PlayStation, Google Vets to Co-Create New Franchises Via Solana DAOs

Profile picture
10w ago2022-06-20

In brief

  • Luda is a Web3 startup co-founded by former PlayStation and Google AI leads.
  • The firm plans to launch franchises that can be owned and shaped by Solana DAO communities, starting with Neo Fairies.

For nearly two decades in total, Shannon Studstill was part of the PlayStation juggernaut as a co-founder of Sony’s Santa Monica Studio. She was lead producer on 2005’s smash “God of War” and worked on numerous other titles, and later served as executive producer on 2018’s acclaimed “God of War” reboot.

But after all that time overseeing ever-larger development teams working on increasingly massive AAA video games—plus a brief stint on Google’s Stadia team—she now aims to work with thousands or potentially millions of people to develop new entertainment franchises via decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) on Solana.

“What if we turn [IP creation] on its head a little bit and allow the community to own that and build on it,” Studstill told Decrypt, “and find the path that they would like to take, with some support by visionaries and so forth?”

Studstill is the co-founder of Web3 startup Luda, which she established last summer with fellow co-founder and CEO Vijay Sundaram, who she met at Google. Sundaram began the Interactive Entertainment R&D group at Google AI, and was exploring ways for machine learning and other emerging tech to impact gameplay experiences.

After Studstill joined the Google Stadia team in 2020 as director of its Playa Vista Studio, the two aligned on the possibilities around user-generated content (UGC)—but they wanted to shift away from creation games that are built on the backs of players that create value. Roblox, for example, takes a 71% cut of content sold by users and external developers.

“As DAOs and NFTs started to blow up, we were like: ‘Wait, how messed up is it that these people make all these things—they build in Minecraft and Roblox—and yet they have no ownership of the thing they made?’” said Sundaram. “We can right so much of what now feels wrong when you see what can happen with these technologies.”

“Done hiding”

Neo Fairies is the first project to come out of Luda’s DAO-based collaborative creation initiative, but it’s not being built from the outset as a video game. It could potentially become that—or a TV show, or books, etc. It’s being created as a franchise first, with Luda planning to let the eventual community of creators ultimately shape its path forward via the DAO.

Luda’s goal from the outset is to feed nuggets of lore and the world to budding creators and then allow them to develop their own characters. Neo Fairies focuses on a scenario in which fairies have always been around, but they were previously driven into hiding by humans.