Spire Animation Studios Teams With Epic Games to Produce Metaverse-Integrated Movies

Molly Wright

Molly Wright is an intern for dot.LA. She previously edited the London School of Economics' student newspaper in the United Kingdom, interned for The Hollywood Reporter and was the blogging editor for UCLA's Daily Bruin.

Spire Animation Studios Teams With Epic Games to Produce Metaverse-Integrated Movies
Photo by Erik Mclean on Unsplash

Spire Animation Studios, a new animation firm co-founded by “Ratatouille” producer Brad Lewis, has raised $20 million in funding led by “Fortnite” video game developer Epic Games.

The deal will see Epic’s game engine, the Unreal Engine, be integrated into Los Angeles-based Spire’s feature animation pipeline. The studio will utilize the Unreal Engine for its upcoming animated feature “Trouble,” a collaboration with actor Danny McBride’s Rough House Pictures. Spire, which has been working remotely during the pandemic, is also producing a musical titled “Century Goddess.”

The Epic partnership also has a metaverse angle. The Unreal Engine will allow Spire to overlap its animation with the 3D virtual realm, the company said, by making it possible to “seamlessly port story assets—worlds and characters—into the metaverse.” The studio plans to do just that with the upcoming “Trouble.”

"Meta-distribution, where audiences engage with stories before, during and after film release, has disruptive potential," Spire co-founder and CEO P.J. Gunsagar said in a statement. "Audiences will live and interact authentically and persistently with characters and worlds without having to wait years after a movie's release.”

In addition to Epic, existing investor Connect Ventures—an investment partnership between Creative Artists Agency (CAA) and venture capital firm New Enterprise Associates—also participated in the funding round. Spire plans to use the capital to expand its team, invest in studio technology and drive creative development, it said. Epic will also join Spire’s board of directors.


Subscribe to our newsletter to catch every headline.


March Capital Raises $650 Million Fund to Invest in AI Startups

Samson Amore

Samson Amore is a reporter for dot.LA. He holds a degree in journalism from Emerson College and previously covered technology and entertainment for TheWrap and reported on the SoCal startup scene for the Los Angeles Business Journal. Send tips or pitches to samsonamore@dot.la and find him on Twitter @Samsonamore.

March Capital Raises $650 Million Fund to Invest in AI Startups
March Capital founder Jamie Montgomery. Illustration by Dilara Mundy.

Santa Monica-based venture outfit March Capital announced Feb. 3 that it raised its largest fund to date, a $650 million investment vehicle that will be used to back up to 15 startups focused on delivering new uses of artificial intelligence.

Read moreShow less

The Three Best Ways to Work With Your Startup Board

Spencer Rascoff

Spencer Rascoff serves as executive chairman of dot.LA. He is an entrepreneur and company leader who co-founded Zillow, Hotwire, dot.LA, Pacaso and Supernova, and who served as Zillow's CEO for a decade. During Spencer's time as CEO, Zillow won dozens of "best places to work" awards as it grew to over 4,500 employees, $3 billion in revenue, and $10 billion in market capitalization. Prior to Zillow, Spencer co-founded and was VP Corporate Development of Hotwire, which was sold to Expedia for $685 million in 2003. Through his startup studio and venture capital firm, 75 & Sunny, Spencer is an active angel investor in over 100 companies and is incubating several more.

The Three Best Ways to Work With Your Startup Board

When launching and running a startup, your board of directors is one of your most valuable assets. If you already understand why you need a board and how to structure your board, it may be tempting to think you can cross that item off the list. But building a board is just the beginning. Now you’ve got to get down to business—together.

Read moreShow less

This Week in ‘Raises’: Saviynt Lands $205M, Pagos Secures $34M

Decerry Donato

Decerry Donato is a reporter at dot.LA. Prior to that, she was an editorial fellow at the company. Decerry received her bachelor's degree in literary journalism from the University of California, Irvine. She continues to write stories to inform the community about issues or events that take place in the L.A. area. On the weekends, she can be found hiking in the Angeles National forest or sifting through racks at your local thrift store.

This Week in ‘Raises’: Saviynt Lands $205M, Pagos Secures $34M
This Week in ‘Raises’:

While it was a slow week of funding in Los Angeles, security vendor Saviynt managed to score $205 million that will be used to meet the company’s growing demand for its converged identity platform and accelerate innovation.

Read moreShow less