Neon Machine, the developer and publisher of the highly anticipated extraction shooter game Shrapnel, has raised $20 million in funding.

Polychain Capital led the round, with additional investment from Griffin Gaming Partners, Brevan Howard Digital, Franklin Templeton, IOSG Ventures, and Tess Ventures. This round follows a seed funding of $10.5 million in late 2021.

Shrapnel is being developed by a team of BAFTA and Emmy Award-winning game industry veterans with extensive experience in gaming-as-a-service, transmedia, virtual production, and blockchain.

The team, which came from HBO Interactive, has worked on renowned titles such as Halo, Call of Duty, Star Wars, Ghost of Tsushima, and more. Their goal with Shrapnel is to create a first-person shooter game that empowers players and creators, offering a unique gaming experience.


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Neon Machine CEO Mark Long said in an interview with GamesBeat that he felt fortunate because raising money in the current funding environment has been really difficult.

Mark Long is CEO of Neon Media.
Mark Long is CEO of Neon Media.

“I’ve had a couple of colleagues who have not been able to raise their next round, or they’ve had to make a significant change in their valuation,” said Long. “But we’re very fortunate. We benefit from the perception that we’re one of the top projects” in blockchain games.

He added, “That’s a really a function of the production values of the game. No one has really played the game yet, so they can only see video and see our progress online. Production values are the one thing that is easy to tell, and our community really likes our team’s super high quality.”

“In 2021 when we spun out from HBO we had a collective dream to break the mold of the traditional game development cycle and design a blockbuster-quality shooter where players truly own and create game assets,” said Long. “We announced Shrapnel with a website and zero fans. Over the last two years, our team has expanded to more than 70 members and our growing community has been instrumental in driving gameplay decisions and shaping the Shrapnel universe.”

Shrapnel maker Neon Machine has raised $20 million.

Seattle-based Neon Machine plans to release an early access version of Shrapnel to paid users in December, with a full free-to-play launch scheduled for 2024. The newly secured funding will support the team as they release incremental playable versions of the game leading up to these milestones.

“Since our seed round, we have released two whitepapers, a comic book series, unveiled a stunning cinematic trailer, shown gameplay in development, sold out a 10k PFP collection, and won several industry awards, further bolstering the anticipation and excitement around the release of Shrapnel,” Long said. “We also recently unveiled GameBridge, an advanced and versatile Web3 game development platform, which empowers game developers to easily integrate advanced content creation capabilities while enabling players to truly own their in-game content.“

Additionally, key upcoming developments include the launch of the Shrapnel Marketplace, where in-game items will be available for purchase and trade, and further enhancements to the creator tools, enabling players to build skins, maps, and other in-game items.

Josh Rosenthal, Partner at Polychain Capital, said in a statement, “It’s exciting to witness the team at Shrapnel continue to propel forward towards gameplay while pushing the boundaries of player experience and ownership through blockchain technology. The team has consistently delivered high-quality video and community assets since the seed round, which has fostered a significant pre-launch community that is buzzing to get their hands on the game.”

Left Fielder Media's Hassan Calloway in Shrapnel.
Left Fielder Media’s Hassan Calloway in Shrapnel.

Shrapnel has already gained significant attention and recognition in the gaming industry. The team has released two whitepapers, a comic book series, and an impressive cinematic trailer, in addition to winning several industry awards.

They recently unveiled GameBridge, an advanced Web3 game development platform, which allows game developers to integrate advanced content creation capabilities while ensuring players have true ownership over their in-game content.

The cinematic game trailer for Shrapnel was created using Epic Games’ Unreal Engine 5, showcasing the game’s visually stunning graphics and high-quality gameplay. Shrapnel’s team is now more than 70.

Jocy Lin, Founding Partner at IOSG Ventures, said, “As a crypto-native fund, we’re immensely excited about Shrapnel’s potential in leveraging blockchain to redefine the traditional extraction gameplay. This venture underscores the vast potential of game-web3 integration. Among the many proclaimed 3A web3 game projects, Shrapnel truly stands out, delivering an actual 3A game of impeccable quality and progress.”

Shrapnel is built in Unreal Engine 5.
Shrapnel is built in Unreal Engine 5.

In the world of Shrapnel, a massive asteroid has caused meteorites to bombard a large area of Earth known as the Sacrifice Zone, resulting in the discovery of a mysterious material called Sigma. Nations and corporations assemble mercenary extraction forces, leading to intense battles for control over the Sacrifice Zone and its secrets. Right now, the company has been running tests for about 10 to 20 players in multiplayer combat within the same match.

“We’re building a really massive map, set in a devastated Tokyo that’s been ruined by these meteor storms. And so, when we’re in early access only one area of the map is going to be fully hardened out and the rest will be a gray box. But we’ll continue to iron it out until we release open data,” Long said. “It makes sense initially to have a small number of players and grow.”

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