The BigBox team. (BigBox Photo)
“I’m going to teach you how to fly.”
This was no ordinary tech demo. I strapped on a headset, grabbed two controllers, and entered a giant new world where BigBox VR CEO Chia Chin Lee appeared alongside me atop a building, eager to show off his company’s newest creation, Population: One.
For the next half hour, I was engrossed in a unique virtual reality experience, duking it out with my teammates in a battle royale-style multiplayer game that involved climbing up just about anything, running from building to building, shooting at the opposing team — and yes, flying above it all.
As I took off the headset and wiped the beads of sweat off my forehead, it became easier to understand why top investors are betting on this young Seattle startup.
Big Box VR co-founders Chia Chin Lee and Gabe Brown at the company’s headquarters in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood. (GeekWire Photo / Taylor Soper)
BigBox VR today announced a $5.5 million seed round led by Bay Area venture capital firm Shasta Ventures, with participation from GSR Ventures and Pioneer Square Labs Ventures.
Founded in 2016 by former Valve, Disney, and Sony leaders and staffed with graduates from the highly-regarded DigiPen Institute of Technology, the new startup has a big vision to build online virtual reality games and the ecosystems that support them.
Lee is a gaming vet and serial entrepreneur who has previously helped sell two studios. He met his co-founder, Gabe Brown, while the two built a popular Facebook game — Marvel: Avengers Alliance — at Disney’s Seattle-area gaming studio.
Lee has seen how online games have evolved with various platforms, from PC to console to mobile.
“For us, VR is another giant opportunity,” he told GeekWire. “There will be a dominant online game company, and we built [BigBox VR] …read more