HUB > Companies > SKARA The Blade Remains Ltd
Published on 22-Feb-2017.
Skara is a new cross-platform AAA-rated combination of video games and novels offering a fantasy-world fast action multiplayer game suitable for competitive eSports, but still maintaining the soul of an RPG (role playing game). It offers a next-generation quality advanced combat system in a free-to-play environment. Its business model is based upon enabling players to fulfil their desire to personalise items and characters within the game, with revenue streams from selling related products, books and events.
The company was founded in 2012 by Cesar Ortega and Pablo Rodriguez, who has over 12 years’ experience developing video games, and is headquartered in London with a main development office in Barcelona. They saw the potential in skill-based combat systems or versus fighting games, inspired by action games such as League of Legends or Call of Duty, and brought it to the multiplayer environment of eSports. They launched an early version of their game on Steam Early Access in October 2014 and received an overall response of “mostly positive” with 96% positive feedback after its alpha release. Skara is still in alpha stage with over 100,000 paying installs from early adopters, and plans its global release and eSport programme launch in early 2017.
Skara’s main product is a free-to-play, cross-platform action combat game with RPG features. It offers its players a unique combat system, spectacular actions and advanced graphics provided by Unreal Engine 4. In addition to the game, other projects in development include the Single Player campaign mode – premium downloadable content that allows players to further explore Skara’s environment; the Companion App – a free mobile app designed for players to stay in touch with each other and play Skara’s card game. The company also plans to diversify into other related products to enhance participation in the world of Skara, such as through the release of novels (the first scheduled to be released in 2017), books and an in-app card game.
In preparation for its global plans for 2017, Skara has already made release agreements with the two main consoles, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One which allow its presence across multiple continents. It plans to initially launch Skara in the Western market, including North and South America, Europe and Russia, and eventually grow into Asia. Currently, Skara is looking for funding to boost its user acquisition and increase its brand awareness by using trailers, ads and organising shows and tournaments.
The global video gaming market was worth around US$99.6bn in 2016, growing with a CAGR of 6.6% to US$118.6bn by 2019 according to Newzoo. With its eSports features Skara is also playing in the fast growing eSports market which in 2016 had an audience of 150 million and generated global revenues of $500mn (€480m), a 25% year-on-year growth according to Deloitte. Another report suggests the demographic profiles of eSports enthusiasts positions them as a valuable target group, with 53% of them having a full-time job, 30% being in the high income bracket and 55% being between 21 and 35 years old, indicating huge market growth potential compared to other segments of the global video gaming market.
Skara maintains that the game remains ‘free-to-play’ and the players are able to win regardless of whether they make any micro-purchases. Revenues are driven by the player’s desire to stand out in the multiplayer game and embrace its fantasy story. Skara’s revenues will be generated from three streams: personalising the character, sale of related products and through eSports events and sponsorships. Players would be able to purchase rare equipment and unique attacks to enhance their gaming experience. The company emphasises that all features available for purchase would only be for cosmetic purposes. Alongside the main revenue stream, Skara is planning to benefit from related products such as books and premium episodes for the single player mode. Skara would also monetise from its eSport features, such as betting to event entry and sponsorships.
In summary, Skara brings its innovative game to the growing world of eSports and classifies itself as a ‘MOV’, a self-made game genre which stands for Multiplayer Online Versus: its main benefit is in offering players a unique combination of free-to-play skill-based combat action with character personalisation. With its new gaming experience, Skara has a potential to create a thriving community and begin a new generation of high quality eSports games within the RPG format.
• Skara raised $3 million from family and friends investments by 60 individual investors over four seed funding rounds: an initial round of $1.5 million, a second round of $300k, a third round of $400k and a fourth round of $800k.
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