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$15m investment for ARG studio Fourth Wall

Former members of ILoveBees dev given access to potential $200m fund

Fourth Wall Studios, a team specialising in alternative online marketing, has announced an initial investment of $15 million.

The developer comprises former members of 42 Entertainment, the studio behind notorious Halo 2 alternate reality game ILoveBees. Fourth Wall has since created meta-games for Halo ODST and movies such as Watchmen and Tron: Legacy.

The investment comes from LA biotech billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong. He will also allow Fourth Wall to dip into a fund of $200 million if needed for its creations.

Soon-Shiong told the LA Times that "As I work with new technologies for health care and medicine, I see more and more parallels with what's happening in entertainment - for example, the rapidly accelerating use of mobile devices and social media platforms.

"Fourth Wall Studios is the ideal team to help take advantage of these synergies through the development of augmented reality."

Fourth Wall is based in Culver City, near Los Angeles, and hopes to double its staff to 32 by the end of this year. It is currently working on eight projects, four of which are partnership deals.

It will further funds its projects, intended to make "the entire internet a game space", with sponsorship and microtransactions.

"We're looking to build iconic experiences that show where entertainment is going," said co-founder Jim Stewartson to the LA Times, "but underneath that all we're doing a lot of work in building technology platforms and creating business partnerships."

Soon-Shiong is also funding a three-acre, mystery construction project, which has been the source of much speculation and controversy in LA.

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Alec Meer

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A 10-year veteran of scribbling about video games, Alec primarily writes for Rock, Paper, Shotgun, but given any opportunity he will escape his keyboard and mouse ghetto to write about any and all formats.