Japanese VR/AR Game Studio CharacterBank Receives Approximately 100 Million Yen in Funding


CharacterBank Inc., (Kyoto, Japan; Representative Director: Shuto Mikami) a company involved in the planning, development, and operation of XR games including VR/AR, has raised funds from Monex Ventures, THE SEED, and individual investors. The company will use the procured funds of approximately 100 million yen to expand its development structure and promote the development of XR games.

Purpose of Funding and Future Development

CharacterBank is currently working on a multiplayer VR game and plans to release it on a major platform by the end of 2020.
In addition, the company has already established a development system capable of releasing one title per year. With this funding, the company will work to expand its system for multiple lines of game development and XR game development.
CharacterBank aims to become a game development company that produces hit content for XR games in various genres such as “multiplayer” and “action”.

About CharacterBank Inc.

We are a company that constantly creates new experiences with the mission of “Hack the next experience.

Comments from Investors

■Representative of Monex Ventures Mr. Seiro Wada
With people’s consumption activities changing so drastically, we are seeing an increase in the current focus on the XR domain. Mr. Mikami’s passion for pursuing the potential of XR as a format that offers a variety of new experiences was the deciding factor in our decision to invest in our first game development studio. We look forward to working with Mr. Mikami and CharacterBank to create “new experiences” that will captivate people around the world in a market that is expected to grow significantly and to make CharacterBank a global company from Kyoto.

■Representative of THE SEED Mr. Taiki Hirosawa
Mr. Mikami, the president of CharacterBank, is an engineer whose name I had heard frequently in Kansai since my student days. When he asked to help start CharacterBank, I immediately decided to invest in the company.
We are very excited to have Shuto Mikami as a member of the incubator space SEEDKYOTO. We have great expectations for the expansion of the team through increased recruitment in the future with talented creators Mikami knows well.

ANSUZ (In development)

ANSUZ is an in-person VR multiplayer game in which players are divided into two teams.
Four players are randomly assigned the role of “good” or “evil”. The “good” players are assigned the mission of finding the “evil” player. The player who is assigned the role of “Evil” must proceed with the game without being discovered by the “Good” players. Each player skillfully argues in his or her own words to win the game.
If good wins, the world will be at peace; if evil wins, the world will be destroyed.
By incorporating non-verbal communication elements such as gestures and facial expressions into the game, more complex psychological battles can be played.

Game Name: ANSUZ -アンスズ-
Genre:VR Imposter/Werewolf Style
Price: Free
Planned Release: Steam, VIVEPORT, Oculus, Oculus Quest, Oculus Quest 2
Official Twitter:@ansuz_game

Quest 2 Development

The growth of the VR market over the past few years has been remarkable, with business data site Statista predicting that 12.5 million VR devices will be shipped by 2020 and as many as 20 million by 2021. In Japan, VR devices are now being sold at electronics retailers and are expected to grow.
CharacterBank will strengthen development for “Oculus Quest 2,” a standalone VRHMD that does not require a PC, which is expected to grow significantly in the future.
We will plan and develop content with quality as good as that of the PC version by using shaders and particle systems developed uniquely for “Oculus Quest 2”.

CharacterBank plans to develop not only VR games but also AR/MR glasses and interactive content beyond personal devices in order to pursue new experiences.