Top News

Shrapnel Unveils More Details

Source: VentureBeat

Shrapnel (the company) finally unveiled Shrapnel (the game) alongside $7M in funding through a private token sale (following $10.5M in seed funding). This project, which will run on the Avalanche blockchain, will be an interesting game to keep an eye on. The team is spun out of HBO Interactive and is full of veteran game developers and media tech personnel, along with some noteworthy advisors (like Terry Spier from The Division, Mike Wilson of Devolver Games, and Neal Stephenson, the cyberpunk author and futurist). While military shooters may be commonplace in AAA games — and there are plenty of web3 FPS games coming out — this one sets itself apart by focusing on UGC instead of level grinding and in-app purchases. The gameplay also is solidly in the “extraction” subgenre popularized by Escape from Tarkov rather than other typical FPS modes like Team Deathmatch and Capture the Flag.

The player-created content side of things is focused on Vanity NFTs (cosmetics) and Map NFTs, which can be traded on a marketplace. Player-created cosmetics aren’t a totally new concept, but there’s an interesting twist by having rare limited supply “vanity materials” that can be used and provide “unique in-game expressions.” Creating new missions, maps, and even tournaments is another big differentiator, and there will be a deep discovery and promotion process for players and creators to tap into. For example, there’s going to be a way for players and curators to stake tokens as a way to both boost discoverability and receive rewards for well-performing maps.

The token itself is also noteworthy. It’s a single token game, and players will use the fixed supply SHRAP tokens for utility, governance, and marketplace transactions. Shrapnel plans to provide players some starting assets, but the project is clearly focused on the concepts of player-created content and NFT ownership over ideas like play-to-earn. Strangely, players can also buy land, which, as a reminder, doesn’t make sense in the vast majority of blockchain games. We’re skeptical it’s a good idea in a FPS, but we’re curious to see what it evolves into.

Lastly, the game is still in the very early stages and has a long roadmap ahead of it. Depending on how it progresses, we’ll cover it in more depth one day. In the meantime, if you want to learn more, check out the whitepaper.

Game Announcements

  • Sky Mavis presented an update on Axie Infinity land, which received significant backlash and led to a follow-up tweet thread. Transitioning from having a playerbase that purely wants to make money (unsustainable) to one where many players are willing to spend for fun (sustainable) is quite challenging. Link
  • Kongregate announced a unique story-driven NFT gaming experience called Blood Vessels.
  • Animoca Brands looks to further build out its Revv Motorsports ecosystem by acquiring a studio that develops racing sims, Eden Games. Link
  • Animoca Brands also announced the acquisition of Darewise, an indie game developer that’s creating a blockchain MMO. Link
  • Richard Garriott (of Ultima fame) announced a new NFT-driven MMO. Link
  • Sega teased further details on its multi-game “SuperGame” project that may include cloud tech and NFTs. Link
  • MOBOX announced an investment partnership with Animoca Brands. Link
  • Heroes of Mavia announced updates to Land NFT supply and a free-to-play model. Link
  • Everseed released a product roadmap for 2022 and 2023.
  • Nakamoto Games unveiled its plans for an algorithmic stablecoin. Link
  • The Digital Pets Company is launching AI-driven 3D NFT dogs for the metaverse. Link

Funding Announcements

Source: VentureBeat
  • Civitas raised $20M for its 4X strategy game led by Delphi Digital and Three Arrows Capital. Link
  • Improbable raised $150M for its MSquared network of web3 metaverses in a funding round led by Andreessen Horowitz and SoftBank.
  • Genies, developers of a metaverse avatar program, raised $150M at a valuation of over $1B led by Silver Lake. Link
  • Community Gaming, a community-oriented blockchain esports platform, raised $16M in a funding round led by SoftBank Group’s SB Opportunity Fund. Link
  • First Light Games raised $5M in a seed round for its Blast Royale game led by Animoca Brands and Mechanism Capital. Link
  • White Star Capital launched a $120M fund focused on web3 and metaverse projects. Link
  • DEFY Labs raised $3.5M in a seed round led by Animoca Brands, OliveX, and Spartan. Link
  • CryptoCasinoClub is launching NFTs that offer a percentage of profits in its casino built in The Sandbox. Link
  • Legends of Elumia closed a funding round for an undisclosed amount led by Alameda Research and Animoca Brands. Link

