Today, international and fully remote studio AVALON announced its first project, an MMO-like metaverse namesake with a focus on user-generated content.
The global development team is led by Jeffrey Butler, an industry veteran who previously worked on EverQuest, Vanguard: Saga of Heroes, and EverQuest Landmark. Other members of the studio worked on high-profile franchises like Call of Duty, Diablo, Assassin’s Creed, Elden Ring, and World of Warcraft.
In AVALON, which is powered by Unreal Engine, players will be able to leverage generative AI tools like Didimo’s Popul8 end-to-end character creation platform and Inworld AI‘s-powered character engine to design characters and interact with NPCs in ways no MMO to date has allowed.
Butler, chief product officer at AVALON, said:
We want to give AVALON players control over the way they play, where creating is just as rewarding as questing – something that I began planning for even as I worked on EverQuest. With the technology and tools we’re developing alongside our partners, we want to foster a community for our namesake game that is able to create their own content and benefit from it, and immerse themselves in content that others have made and shared.
Sean Pinnock, CEO of AVALON, added:
I’ve always had a clear vision of a limitless online world where players are equipped with the tools to not only create whatever they can dream, but also share the experiences across multiple connected realities. All of us nerds share this dream of an MMO that blurs the lines between the virtual and the real. When Jeff and I realized our shared vision, we knew we had to work together to create it. It’s too difficult for any one person or company to build, but we believe that by empowering our community alongside us, we can make something that fulfills the promise of the metaverse.
The vision is clearly inspired by Ready Player One. The idea is that players would seamlessly move between worlds based in entirely different settings, such as fantasy, sci-fi, and cyberpunk, just to name the most obvious ones.
The developer had previously raised $13 million of funding through investors like Bitkraft Ventures, Hashed, Delphi Digital, Mechanism Capital, Coinbase Ventures, Yield Guild Games, Merit Circle, Avocado Guild and Morningstar Ventures. According to that story from earlier this year, AVALON will implement blockchain technology to monetize their work, though today’s press release didn’t mention it.
We have an interview with Jeffrey Butler scheduled for later this week, and we’ll be sure to ask whether that’s still a planned feature.