca Brands and our other investors will help us continue to develop PIXELYNX and connect the dots between music, blockchain and gaming ecosystems by creating a new way for artists and fans to connect and discover music.
“We are thrilled at the diversity of investors that came in on this round and their belief in what we are doing at PIXELYNX.”
“We are pleased to lead this investment round into PIXELYNX, a company we are partnering with to help build the open metaverse.”
Yat Siu, Animoca Brands
Yat Siu, Executive Chairman and co-founder of Animoca Brands, added: “We are pleased to lead this investment round into PIXELYNX, a company we are partnering with to help build the open metaverse.
“PIXELYNX has a clear vision to create the leading music metaverse, which we believe will impact the way music is consumed and monetized.
“PIXELYNX’s team of industry veterans from music and gaming is connecting music, gaming, and blockchain to create NFTs that enhance the music experience through ownership and interactivity.”Music Business Worldwide