Pahdo Labs Raises $15M For Anime Game World, UGC Platform

Pahdo Labs initially ventured into game development with a prototype for a four-player action RPG inspired by their favorite action titles.

Pahdo Labs Raises $15M For Anime Game World, UGC Platform

Pahdo Labs, a dynamic startup with a vision to revolutionize the anime-style role-playing game (RPG) genre, has successfully raised $15 million in funding. Founder Daniel Zou envisions not just a game, but an entire platform that empowers players to construct their virtual worlds using AI tools and procedural generation.

Leading the funding round was Andreessen Horowitz (A16z), with significant contributions from Pear VC, BoxGroup, Long Journey Ventures, Neo, and Global Founders Capital.

The highly anticipated project, codenamed Halcyon Zero, represents a fusion of creative and social elements within the anime RPG universe, allowing players to craft their own distinctive anime-style realms.

To engage with fans and gather feedback, Pahdo Labs is inviting anime and action RPG enthusiasts to participate in pre-alpha playtests for Halcyon Zero, set to commence in September 2023.

Pahdo Labs initially ventured into game development with a prototype for a four-player action RPG inspired by their favorite action titles. Rooted in their passion for Japanese role-playing games (JRPGs), fighting games, and indie adventures, the prototype displayed immense promise, leading to this substantial funding.

Jonathan Lai, General Partner at A16z Games, expressed his confidence in Pahdo Labs, stating, “We were impressed by Pahdo’s execution speed and believe the team is well positioned to deliver an incredible next-generation Anime RPG platform powered by user-generated content and AI.”

With this infusion of capital, Pahdo Labs has not only expanded its team but also secured funding for the early access phase of development.

The New York-based company now boasts a full-time staff of 21 professionals from various parts of the world, including New York, Vancouver, South Korea, Berlin, and other global locations. The team is a blend of tech talent from Boston/Silicon Valley and industry veterans from esteemed game companies like Riot Games, Capcom, and Electronic Arts.

Halcyon Zero, built on the robust Godot Engine, is an isometric anime fantasy RPG and online game creation platform. Players will be immersed in an enchanting fantasy realm featuring vibrant towns and bustling social hubs. The gameplay emphasizes teamwork and offers fast-paced, fluid combat mechanics. The initial pre-alpha phase will introduce four playable heroes with distinct character classes.

Upon its release, Halcyon Zero will offer a diverse selection of dozens of anime-inspired heroes. While initially launching on PC, Pahdo Labs has plans to introduce cross-play functionality on platforms including iOS and Switch.

A standout feature of Halcyon Zero is its powerful level-building tools, enabling players to become game designers within the game itself. Pahdo Labs is focused on prioritizing player creativity, seamlessly integrating user-created maps and game modes into the overarching story and player experience.

Through engaging content on TikTok, Pahdo Labs has already amassed a community of supporters, showcasing glimpses of indie game development and the daily lives of young game developers in New York. The company aims to attract aspiring game developers who may become future creators on their platform.

Daniel Zou, the founder of Pahdo Labs, traces his inspiration back to his early days spent playing online RPGs. These virtual worlds imbued him with a sense of agency, friendship, and purpose, ultimately leading him to embark on the journey of creating a world where players can craft enduring experiences.

Since its inception in 2021, Pahdo Labs has evolved from a solo venture in Irvine, California, to a thriving global initiative, poised to make a significant impact on the anime gaming landscape.