Shasta Ventures is leading a round of investment in Seattle-based BigBox VR, the makers of Smashbox Arena and the upcoming battle royale game POPULATION: ONE.
The $5 million round includes additional funding from GSR Ventures and Pioneer Square Labs Ventures, with Shasta’s Jacob Mullins taking a seat on BigBox VR’s board of directors. BigBox VR co-founders Chia Chin Lee and Gabe Brown say they’ve raised a total of $6.45 million in funding to date.
We haven’t tried POPULATION: ONE yet but the title is an ambitious one with what BigBox is calling “FreeMotion.”
“We love all the VR multiplayer games out there. Being both VR fans and developers gives us a chance to create a super polished game that takes in everything that we’ve learned so far. With our next game, we want to double down on the sense of freedom and social experience that only VR can deliver,” Chia Chin Lee wrote in an email. “POPULATION: ONE will be the first FreeMotion game. What this means is players can go anywhere in a giant map, climb anything they see, and fly into battle to surprise enemies. On top of this, players can build walls for quick cover in the middle of a firefight. Players can choose their own play-style within a large, open world.”
We have yet to climb a tree and build a tree house to snipe someone in POPULATION: ONE but that certainly sounds like an interesting mashup of features compared with some of the battle royale efforts we’ve seen. The company plans to release tools eventually so that users can create content and sell it in a marketplace, and Lee wrote “we have a clear roadmap for consistent content releases, events, and tournaments that will build a strong community.”
Smashbox Arena is currently available for around $20 while POPULATION: One is in private beta.