Edtech gaming studio secures £4.5m investment
UK-based EdTech gaming studio, Kuato Studios, has raised £4.5m in a round led by Horizons Ventures and is launching ‘Panic Room’ - its first virtual reality title.
Renowned for creating apps and education-based games - and for partnering with well-known brands such as Disney and Marvel - Kuato wants to use ‘Panic Room’ to showcase how VR can be used in new and innovative ways. ‘Panic Room', empowered by Kuato’s newly-patented ‘Actor/Director’ platform, is a cross-platform, socially-interactive virtual reality game, opening the developer up to new platforms and audiences.
Kuato’s patented Actor/Director platform allows gamers to interact and engage in a shared online space. A typical Actor-Director arrangement involves a VR headset-wearing 'Actor' interacting with a virtual 3D world, which can be viewed and controlled by a 'Director' through a secondary device such as a tablet, mobile phone, or PC. This approach elevates VR from a typically solo activity to a more interactive and shared experience. While creating a bit of fun, Kuato is also demonstrating how third parties such as parents, teachers or carers can have visibility of a child during VR gameplay.
Mark Horneff, Managing Director of Kuato Studios, said: “Virtual reality has progressed significantly over the last decade, but a primary issue stems from the fact it's a single-person experience. We are incredibly excited to be launching this game as part of our ambition to shift into the VR market.”
“In the current circumstances where interactions are at arm’s length and done remotely, we wanted to offer gamers the chance to escape but stay connected with friends and family, and also open the platform up to third party developers to use as well. ‘Panic Room’ is an internet-based experience which can be played over Zoom or with two individuals in close proximity – a concept we will apply to other developments to support family connectivity.”
“Our aim is to create compelling and memorable virtual reality experiences where gamers of all ages can share moments with their friends online. Our model offers a simple, social and cost-effective solution. Our vision is to test out the technology with ‘Panic Room’ and then extend it to our library of games, which align with Kuato’s education-driven ethos where children can learn and play, whilst parents, carers or teachers can oversee gameplay.”
Teddy Chatjaval of Horizons Ventures added: “We are thrilled to continue our close relationship with Kuato Studios at this exciting time when they are developing the ‘Actor/Director’ platform for VR. This is a testament to Kuato’s longevity and adaptability to the ever-changing interactive entertainment landscape.”