Genies nabs former Netflix Games creative director to run games

Genies, a maker of social avatars, has hired former Netflix Games creative director Andrew Chambers the head of its games studio.

Genies has been building and releasing a suite of tools, such as its unique avatar and interoperable frameworks, to enable anyone to create their own avatar experiences and platforms. With over 25 years of experience helping to shape the gaming industry, Chambers will help deploy an already created immersive, gamified, and interoperable digital identity layer for the internet.

“We’ve been on a mission of creating technology that resembles an ‘open-source Roblox model’ where all interactive experiences are interoperable with one another. As the world becomes more immersive and we see more demand, Andrew will execute the game mechanics of how interoperability will work across all universes,” said Akash Nigam, CEO of Genies, in a statement. “By creating and offering interoperability, users can properly invest and build their persistent digital identity, an avatar, which we believe will be the next username of the internet. This will be a key need for partners looking to build in demand interactive and immersive digital experiences for consumers that revolve around user-generated content.”

Chambers’ career spans roles at top gaming studios including Blizzard Entertainment, Phoenix Labs, and most recently, Netflix Games. Notable contributions include shaping titles like Diablo III and spearheading creative initiatives at Netflix.

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“I’m joining Genies at the perfect time as we’re powering an interoperable identity layer for the internet’s future. This lines up with an increased need for companies to redefine their IP, services and offerings as interactive and immersive universes,” said Chambers, in a statement. “With our open-source model, we’re empowering anyone to ‘build their own Roblox’ that leverages the Genies Interoperable Frameworks. I couldn’t be more fired up about joining an ambitious and talented team.”

While adoption started with thousands of Hollywood icons including Justin Bieber, Rihanna, Cardi B, Migos, and DJ Khaled, Genies’ interoperable avatar tools will allow the company to pursue its vision of enabling everyone to have their own persistent avatar across experiences and platforms.

Over the past few years, Genies has invested in building its avatar and interoperable frameworks to allow for limitless compatibility and customization. These tools will power an interoperable identity layer that developers, artists, creators, companies, and platforms can leverage to create their own experiences and universes.

Key components

Genies has identified two core components that make up their interoperable identity layer:

Visual interoperability is defined by how a user looks. Through Genies’ proprietary auto-rigging technology and avatar framework, visual interoperability enables limitless compatibility and customization across digital fashion, things (props and objects), and avatars that can travel from Experience to Experience, the company said.

Genies also said behavioral interoperability is defined by the personality of a user, and is accounted for through its unique traits framework, which offers a sophisticated layer of metadata that shapes a user’s personality based on their behavior in one experience to the next. This layer also empowers developers to tailor Experiences to each player’s distinct characteristics, shaping a game that aligns more closely to users’ preferences and actions.

Genies’ tool kit packages up its suite of open-source tools and tech, enabling developers, artists, and companies to build unique avatar experiences and platforms.

Through early avatar adoption by cultural tastemakers such as Justin Bieber, Rihanna, Cardi B, Migos, and DJ Khaled, Genies set out to build tools and use cases that would enable limitless compatibility and customization of their avatars for everyone. With offices in Los Angeles and San Francisco, the company has raised $200 million to date from investors including Silver Lake, BOND, NEA, and Bob Iger.

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