‘Moss’ Developer Polyarc Raises $9 Million to Expand into AR Development
Wednesday July 29 2020
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Polyarc, the game studio behind the hit VR title Moss (2018), announced today that is has raised $9 million to grow the studio’s expertise in augmented reality development in addition to virtual reality.
As an indie studio, Moss is so far Polyarc’s first and only VR title, but things must be going well for the studio as it has announced a $9 million Series B investment, which is atypical for indie game studios.
The investment round was led by Hiro Capital with participation from Vulcan Capital (an existing investor), and Galaxy Interactive via its Galaxy EOS VC Fund. The studio says it plans to use the capital to “add augmented reality to the studio’s core business competencies.” “The thing we want people to remember about Polyarc in 40 years is our characters. Our means to make our characters the most memorable is to build a company oriented around introducing them directly to our players in person. VR, AR, and the spectrum in between, offer an opportunity to connect our players with our characters through physical interaction and emotional feedback in a way that no other medium can match,” said Tam Armstrong, CEO of Polyarc. “This round of funding was essential for us to expand our development focus to further embrace VR and AR games.”
Polyarc was founded in 2016 and launched Moss in 2018, first on PSVR, later on PC VR platforms, and most recently on Oculus Quest. The game has enjoyed consistently high reviews across all available platforms. In our most recent analysis of apps on the Quest store, Moss was the second best rated and the ninth most rated title overall. Despite the game’s success, more than two years after its launch Polyarc still hasn’t announced plans for a sequel or continuation of the title. However they did expand the game with a free update in 2019.
Indie game studios with successful titles usually channel their revenue toward future projects and sometimes engage with publishers to secure funding for larger projects, but they don’t usually sell shares of their studio like you’d see from a startup.
That makes Polyarc’s investment announcement interesting, especially considering the stated focus on AR. While Moss has enjoyed success in the early VR market, the consumer AR games market is effectively non-existent by comparison as there is no consumer-available AR headset on the market. It’s possible that the studio wants to focus on smartphone-based AR, but that seems like a leap from their experience with immersive game development. We imagine there’s more to this story which hasn’t been revealed by Polyarc just yet.