Ecosystem Updates

  • Gala Games released Town Crush, a match-3 game built in order to stress test the company’s upcoming Gala Chain. The game literally uses an on-chain (yet worthless and untradable) token called TEST. Link
  • GuildFi announced a partnership investment in Crypto Raiders. Link
  • IndiGG partnered with Rooter to create a $1 Million fund for web3 creators. Link
  • Avocado Guild is partnering up with Drunk Robots, who just released its Drunk Races feature. Link
  • Vulcan Forged launched its VulcanVerse Land Staking Program. Link
  • Mobland announced a partnership with Wormhole to build a GameFi cross-chain bridging solution. Link

Notable Market Moves

  • It was another down week for many top tokens. The exception is ApeCoin, which moved up two spots, leapfrogging both Axie Infinity and The Sandbox. The price increase is likely driven by unconfirmed rumors of Robinhood listing the coin and Coinbase announcing a film trilogy featuring BAYC and ApeCoin. Keep in mind, this may make APE more tradable, but it does little to accelerate the fundamentals of projects that will create fundamental long-term value. There’s lots of short-term noise.
  • The poor reception to Axie Infinity’s land plans likely helped push AXS down even further. Sky Mavis is working hard to overcome its many obstacles, increase the utility of AXS, and move the game into a more sustainable direction. Doing so is extremely challenging and means making many play-to-earn players and land holders upset along the way as plans must change. We’ll dig deeper into recent land plans, the Origin launch, and what it all means for the future in a future essay.
  • StepN is still benefiting from its launch hype and was down the least. It also just began a GMT burning event that may help temporarily sustain prices if belief in the project continues. There are a number of “move-to-earn” competitors coming out and forming a “FitnessFi” trend that could influence StepN’s overall value. Ponzinomic concerns are still valid, and it’ll be interesting to see if it follows Axie Infinity’s footsteps or is able to transition its economy better.
  • As always, who knows what will happen over the next week, but all of the building going on points to clear long-term growth and inevitable churn in the top 10 list.

Content Worth Consuming

  • Decentralization for Web3 Builders: Principles, Models, How (a16z Future) - “Builders of web3 systems can facilitate the formation of decentralized economies through careful design decisions that lead to their systems accruing ‘value’ — whether information, economic value, voting power, or other form — from a broad array of sources, and distributing that value equitably among system stakeholders according to their contributions. In order to achieve this, web3 systems need to vest meaningful power, control, and ownership to system stakeholders (via airdrops, other token distributions, decentralized governance, etc.). This in turn encourages stakeholders to contribute meaningful value, because they have agency over how their contributions are treated and rewarded.” Link
  • Solutions and challenges in building sustainable play-and-earn economies (Evolution of Web3 & NFT Gaming) - “One of the most common arguments to creating a sustainable economy is to make the game entertaining and fun, which will attract players who don’t mind spending. The logic is that this group of ‘fun-seekers’ will be large enough to subsidize the earning of other players. However, just because a game is built for and targets fun-seekers does not mean that there would be the right balance of players and earners such that it is sustainable. This is because if a blockchain game with earning is able to attract many players who are willing to spend, then it also attracts investors, earners and exploiters who are looking to earn.” Link
  • User Acquisition Fundamentals – web2 vs web3 comparison (Metej Lancaric) - “I think we need to distinguish two phases of the blockchain games lifecycle. Before the game is live: community building, social media hype approach, NFT pre sale, airdrops etc. After launching the game: more traditional UA comes to place that consists of marketing campaigns on Twitter, reddit, google adwords and facebook.” Link
  • A Complete Guide to GuildFi (blocmates) - “The Proof-of-play feature also solves 2 key problems. Some games simply have NFT integrations but no active earning potential; Proof-of-play changes that by making every game in the GuildFi ecosystem a P2E game regardless of whether they give out a token or not. Another problem with P2E games is the players aren’t gaming for the fun of it – they are playing to make a quick buck, and as a result, the game creators continue to make games that are more profitable than the previous one. In the event a scholar likes a game that doesn’t make as much money, they have to choose between a game they want to play vs a game they have to play. With Proof-of-play, scholars can now technically earn from playing any game.” Link
  • Web3 Gaming Business Models & The Future of Virtual Economies (Metacast by Naavik) - “In this Crypto Corner episode, BITKRAFT Crypto Team members Carlos Pereira and Jamie Wallace join your host Nico Vereecke to discuss #1 A Ronin Exploit Update, #2 Different Business Models in Web3 Gaming, #3 The Future of Web3 Gaming Economies, #4 Fun and Work in the Metaverse” Link

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