September 1 was a special day for Wang Kun and his two partners, Zhang Yue and Li Zhongyuan. It was the day when they received $1 million angel investment and officially founded Vanimals Technology, opening a new chapter in their careers. For angel investors, Youget Capital and Green Pine Capital, they have harvested an entrepreneurial team with over 10 years’ of experience in global first tier mobile game development and the capability of overseas expansion and distribution.
These three men came with a slew of impressive achievements under their belts, including as the Lead Designer and Producer of the Eternity Warriors series of mobile games, Production Director, Creative Director, Producer and Lead Engineer of Glu Mobile, Lead Designer and Producer of Gameloft, and Lead Engineer of Seasun Games. Now, they will be leading the original Glu team who has over a 5-year-long cooperation experience and focus on hardcore game development, to create their own first game with an internal code Apocalypse in their studio located at Beijing’s East2nd Ring Road. As the flagship product of Vanimals, this game will be unveiled at the G-STAR exhibition to be held in mid-November in Korea.
Do the most unique and craziest thing
With over a decade experience of overseas project production and operation, Wang Kun, the Co-founder and CEO of Vanimals, has a clear position for Vanimals, that is to target at the Next-Gen level hardcore game with strategies of IP cooperation and home and abroad simultaneous distribution. Differentiated from other domestic VR developers, the staff of Vanimals are from two foreign companies, Glu and Gameloft, giving them a deeper understanding of the qualities of a successful global product, solid overseas distribution capabilities and contact resources in Asia-Pacific, European and American regions, as well as good relationships with IP vendors. Wang plans to win one or two world leading game IP and achieve the superadditivity effect after combination with their main products.
Si Wenmin, Managing Director of Green Pine Capital, said, “We are optimistic in the product positioning of Vanimals, whose global distribution strategy will broaden our product configuration. We have great confidence in witnessing Vanimals become a VR platform legend.”
Apocalypse, as the first official product of Vanimals, is a Next-Gen level hardcore action game enabling multi-players cooperation. Vanimals will bring it to desktop and mobile VR platforms and further to every single VR player who is fond of action games in the world.
“What we are doing now is the most unique and craziest thing,” Zhang Yue, Vanimals’ Co-founder and Producer, confidently said. In the view of a veteran like him with over 10 years’ of experience in game development, the essence of game development in is the idea. When the VR market calls for supreme products, “noises” often accompany. Opinions spring out, such as “VR is suitable for first-person shooter games and adventure games rather than action games” and “immersion is vital for VR games”, etc. However, the team did not retreat but enjoyed the exploration and challenge. Zhang attributed the spirit to the “hardcore genes” of Vanimals.
Li Zhongyuan, the Co-founder and CTO of Vanimals, and his technology team, have rich experience in graphics, client-side logic and server architecture development. In 2017, Vanimals will bring their VR game to all the mainstream VR platforms. Players can interact with each other in one game on different platforms. “Our game is bound to be networked and online game-like, which is the megatrend of VR products. It is our development idea that technology is an instrument to liberate the mindset of game design. We are the designers’ strong backers,” Li said and having made full preparation.
With the propulsion of the two experts, Vanimals is now making steady and efficient progress, being one of the content providers of AMD VR Ready program and became a PlayStation Partner with Sony, as well as the upcoming debut on the world famous G-STAR exhibition. We have good reasons to believe that Vanimals will be a well-known name worldwide soon.
Chen Yixin, partner of Youget Capital said, “Vanimals has overall work experience in large game development companies, long-term international vision, well-worked internal cooperation and years of cultivation in the niche market of action games. And now they are embracing the VR technology trend. They have all the fundamental factors of an outstanding VR game content production team. I wish their product will herald a new era of VR game.”
Use top-level content to burst the industry
As a newly minted VR content provider, Vanimals has a mission, which is “using top-level content to burst the industry”.
2016 is indeed the Year of VR and has now entered its final quarter. Compared with the eruptive development of hardware, the quantity and quality of user base have not accomplished a quantum leap. It is apparent that VR game for now has yet to receive widespread attention worldwide, since the hardware is highly-priced, industry standards not unified and it is also cumbersome to wear VR equipment. Wang Kun takes a view that the rise of a new platform cannot rely on the maturity of hardware but the content providers, which is meant to be the ultimate thrust. And this is the one truth that has been continuously proven in the 30-year-long history of video games.
In the medium and long-term blueprint of Vanimals, its flagship product will own several co-existing core values, including fun and in-depth gameplay, social network and world leading IP. They will make use of mature off-line channels to access multi-tier cities and then cover the gradual heating Asia-Pacific market. In the European and American areas, they will mainly focus on online distribution, a field that they are experts in, including relationship management of distributors and media, online users access and overseas customer services. With the endorsement of top-level product and global distribution ability, investors and founders of Vanimals are confident in the explosive market growth of Vanimals.
Whether the soon-to-be-over 2016 is the Year of VR or otherwise is no longer a concern of investors and entrepreneurs . 2017 will be the real test, where only entrepreneurs who are diligent and pragmatic with have insights of games and players, can survive and flourish.
“We will try as hard as possible to acquire user traffic, increase industrial exposure and build reputation. Our flagship productis about to permeate every premium platform and aims to reach millions of installation in 2017. At that time, every VR target user, no matter where they are and what hardware they use, will know Vanimals.” This is the goal set by Wang Kun, the Co-founder and CEO of Vanimals.