Virtual reality e-sports do not exist yet in any sort of marketable form. The writing is on the wall that VR could be the next big wave in competitive gaming, but as of right now the proper combination of content, organization and dedication has yet to occur. One company that could help accelerate the growth of VR e-sports and bring about this immersive revolution is Drifter — a gaming studio formed by a trio of industry veterans. The company’s goal is to create highly entertaining, VR-powered, e-sports titles and now it has a whole lot more money with which to achieve this vision.
This week, Drifter announced that it has raised a $2.25 million round of initial funding. The round is being led by Signia Venture Partners. Signia has previously backed such big names as Alibaba, Boxed, Playdom, Adify, and Flycast Communications. Signia partner Sunny Dhillon will be installed on the Drifter board of directors as part of the investment. Another contributor to this round is Initialized Capital which is known primarily for betting big on Instacart and Zenefits. Other investors include Presence Capital, The VR Fund, Pathbreaker Ventures, and Anorak Ventures.
Drifter was officially founded in October of this year. It was formed by Ray Davis, Kenneth Scott, and Brian Murphy who have spent time working on Microsoft’s HoloLens, Oculus Rift, Xbox One, and Unreal Engine 4, as well as games such as Gears of War, Doom 3, Halo 4, and Bullet Train.
The studio has yet to divulge specific details on the exact title (or titles) that it intends to create, but Murphy did say in a prepared statement that “The titles we’re working on are ambitious experiences designed for a new medium.”
Ambition is exactly what the VR e-sports scene needs if it’s going to succeed. It will take highly compelling content to build the kind of community that is required for multiplayer gaming to be successful. Hopefully Drifter is up to the challenge.