Earlier today, Fourth Wall Studios announced it received an initial $15 million round of financing from Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong, along with access to a fund of up to $200 million through the Soon-Shiong’s California Capital Equity. VentureBeat reports that the “studio will be incorporated as a new company under the same name.” A number of prominent alternate reality game developers including Steve Peters, Maureen McHugh, Jay Bushman, and Jackie Turnure have announced they have joined this new company, which stakes the claim as the first Alternate Reality Entertainment (ARE) studio.
Fourth Wall Studios was founded by alternate reality gaming powerhouses Elan Lee, Sean Stewart, and Jim Stewartson after the three stepped down from 42 Entertainment. After departing 42 Entertainment, the three worked on projects including Watchmen‘s 6 Minutes to Midnight, Eagle Eye: Free Fall Halo 3: ODST‘s in-game experience Sadie’s Story. In an interview with Jawbone TV, Modernista revealed Fourth Wall’s involvement in the Dexter alternate reality game as well. Now, with additional funding from Soon-Shiong, Fourth Wall aims to extend these immersive storytelling techniques to mainstream audiences by enabling the interaction with fictional worlds using mobile devices, browsers, and social networks. The studio plans on developing original content and content made in partnership with top-tier creators from film, television, video games and publishing. These experiences, according to the Los Angeles Times, would be financed through sponsorships and micro-transactions.