Automaton secures $10m for Improbable-powered survival game

New UK studio aims to enable 1,000 players to battle in a 12km square arena

By James Batchelor.Published Tuesday 19th September 2017, 9:17am GMT

Cambridge-based developer Automaton has completed a significant round of funding for its next title.

The firm received $10m from various investors, led by Cambridge Venture Partners, with VentureBeat reporting that the VC also contributed to the recent $10m investment in Bossa Studios.

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Like Bossa Studios, Automaton has chosen to build its next game with Improbable's SpatialOS technology, an infrastructure that enables developers to create larger-scale games with persistent environments. In this case, Automaton plans to build an online survival game that supports up to 1,000 players on a single 12km square map.

The unnamed game will be built on CryEngine and released in 2018, with the first playable content expected in the spring.

In a statement, CEO James Thompson said: "We've spent the last two years building the technology for a next-generation massively multiplayer online game that requires an entirely new approach to game design and development.

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"This project delivers an unprecedented fidelity and scale of world simulation, and complex interactions between authored and player-driven content. I'm hugely excited that our next step is deploying this $10 million investment to bring the game to launch in 2018."

Automaton previously worked on Deceit, a multiplayer combat game based heavily on stealth.

Earlier this year, Improbable secured $502m to further develop this technology, with Herman Narula telling us more about how it will help take the firm and its ambitions forward.

Its SpatialOS technology is already being used by studios ranging from Bossa and Jagex to smaller indies like Spilt Milk Studios. The goal is to enable indies and newer developers to create games on a larger scale than would be possible without its simulation tech.

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