I had the pleasure of sitting on the Giant Bomb couch for Summer Game Fest and, unexpectedly, one of my fellow guests was Chris Bell. If you don’t know the name off the top of your head, he has an impressive list of projects to his name, including Journey, What Remains of Edith Finch, and Sky: Children of the Light. While that’s a wild legacy already, Bell is currently working on a new project at Gardens, the indie studio he recently co-founded with his bother, Stephen Bell (Blaseball), and Lexie Dostal (Dustforce).
If that sounds like an impressive bunch, you’re not alone. Although the studio has not revealed much about its upcoming online adventure that promises “players will find themselves crossing paths in a shapeshifting, unpredictable wilderness filled with mystery and magic, featuring a timeless visual direction and tactile multiplayer play,” Gardens announced today it’s getting support from some of the biggest names in the industry. A lot of support.
Between high-profile individuals like the co-founder of Oculus, well-placed venture capitalist firms, and a staggering list of games and media companies, Gardens just raised $31.3 million. And beyond the financial boost, the team also welcomed former executives from places like Sony, Microsoft, Nintendo Family, and more.
What kind of unrevealed game garners that kind of downpour? As the co-founder describes:
“It’s a game inspired by our favorite memories playing online RPGs, MMOs, and fantasy
action-adventure games over the years, memories of crossing paths with strangers,”
says Bell. “We’re including novel cooperative gameplay that rewards
players who help each other, which can encourage friendship and dialogue with PvP and
conflict in interesting and subversive ways. Thanks to our amazing new partners and this latest round of funding, we can continue crafting the best game possible while growing and supporting our incredible team.”
That’s not a ton to go on, but I definitely can’t wait to learn more.