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Tencent‘s Lightspeed Studios has unveiled its vision for the next decade, the Lightspeed universe.
It’s all about enabling the next phase of growth and development for the game industry as well as more closely connecting players and developers in a shared ecosystem. I’m not exactly sure what that means, but check out the company’s explanation, including some material from CEO Jerry Chen. To me, it kind of sounds like Lightspeed’s version of the metaverse, the universe of virtual worlds that are all interconnected, like in novels such as Snow Crash and Ready Player One.
Lightspeed is owned by Tencent, and it was formerly known and Lightspeed & Quantum Studios.
The Lightspeed Universe is a vision to create an ecosystem that connects players and developers around the world based on great stories, great gameplay and next-generation technology.
Co-developer of global blockbusters PUBG Mobile (co-developed with Krafton, Inc.) and Apex Legends Mobile (co-developed with Electronic Arts), Lightspeed Studios has delivered more than 50 PC and mobile games for over four billion registered users across over 200 countries and regions.
The Lightspeed Universe will create a world of experiences that players can enjoy anywhere, anytime and on any platform or device, and where developers can develop games faster and easier. This vision supports the next decade of global growth and development, driven by continued investments in exceptional talent, advanced research and development, and global platforms.
“The Lightspeed Universe is a holistic concept with research and development at its core.” said Chen, in a statement. “Driven by the integration of digital and real-world experiences and fueled by Lightspeed’s development capabilities, we aspire to set a new standard for original cross-platform, cross-cultural interactive experiences. Our goal is to captivate and inspire players and developers and leave a lasting and positive impression on future generations.”
The Lightspeed Universe will feature ambitious open worlds based on original intellectual property and next-generation experiences. To explore how its IP translates to animation, TV, and movies, Lightspeed Studios today announced Lightspeed Pictures, a new subsidiary brand to create experiences beyond games.
Today, Lightspeed Studios updated its name and brand identity to advance its vision and make it easy for players and developers to immerse themselves in the Lightspeed Universe. Lightspeed Studios unites existing studios, games, and talent to focus on the future, which include the development of new games for the console and PC markets.
Lightspeed Studios is also upgrading its development infrastructure to develop better games faster with advanced design and high-quality production values. Lightspeed Studios revealed its dedicated and experienced technology and art centers, part of a global development platform, which serves Lightspeed and its partners.
New global offices
Lightspeed Studios’ Singapore office now serves as an R&D innovation and integration center, helping to coordinate its R&D pipeline and global operations as well as serving as a base to explore cutting-edge technologies such as AR, VR, and cloud gaming.
Making great games requires great talent, and Lightspeed Studios is expanding to ten countries this year, growing its teams around the world, hiring outstanding developers who want to break new ground and make a global impact. Two examples include its US studios – Lightspeed LA and Uncapped Games, led by world-class developers previously responsible for some of the world’s more popular, innovative, and best-loved games. LIGHTSPEED LA is building an ambitious open-world game with sophisticated player-driven gameplay, enlightened storytelling. Uncapped Games is creating an action-packed PC real-time strategy game.
“The road ahead is uncertain, but our dream remains the same – to become one of the world’s best game developers. The Lightspeed Universe, the ecosystem that connects players and developers around the world, is our vision and blueprint for the next decade,” said Chen.
I asked if the Lightspeed Universe is a metaverse. In a reply, Chen said, it’s “our vision for the next decade, which is to create an ecosystem that connect players and developers around the world. It’s based on great stories, great gameplay and next-generation technology. It embraces all genres, platforms, all devices. It explores how Lightspeed game IP and experiences translate to animation, TV and movies, and buildLightspeed’s research and development capabilities into a development platform for developers and partners.”
He added, “The Lightspeed Universe contemplates the metaverse, but we think about it differently. We have a more expansive, yet practical view. As the boundaries between physical and digital worlds dissolve, new forms of connectivity and entertainment will emerge for a brands, businesses, and players.”
And he said, “There’s tremendous opportunity to create new experiences and transform existing ones
At Lightspeed, we call this concept “Hyper Digital Reality.”
The company is setting it up now in part because of what it has accomplished so far and how players have responded recently to PUBG Mobile and Apex Legends Mobile.
“We have built a strong foundation, are growing our teams and presence rapidly in multiple markets and are excited about the next phase of our global growth and development,” Chen said. “Now is the right time for us to share our vision and approach with developers and players around the world The new Lightspeed Studios brand underpins the next phase of our journey.”
The new universe unites existing studios, games, and talent to focus on future, which include the development of new games for the console and PC markets.
“It connects us more deeply with developers and players, allow them to easily follow and participate in the Lightspeed Universe,” Chen said. “It highlights the great people, great content and great experiences that define Lightspeed Studios.”
Besides the two games mentioned above, Lightspeed is also developing a new open world survival game Undawn, which is with great shooting experience and fabulous crafting system.
In his CEO Letter, Chen said, “From 2008 to 2022, guided by our philosophy of creating self-developed, high-quality games, we launched more than 50 PC and mobile games across over 200 countries and regions. We expanded our portfolio across more than 10 genres, including tactical tournament games, shooter games, card and board games, MOBAs, MMOs, sports games, music games, and simulation games. Today, our global monthly active user base exceeds 400 million.”
He added, “Our overall user base and global revenues have also grown rapidly. During this time, we delivered iconic titles like PUBG MOBILE (co-developed with Krafton, Inc.) and Apex Legends Mobile (co-developed with Electronic Arts). We partnered with outstanding developers, like Krafton, Inc., Riot Games and Electronic Arts. We strengthened our research and development capabilities, gained valuable experience, and grew our international production pipelines, talent teams, and user base.”
More of the company’s creations in the future will be with original intellectual property.
“As we enter a new era, with new opportunities and challenges, we face new and different questions: How will Lightspeed games look, play and feel in the future? What is the best way to grow our relationship with players and developers? How can our work have a positive impact and improve society?,” Chen said. “We have grown tremendously over 13 years, from a team of 100 in China to nearly 4,000 employees around the world. A shared passion for games brought us together. We evolved as our business prospered. As we face the future together, how will we continue to innovate and grow?”
And the company will seek out global talent.
“We are opening new offices and recruiting outstanding talent around the world including in China, Singapore, United States (Los Angeles, Palo Alto, Seattle), Canada (Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver), United Kingdom, France, New Zealand, Japan, South Korea and United Arab Emirates (Dubai). We are also building a global network of studios and functional teams,” Chen said.
He said the company will respect local culture and support flexible global work. And the teams will work on a wide array of technologies.