Emerging game studio startup Series AI announced today that it has raised $7.9 million in seed funding to build a suite of AI-powered tools aimed at transforming and accelerating game development.
The round was led by Andreessen Horowitz’s games fund, A16Z Games, with participation from BITKRAFT, F4 Fund, and the Siqi Chen Access Fund.
Series AI was founded by veteran game developer Pany Haritatos, who previously led gaming efforts at Snap and served as CEO of Kongregate after selling his mobile gaming studio to the company.
Haritatos has assembled an experienced team from major players in the industry like Zynga, Machine Zone, Google, and Snap to build a new game engine named Rho Engine, designed specifically to leverage the power of generative AI models.
In a blog post announcing the company, Haritatos reflected on the early 2000s as a “golden age” of innovation in web and mobile gaming, enabled by the speed at which developers could build and test new ideas.
He sees the rise of AI as sparking a new period of hyper innovation by dramatically accelerating development timelines. Haritatos wrote, “Combining powerful generative AI models with an easy-to-use game editor, we are building a technology platform that eliminates much of the friction and slowness of a traditional game development process.”
The Series AI platform aims to allow game developers to explore new mechanics, themes, and systems in a fraction of the time previously required. Haritatos believes this could enable independent studios to achieve the scale of category-leading franchises without compromising on quality or scope.
Joshua Lu, Partner at A16Z Games, echoed this sentiment in announcing their investment, writing, “The generative AI revolution in games will cause the price of content to drop dramatically, going effectively to zero in some cases. This revolution will democratize the industry, enabling smaller teams to release category leading game experiences more rapidly, all without compromising on quality/fidelity, immersion, or feature sets.”
With its seed funding, Series AI plans to continue developing its Rho Engine game editor and rapidly build out a suite of tools to open up new possibilities in game development. Haritatos wrote that the company’s mission is to “unleash human creativity with the power of AI.”
The seed funding and vision behind Series AI certainly mark it as a startup to watch closely. The company believes Rho Engine will give game creators the ability to architect and build expansive game worlds in months rather than years. It addresses multiple pain points in the gaming industry—cost, time, and innovation—and seems poised to offer solutions that could re-energize the game development community.
While it’s early days for Series AI, the substantial seed investment and industry buzz make it clear that many are betting on its ability to deliver on these promises. As the company moves forward, attracting talent and developing its technology, the industry will keenly observe whether Series AI can indeed redefine the rules of the game.
As Haritatos put it, “the next hyper innovation cycle will come from human hands enabled by powerful generative AI tools.” With its team of gaming veterans and backing from top investors, Series AI has the potential to spur a new wave of innovation across the industry.