After two years operating in stealth mode, Vienna-based startup Atlas has officially launched its 3D generative AI platform for accelerating game development and virtual worldbuilding. The company also announced $6 million in seed funding, including a $4.5 million round led by 6th Man Ventures and a $1.5 million round by Collab+Currency.
Founded in 2021 by architect-turned-coder Ben James, Atlas aims to revolutionize asset creation for gaming studios and other virtual experience developers. Its proprietary AI software leverages machine learning techniques to rapidly generate detailed 3D models, environments, and other assets from simple reference images and text prompts.
Current Atlas partners include major gaming studios like Square Enix and Consortium9. For them, Atlas' technology has increased asset development capacity over 200-fold and cut production time nearly in half. This allows studios to iterate and rebuild game worlds much faster than previously possible.
"In recent years, the rising cost of game development has been challenging for the entire game industry, and generative AI is expected to help streamline the process in new and exciting ways," said Hideaki Uehara of Square Enix Holdings.
Beyond gaming, Atlas sees applications for training simulations, digital twins, and extended reality. Its collaborative AI design stack aims to augment human creativity rather than replace it.
While currently focused on commercial clients, Atlas is reportedly planning to launch a self-service creator platform into alpha in the coming months. That will allow smaller developers and creators to leverage the technology.
"Where we see a tremendous need for this type of technology is to help smaller indie game developers create these worlds, games that would be impossible to create otherwise," said James.
The fresh funding will support expanding Atlas' product suite and launching the new creator platform. It's an exciting development in the emerging realm of generative AI. If realized as promised, Atlas' technology could significantly expand the possibilities for virtual worldbuilding across industries.