‘The Sims’ Creator Will Wright Raises $6M for Blockchain Games

Venture capital firm Griffin Gaming Partners is backing Will Wright to develop simulation games powered by blockchains and NFTs


Will Wright image courtesy of Steve Jurvetson (edited, CC BY 2.0)


key takeaways

  • Famed game designer Will Wright said he learned a lot about blockchain while working on VoxVerse, the upcoming NFT-powered metaverse offering
  • Wright hopes NFTs and artificial intelligence can keep players at the center of his new mobile game Proxi

Gallium Studios, an independent gaming studio founded by industry veterans Will Wright and Lauren Elliott, has scored $6 million to fund its Web3 ambitions.

The firm will develop simulation games powered by blockchain systems, backed by gaming-focused venture capital outfit Griffin Gaming Partners, VentureBeat reported on Monday.

The studio’s first projects that use blockchain are VoxVerse, the NFT-powered metaverse for Gala Games’ VOX Collectibles which Wright is developing for Gala Games, and memory simulation mobile game Proxi (the company’s main product), the report said. 

Wright is a major figure in gaming, having famously designed groundbreaking video games Sim City and The Sims for Maxis. Wright left Maxis in 2009 after 20 years at the company.

Elliott created the video game “Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego,” which has since been adapted into a Netflix show. Gallium, which they together founded in 2015, intends to integrate blockchain and AI into creator-owned simulation games.

Elliott told VentureBeat in a statement that the two technologies can work together to fulfill Wright’s vision of keeping players centric throughout the development process.

Proxi was first announced in 2018, Wright’s first game in more than a decade, following Spore’s release in 2008. While artificial intelligence (AI) plays a key role in Proxi, the game will also leverage NFTs to augment player experiences. 

Gallium Studios ran a pre-sale for Proxi tokens last September alongside blockchain startup Forte, which raised a whopping $725 million last November. Forte also counts Griffin Gaming Partners as an investor.

Will Wright wary of NFT whales

Gallium Studio’s recent raise will reportedly help expand its team, set up partnerships and deliver more simulation experiences. Gallium already boasts gaming veterans from well-known brands such as Electronic Arts, Blizzard Entertainment and Pixar. 

Wright told VentureBeat that he learned a lot about blockchain while working on VoxVerse. Most of his inspiration for Proxi stems from science fiction. He suggested the game would represent users’ memories from childhood, college or work, “which you can go into and correct.”

Gallium Studious and Griffin Gaming Partners didn’t return Blockworks’ request for comment by press time.

While Wright’s excited about working at the forefront of emerging technologies, he pointed out issues with the hype around NFTs. He reportedly said blockchain allows players to maintain control over their content in a secure manner, but noted his studio struggled with NFT whales — who weren’t interested in the underlying games — buying up assets with intent to sell at a higher price.

Wright reportedly believes big teams aren’t necessary to be productive, and expects the studio to grow from 20 to 60. There’s currently no release date for Proxi nor VoxVerse.

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