Gaming startup Proxima emerged from stealth earlier this week, announcing its funding round as well as its inaugural game, Lumari, a social sandbox adventure game that appears to be a cross between Animal Crossing, Pokémon and Minecraft.
The game studio raised $1.6 million in pre-seed funding led by London Venture Partners, with participation from Konvoy Ventures, Progression Fund, Valhalla Ventures, Maveron LLC and Artichoke Capital.
The majority of the funding will go toward developing the game, which is still in the early stages.
Proxima founder Ran Mo is a former lead product manager at Electronic Arts (EA), and previously worked on The Sims, one of EA’s major video game franchises. The Proxima team is comprised of five veterans of the game industry from Riot, Storm8, Wildlife Studios and Unity.
Although specific details about Lumari are being kept under wraps, Mo told TechCrunch that, similar to other sandbox games, players will be able to visit each other, chat and build things together. The game will also allow players to collect creatures (basically pet companions for players), build a home and habitat, grow a garden and explore an expansive world. Lumari means “creatures of light,” according to Mo.
Customization will be a major part of the game, noted Mo, including the ability to customize characters and even the creatures.
“Ultimately, we want to build this for people to find their place,” he said. “We think about it as a canvas for people to express themselves and hang out.”
The game isn’t expected to launch for another two years or longer, Mo revealed.
On June 15, Lumari is having its first community playtest, which will end on July 15. Players can sign up at playlumari.com. At this time, the playtest will be single-player and users must have a Windows PC to participate. When Lumari officially launches, it’ll be available on more devices.