With plans to compete with Niantic and other augmented reality game developers, game developer WarDucks has closed a $3.8 million funding round.
The funding will enable WarDucks to develop a location-based AR game akin to Pokémon GO.
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In addition, the company has hired legendary game developer John Romero, whose credits include landmark titles such as Doom, Quake, and Wolfenstein 3D, as a creative consultant.
WarDucks further supplemented its team with new lead designer Doug Kaufman, who has worked on Civilization II and Frontierville, and the game's narrative lead will be Lawrence Schick, who contributed to Elder Scrolls Online and Dungeons & Dragons.
The runaway success of Pokémon GO has established a holy grail of sorts for franchises and game developers who seek to replicate Niantic's achievement.
Location-based games outfitted with intellectual property from the Jurassic Park, Walking Dead, and Ghostbusters franchises have launched within the last year, but none has grossed sales or achieved downloads anywhere close to that of Pokémon GO, which remains one of the top performing mobile games.
Despite this challenge, WarDucks, fueled by backing from investors, the addition of high-level, veteran game development talent, and its previous experience in AR and VR gaming, has a fighting chance. Now the only question is: Can the newly funded studio secure the kind of IP that will compete with not only Pokémon's evergreen popularity, but also the fanatical following of Harry Potter franchise and the its long-awaited AR game? We'll likely know soon.