Richard Garfield’s Popularium Raises $2M Seed Round

Popularium has announced the close of a $2M seed financing round backed by both prominent investors and games and media executives.

This news follows Popularium’s successful playtest for Chaos Agents, the world’s first autobattler-royale. In this title, players coach and guide a Chaos Agent, a globally unique superhero, in a grand battle royale against dozens of others. 

Each Agent in Chaos Agents is globally unique. This means that only a single player in the entire world will play with an Agent at a time, allowing them to become a global expert on that particular Agent.

Richard Garfield had to say the following:

“Chaos Agents is bringing together game design concepts that I have been thinking about for over 20 years. Getting everything right in a completely new type of game is challenging, and the experience of Popularium, and the support of early investors and members of our community have been vital – there is no amount of planning that can replace the exciting journey that trial and iteration provides. This support will allow us to launch a public Alpha as soon as this summer and bring Chaos Agent to thousands more fans. We are all excited to for the Chaos Agents Alpha this summer. There are few things as fun as being a part of a growing game community, especially when it means exploring entirely new types of game play.”

Richard Garfield

Arka Ray, President of Popularium, added:

“Nearly 50% of the seed financing for Popularium has come from investors who are long-time fans of Magic: The Gathering and other games from Popularium’s co-founders. Many of our investors grew up playing Magic and other games designed by Richard and have a deep connection with his work. Many are also avid Hearthstone players, a game that our co-founder, Jon Bankard, helped develop from its infancy. Being players themselves, they intuitively understand what’s exciting about Richard’s vision with Chaos Agents and its potential to engage players both emotionally and intellectually. This has drawn these prominent investors to proactively reach out and offer support for Richard’s vision at an early stage of development.”

Arka Ray

Bryan Goldberg, founder of Bustle Digital Group and Bleacher Report and an early investor in Popularium, said the following:

“I’ve been playing Magic for almost 30 years and never get tired of epic battles in the card realm. With Chaos Agents… these dynamic, ever-changing battles are now real—we can see and experience every moment. Richard and the Popularium team are pioneering a new genre of games—the autobattler-royale—that fans like me have been dreaming about for decades.”

Bryan Goldberg

Regarding the team, Eden Chen, CEO of Pragma, and advisor and investor in Popularium through the a16z Scout Fund, said the following:

“Richard and Arka have assembled a world-class game development team at Popularium that balances decades of game design experience releasing blockbuster games with cutting-edge technologists. I am excited to be a part of the Popularium journey.”

Eden Chen

Catherine Cai, partner at Palm Drive Capital, shared her thoughts playing the game:

“Playing Chaos Agents, especially going after the Shards, is one of my favorite gaming activities. Even better, as an investor in Popularium, winning medals and earning REP through Chaos matches can now be part of my work!”

Catherine Cai

Stephen Cole, founder of Exit Capital and former pro gamer, shared his experiences:

“Even years since playing Magic competitively, my ‘Sneak Attack’ Magic deck remains one of my favorite possessions. When I heard Richard Garfield was creating a new genre of video games, I reached out to see if I could help in some way. I’m thrilled to be an investor in Popularium’s seed round and to support the realization of Richard’s vision.”

Stephen Cole

Finally, Arka Ray added the following:

“The combination of investors who have supported our work at this early stage, as well as the community that is helping us build this game, show us the passion and love that they have for creators like Richard Garfield, who has helped create many cherished memories for us all. The community’s support of Richard’s vision shows that despite industry headwinds, if game developers build an authentic, lasting relationship with their players, then these players in turn will support such creators and developers, no matter what market conditions might be.”

Arka Ray

Note that the seed round will help support the public Alpha launch of Chaos Agents this summer.

Source: Press Release

Casey Scheld

Casey Scheld has more than 15 years of experience in the gaming industry as a community manager, social media director, event specialist, and (of course) gaming editor. He has previously worked with gaming start-ups like Raptr, publishers like Konami, and roller derby girls at PAX West (check out Jam City Rollergirls)! Gamers Heroes is a passion project for him, giving him a chance to tap into the underground side of gaming. He is all too eager to give these lesser-known heroes of the indie space the attention they so rightly deserve, seeking out the next gem and sharing it with the world. Previously making appearances at events like CES, GDC, and (the late) E3, he is all too happy to seek out the next big thing. For those that want to talk shop, send over a tip, or get an easy win in a fighting game of their choosing, be sure to check out his social media channels below.

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