New York-based game development studio, Pahdo Labs, has successfully raised $15M in a Series A financing round, according to its official blog. The round was spearheaded by Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) and saw participation from Pear VC, BoxGroup, Long Journey Ventures, Neo, and Global Founders Capital. This follows a previous seed round where the company garnered $2.5M from notable angel investors including Kevin Hartz, Mark Pincus, and Cyan Banister.
Founded in 2021 by Daniel Zou, Pahdo Labs began its journey in Irvine, California. The company’s inception during the pandemic saw a group of game developers come together, united by their passion for anime and action role-playing games. The team’s dedication led them to relocate to New York, focusing solely on creating multiplayer video games.
Pahdo Labs’ upcoming project, codenamed “Halcyon Zero”, is set to launch its Pre-Alpha playtests this September. The game promises a unique blend of anime aesthetics and action role-playing, allowing players to craft their own anime-style worlds. These creations are facilitated by AI-enhanced tools and procedural generation, emphasizing both creativity and social interaction within the anime RPG realm.
The game, built on the Godot Engine, is an isometric anime fantasy RPG. It features a vibrant world with towns and cities acting as social epicenters. Players can collaborate to traverse the Chaos-infested wilderness, battling anime-themed bosses to uncover the mysteries of Chaos. The gameplay is designed to be dynamic, with a focus on teamwork and fluid combat. The Pre-Alpha version will introduce four character classes: Spellblade, Enchanter, Witch, and Spitfire. The full release aims to offer a plethora of anime-inspired heroes and will be available on multiple platforms, including PC, iOS, and Switch.
In addition to the core game, Pahdo Labs is integrating comprehensive level-building tools. These tools empower players to design their own in-game experiences, making user-generated content a pivotal aspect of the game’s narrative and overall player experience.
Interestingly, Pahdo Labs has leveraged TikTok to build an early community. Their content, which provides insights into indie game development and the daily life of their New York-based team, has amassed millions of views. Through their official TikTok accounts, @pahdolabs and @1indaqin, they not only engage potential players but also inspire future game developers.
In a note, founder Daniel Zou expressed his gratitude to the supporters and shared his vision for Pahdo Labs. Drawing inspiration from his childhood experiences with online RPGs, Zou emphasized the company’s mission: “Creating a world where players are empowered to create things of lasting value.”
With the Pre-Alpha playtests on the horizon, Pahdo Labs invites anime and action RPG enthusiasts to be a part of their evolving game world.
About Andreessen Horowitz (a16z)
Andreessen Horowitz, commonly referred to as a16z, is a prominent venture capital firm dedicated to supporting ambitious entrepreneurs who aim to shape the future with innovative technology. The firm is not restricted by the developmental stage of companies; it invests across various stages, from seed to growth. a16z’s investment portfolio is diverse, encompassing sectors such as AI, bio + healthcare, consumer, crypto, enterprise, fintech, games, and initiatives promoting American dynamism. Currently, the firm manages assets worth $35B spread across multiple funds.
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