EdTech gaming studio Kuato Studios has raised £4.5m and launched Panic Room – its first virtual reality title.
Renowned for creating award-winning apps and education-based games – and for partnering with brands such as Disney, Marvel and Dreamworks – Kuato wants to use Panic Room to showcase how VR can be used in innovative ways.
Powered by its newly-patented ‘Actor/Director’ platform, Panic Room is the world’s first cross-platform, socially-interactive virtual reality game, opening the developer up to new platforms and audiences.
The platform allows gamers to interact and engage in a shared online space. A typical Actor-Director arrangement involves a VR headset-wearing ‘Actor’ interacting with a virtual 3D world, which can be viewed and controlled by a ‘Director’ through a secondary device such as a tablet, mobile phone, or PC.
This approach elevates VR from a typically solo activity to a more interactive and shared experience. It demonstrates how third parties such as parents, teachers or carers can have visibility of a child during VR gameplay.
“Virtual reality has progressed significantly over the last decade, but a primary issue stems from the fact it’s a single-person experience. We are incredibly excited to be launching this game as part of our ambition to shift into the VR market,” said MD Mark Horneff.
“In the current circumstances where interactions are at arm’s length and done remotely, we wanted to offer gamers the chance to escape but stay connected with friends and family, and also open the platform up to third party developers to use as well.
“Panic Room is an internet-based experience which can be played over Zoom or with two individuals in close proximity – a concept we will apply to other developments to support family connectivity.
“Our aim is to create compelling and memorable virtual reality experiences where gamers of all ages can share moments with their friends online.
“Our model offers a simple, social and cost-effective solution. Our vision is to test out the technology with Panic Room and then extend it to our library of games, which align with Kuato’s education-driven ethos where children can learn and play, whilst parents, carers or teachers can oversee gameplay.”
Panic Room, which is platform-agnostic, currently runs on Oculus Rift and has compatibility with a wide variety of platforms such as iOS, Google Play, and PC, with more additional platforms on the horizon.
The £4.5m funding comes from Horizons Ventures, which jointly-founded the company. Representing the VC, Teddy Chatjaval added: “We are thrilled to continue our close relationship with Kuato Studios at this exciting time when they are developing the ‘Actor/Director’ platform for VR.
“This is a testament to Kuato’s longevity and adaptability to the ever-changing interactive entertainment landscape.”
Founded in 2011, Kuato Studios utilises cutting edge analytics software to pinpoint the unique position of each and every user’s learning development.
The team has created 14 apps and games which have been No.1 on over 500 App Store charts worldwide.Video games