Shima Capital led the funding round with participation from Sfermion, GSR Markets, Arca, Lyrik Ventures, Flying Falcon, Press Start Capital, and 32-Bit Ventures. The studio's newest game is titled The Mystery Society which also received backing from grants provided by Polygon Labs and will utilise the Polygon blockchain.
Speaking to VentureBeat, Heatherly who was previously in charge of NBCUniversal's gaming division and served as the general manager of Club Penguin during Disney's era of developing games internally, says The Mystery Society is a social deduction party game like Among Us meets Clue.
Since NBCUniversal closed its game publishing business in 2019, Heatherly has been exploring game startups and Web3 games. He took charge of Funko Pop! Blitz which was commissioned by NBCUniversal and oversaw the game's launch with N3twork.
Merging Web3 with party game genre
“The dynamics of the party game genre are perfect for introducing millions of potential players to web3 through a combination of really fun, accessible social gameplay combined with the vibrant collecting and trading that web3 enables," said Heatherly via VentureBeat.
The Mystery Society is currently undergoing a beta test with Heatherly hoping to attract Web3 enthusiasts to the game. VentureBeat reports that the main goal is to broaden the reach of Web3 to casual audiences and facilitate its adoption among more mainstream players.
Heatherly is the former general manager of the pioneering virtual world Club Penguin and later became senior vice president of mobile games at Disney and then executive vice president of Games at Universal.
He's joined by a group of former Club Penguin coworkers who leverage their collective expertise in live social games. Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow has also partnered with Beamable for development, integrating web3 functions like custodial wallets and minting capabilities into their live-operated games platform.
Players can visit the official website to access The Mystery Society beta. Those who participate in the beta will be granted a limited edition NFT that'll allow them to unlock exclusive rewards in upcoming in-game events. The game will first launch in browsers on Mac and PC, with plans underway to launch on iOS and Android devices.