Welcome to all the Player 1s and Player 2s!
In today’s digest:
- Crypto metaverses are gaining popularity following Mark Zuckerberg’s latest announcement.
- Ubisoft may release crypto games in the future.
- Electronic Arts has yet to step into NFTs, but is still looking for blockchain specialists
- Developers from Activision, Disney, Lucas Films, and Midway have gathered to create an NFT mecha video game.
- Funding parade: Animoca Brands raise $93M for The Sandbox, A16z backs Blankos Block Party in $1.25B valuation, Binance invests $1M in a Play-to-Earn game about sharks.
Metaverses Become a New Gaming Trend following Facebook’s Announcement
Crypto gaming reached an important milestone this week, surprisingly, thanks to Mark Zuckerberg and his crucial business decision to rename Facebook Inc. to Meta Platforms Inc. The company seems to be taking the direction of further digitizing society as they work to develop a VR messenger, a VR version of Instagram, their own marketplace for digital goods, and even a social network similar to Decentraland using Oculus.
Alongside hype, the announcement generated a range of sentiments across the crypto world. Axie Infinity’s co-founder in particular disliked that Meta’s new logo is too similar to his game.
- Yes, the whole world uses Meta’s products and services, such as Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, and even Oculus. This means that audience outreach far exceeds the number of cryptocurrency users. Though this means a wider draw, it’s upsetting that most of the crypto metaverse’s cumulative developments will be used by the giant while its true creators may be forgotten.
CEO of Ubisoft has Hinted That Their Games Might Feature NFTs and Blockchain in the Future
On the wave of hype, some of the biggest players in traditional gaming have seemingly felt free to praise NFTs and the metaverse. Of course, Ubisoft is already a noted supporter of crypto gaming, having invested in Animoca Brands, backed Nine Chronicles, and organised some events for blockchain developers. On the other hand, they had never made any forward announcements regarding the use of NFTs or blockchain technologies in their own games.
Recently, the company’s CEO, Yves Guillemot, claimed that the gaming industry is “changing regularly with lots of new revolutions happening” and Ubisoft “will imply more play-to-earn that will enable more players to actually earn content, own content…”
- This statement can be interpreted two ways: either for the implementation of NFTs into pre-existing projects, like Assassin’s Creed and Far Cry, or the creation of brand-new IPs based on blockchain technology.
EA Has Yet to Step into NFTs, But is Still Looking for Blockchain Specialists
Another of the biggest players in the traditional gaming industry, Electronic Arts, has also had its say on play-to-earn games, as CEO of the company, Andrew Wilson, echoed the sentiment that blockchain gaming is “the future of our industry.”
However, they have decided not to rush into it as fast as Ubisoft, even though the company is in one of, if not the best position to release digital sport collectibles, as they hold licenses to FIFA, the NHL, and the NBA.
On the other hand, the company’s job listings, for senior directors with blockchain and NFT experience in multiple offices, are still open, and have been since summer.
- Interestingly enough, EA is currently poised to lose its exclusive FIFA license, just as they could have leveraged it to release official NFT collectibles, that could have in turn been used in their AAA football game.
Developers from Activision, Disney, Lucas Films, and Midway Gather to Create an NFT Video game
Blockchain games are gaining momentum, even without Mark Zuckerberg and his Meta announcement. A group of developers who have previously worked for Activision, Lucas Films, and Disney Midway, the creators of Mortal Kombat, have decided to create a AAA decentralized blockchain game.
MetalCore is going to be a mecha themed MMO with support for up to 100 players in a single arena. As of yet no gameplay has been shown, and the only thing we have is a first look trailer. The game will fully support NFTs, which are set to be auctioned in January 2022, though the game’s official release date hasn’t yet been announced.
- Even though the list of developers is quite impressive, we at least need to see gameplay videos before we can jump to any type of conclusion.
Funding Parade: Animoca Raises $93M for The Sandbox, A16z Backs Blankos Block Party’s $1.25B Valuation, Binance Invests $1M into a Play-to-Earn Game about Sharks
Mark Zuckerberg likely didn’t even notice how he opened the tap, and money flowed into the crypto gaming industry. Throughout this week there has been a veritable parade of investments into some promising projects featuring NFTs and multiverses.
First of all, Mythical Games, the creators of Blankos Block Party, the first NFT-featured game to be presented at the world’s biggest gaming expo, E3, reached $1.25 billion in valuation after Series C investment funding.
Secondly, the SoftBank Vision Fund made their first ever large investment into a crypto project, providing The Sandbox with a $93 million war chest. Other backers included LG, Samsung, and Liberty City Ventures.
Finally, Binance Labs, a venture capital and incubator firm, invested almost $1M into Star Sharks, a crypto marine metaverse