The Nottingham UK based studio Lockwood Publishing will debut a new 3D avatar that exists across mobile games on a variety of platforms. Lockwood Publishing studio has been a very successful publisher which makes free-to-play games on Sony’s PlayStation Home virtual world and now it is expanding its market with mobile games.
Lockwood Publishing has been around since 2005, mostly focused on social platforms until they got a game deal with Sony to work on Home titles. But in contrast to PlayStation Home, Lockwood has focused its avatars on mobile devices, which haven’t been powerful enough in the past to run 3D avatars. The England-based studio will debut the avatars for the first time in its own title, Avakin Poker, which will available this spring on iOS, Android, and Web browsers.
The main idea behind creating 3D avatars is to allow players to create realistic human characters based on the Unity 3D game engine and use it across games, having a single XP inventory and a single account across multiple platforms. This system is already used in Xbox Live Avatars and PlayStation Home where players can create a custom 3D avatar and use it when playing different games.
3D avatars will be first used on the poker game as the first of many other games. “The poker offering features 3D renders, and it will feel much more like you’re sitting at a poker table in Las Vegas” say the studio officials.
The Avakin technology will debut in UK first and then company will collect feedback from consumers to be able to fine tune it before entering new markets. Second stop probably will be South America since the studio has a partnership with the Latin American BoaCompra. They are also looking for new opportunities for partnerships in other parts of the world where free-to-play system is popular.
Joel Kemp, Lockwood Publishing’s co-founder, thinks it was the right time to enter a new path “We had great success with Sony, but this is what we have been doing over the last couple of years.” He said in an interview with GamesBeat. Kemp believes they are the first studio to enable player-versus-player competition across platforms in real-time using exclusively 3D avatars.
The self-funded studio has already more than 40 employees working on different projects, mostly on 3D games that serve as social multiplayer experience