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Studio Hopes to Deliver Church-Like Sense of Community to Video Games

Aidan Karabaich won’t say exactly what he and Singularity 6 co-founder Anthony Leung hope to create with their new game development studio, but the general concept behind the studio and unnamed first game is arresting.

“Anthony and I founded the company after we found we had a shared vision for how the game industry could evolve over time or an area that it could evolve toward,” Karabaich told Variety in a recent interview. “Technology is impacting every aspect of everybody’s lives. We knew with our gaming backgrounds and the current state of technology that we have the power to generate real relationships between players. We want to forge worlds that deepen players’ lives.”

That pitch was enough to win a $2.5 million seed investment from London Venture Partners, the largest investment to date from the group, to accelerate the development of its first creation.

“Our culture is increasingly moving in a direction where technology is redefining work, leisure, community, meaning, and belonging,” Leung said in a prepared statement. “Our goal is to create worlds that offer players experiences that deliver much more than superficial entertainment or wish fulfillment. Imagine games as a primary source of community for players, as meaningful to their lives as a church community or being a part of a sports team. We’re looking forward to working with some of the best talent in the industry to help bring this vision to life.”

Leung and Karabaich both left Riot Games, creators of global hit “League of Legends,” to try and craft this new form of online genre. The idea is to create something that is much more meaningful, much more tied to a player’s identity than a typical game, Karabaich said.

He described the company’s first game as a sort of community simulation. The official website said the game will explore new styles of game design and tackle difficult technical problems to “create a game that’s beautiful and intricate … an experience that becomes a meaningful part of your life. Our vision is to create a compelling virtual universe filled with rich and diverse gameplay experiences and social interactions that will keep you playing for years, evolving along with you and the rest of the community.”

The ideas behind the company and this first game came from a lifetime of playing massively multiplayer online role-playing games in those early days of the genre. Titles like “Ultima Online,” the first years of “World of Warcraft,” and “EverQuest,” Karabaich said.

“This is where we know that games can generate this kind of community,” he said.

The problem, though, he said, is that the deep, fulfilling connection he and Leung experienced playing those games are typically reserved for a small fraction of the player base, those willing and able to devote a lot of their time to the game.

The key to Singularity 6’s first game will be focusing on creating compelling game design that can immediately grant players access to that sense of deep community in a way that adds to a person’s life.

While Karabaich wouldn’t say much about what the game was, when asked if the simulation game would be something akin to “Second Life,” he said Singularity 6’s creation will put much more emphasis on creating gameplay first.

“What we’re able to say today, is that we’re making an experience which is a community simulation game,” he said. “It is influenced by games like “Animal Crossing,” “Stardew Valley,” and “The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.”

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