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The Oslo-based firm, which recently established a production studio in L.A., is currently at work on its first game, which it describes as a “hybrid game” that blends a live show with a video game. It plans to put live show guests inside of its games to enable real-time competition—not unlike a digital game show. The hybrid games can be played on console, VR or through mobile, while the company is also working on technology that would let third-party advertisers create their own content for the platform.
PortalOne launched a closed beta test of its platform last August. The company has opened a waitlist for test users, and said it plans to launch its content in the first half of this year.
The new funding takes the gaming startup to $75 million raised since launching in 2018, according to PitchBook data. PortalOne said in a release that it will use the new funding to create more gaming content and to hire staff to fill out the ranks at its new L.A. production facility. It previously raised a $15 million seed round in April 2021 from a fleet of investors including Atari, Scooter Braun’s TQ Ventures, Riot Games co-founder Marc Merrill and San Francisco-based Founders Fund.
TQ Ventures and Founders Fund returned to back PortalOne’s Series A round, while existing investors Coatue, Talis Capital, Rogue Capital Partners and SNÖ Ventures also participated. A handful of angel investors also contributed including former Twitter executive Rishi Garg, former FCC chairman Julius Genachowski, Axie Infinity co-founder Aleksander Larsern, and former LinkedIn and Facebook executive Matt Cohler.
In addition to being one of its investors, PortalOne has a seven-year global distribution deal with Atari that allows the Norwegian studio to remaster some of the legendary brand’s classic arcade games. PortalOne plans to use that content to create an immersive, retro arcade-style universe to host shows in.
“Having great partners paved the way for us to make rapid progress in developing hybrid games,” PortalOne co-founder and CEO Bård Anders Kasin said in a statement. “Now we look forward to welcoming new partners who recognize the opportunity PortalOne offers for iconic and popular IP brands to bridge into a whole new era of entertainment.”
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