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League of Legends developer Riot Games is leading an investment into a game studio from the team that created independent Minecraft server Hypixel.
The newly launched Hypixel Studios is at work on its first game, an open-world concept called Hytale. The title will combine an adventure mode featuring combat, crafting and construction for solo players and groups; a variety of mini-games; and a suite of tools for block-based construction, moviemaking and more.
Hytale grew out of the work that Hypixel co-founders Simon Collins-Laflamme and Philippe Touchette began in 2013 when they established their server for Minecraft maps and began to attract a large community of players. The server went on to earn four Guinness World Records, including for most popular independent server for a video game (64,533 concurrent players) and most unique players logged into a Minecraft server (14.1 million players).
About three years ago, they began to conceive of their own game. “Our dream has always been to grow from a mod team into a fully-fledged game studio — to take everything we’ve learned and apply it to a new project that challenges us and excites us,” reads a blog post announcing the launch of Hypixel Studios.
Hypixel began initial conversations with Riot in 2016 and soon they evolved into an agreement to invest in the burgeoning studio and forthcoming game. Other investors include Peter Levin, Lionsgate president of interactive ventures, games and digital strategy; retired professional gamer Dennis Fong; former Blizzard Entertainment content chief Rob Pardo; Grab Games CEO Anthony Borquez; Arena Ventures managing partner Jeff Lo; and former Nexon America CEO Min Kim.
“Founding Hypixel Studios is a huge step forward for our team, and it wouldn’t have been possible without the support of Riot Games and our advisory group of investors,” Collins-Laflamme said Thursday in a statement. “We feel very lucky to have built relationships that not only fund the development of Hytale, but provide us with insight and advice that will be instrumental in making Hytale as good as it possibly can be.”
Added Riot president Dylan Jadeja: “Since meeting the Hypixel team in 2016, we’ve been blown away by their support for their community, vision for the future of sandbox gaming, and belief in individual contributors working toward a common goal. Their ambition and commitment to quality gives us a ton of confidence, and from everything we’ve seen of Hytale, we haven’t been let down. Supporting Hypixel is also an opportunity to support a game that will reach players at multiple stages in their gaming journeys, across age groups, genres, and play styles. We can’t wait to dive into the world of Hytale.”
Hypixel Studios is made up of 40 developers around the world. A dedicated team will continue to operate and support the Hypixel server.
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