Top News

#1: Mighty Action Heroes Raises $10M

Source: VentureBeat

Mobile developer Mighty Bear Games announced the completion of a $10M token sale led by Framework Ventures to fund its first Web3 game. Given the strong need for Web3 games to be built by developers with actual game development pedigree, it’s good to see games like Mighty Action Heroes receive funding in the current economy. It may be a little bit late to the funding party for 2022, but this cross-platform battle royale looks like a strong contender to help push Web3 games forward. The development team at Mighty Bear Games comes with a solid background of successful games like Disney Melee Mania and Butter Royale for Apple Arcade.

Mighty Action Heroes itself will be built on the learnings from Butter Royale, but unlike that game, it’s planned to be a cross-platform game, starting with the web and then moving to mobile. Starting web-based for a mobile game is an interesting tactic, but it makes sense in the context of Web3 gaming, where working with blockchain factors like wallets and marketplaces can be difficult on mobile. Like many games that have been announced this year, the game will be on the Polygon network.

While a heap of the first wave of NFT games repeated many of the economic mistakes of Axie Infinity, newer games like Mighty Action Heroes are trying to learn and adapt. A trend somewhat popularized by Thetan Arena is allowing players to play for free and segregating the earning of tokens to those who have invested in the game through NFTs — all while trying to make sure earning is relative to spend for sustainability. In terms of monetizing the Web3 elements, the game is focused more on market trade fees rather than selling directly to players. Mighty Bear Games is also planning to develop multiple games that use shared assets as part of its overall Web3 ecosystem.

As user acquisition becomes more difficult, it makes sense for developers to look for ways to retain gamers within a publisher’s catalog of games and cultivate a long-lasting community — something Web3 has been particularly good at. Mighty Bear Games plans to use NFT PFPs to engage the community this summer and even provide game utility such as early access in Q4 2022. Mighty Action Heroes won’t be without competition though, as it’s going to potentially be going head-to-head with Blast Royale from First Light Games, another mobile Web3 battle royale taking some similar approaches in terms of tokens, NFTs, and equipment systems. The game is designed to support up to 60 players in a match and has ambitions to be the first Web3 esports game, but it won’t be the only one attempting it.

#2: The Battle For Metaverse Standards

Source: OMA3

While blockchains have often found themselves competing to be the dominant standard, the real battle for the future has been over the “metaverse.” Late last month a group of large companies, including Meta, Microsoft, Epic Games, Adobe, Nvidia, Sony, and Unity, announced a joint group known as the Metaverse Standards Forum. In a seeming response to a group of Web2 companies vying for control over what standards the metaverse uses, a group of Web3 game developers announced the forming of a DAO “consortium” known as OMA3. Members are a mix of larger brands like Animoca Brands and Dapper Labs alongside popular Web3 games, including Alien Worlds, Splinterlands, and Upland. The battle then is centered around a top-down approach from large incumbents versus a bottom-up approach from a new generation of upstarts. There’s also a clear difference in how fundamental to the metaverse the blockchain should be.

Everyone involved in both of these projects comes in with some implicit biases in terms of what sort of technology should have an influence over the standards. Companies like Epic and Unity would want to incorporate their game engine technology, Microsoft and Sony would want their consoles well supported, and virtual worlds like The Sandbox and Decentraland would want to be foundational metaverse worlds.

Decisions over how standards evolve was a topic well addressed by Raph Koster in a recent interview on the Naavik Metacast. In the episode, he mentions that he was part of attempts to develop metaverse standards decades ago, but they struggled to find traction then. He also notes that more often than not, standards are declared by fiat from those with money rather than democracy. That, of course, gives low odds for the success of OMA3 or other grassroots efforts — but we could also witness competing standards by different groups for years to come.

As we’ve seen from the evolution of the internet, standards are crucial but often brute-forced by market share. Browser wars are a great demonstration of that, with the original fight between Netscape and Internet Explorer now being won by Webkit contributors Apple (Safari) and Google (Chrome). The final nail in the coffin of competition was Microsoft switching Internet Explorer over to Google’s Chromium engine with Microsoft Edge.

Luckily, there are still fundamental protocols like TCP/IP underpinning the internet, but even supposedly open standards like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript have been heavily influenced by the browser makers. Fortunately, a real definition of what the metaverse even is has yet to be defined, making it much more difficult for anyone to dominate the space just yet. Whatever gets decided, interoperability will be the goal, yet some technologies (and therefore groups) will benefit more than others.

Game Announcements

Source: VentureBeat
  • Star Atlas made a series of announcements regarding security, iBUYPOWER partnership, the marketplace, and a DAO at its 426LIVE event. Link
  • Aglet passed 3.5M active users in its Web3 “Sneakerverse”. Link
  • Athlete Usain Bolt helped launch a private beta of move-to-earn Step App. Link
  • Tim Sweeney announced Epic Games Store won’t ban NFT games in response to the Minecraft announcement. Link
  • Klaymeta announced a new fusion breeding mechanic. Link
  • Onessus announced a game engine called Operation Instinct that includes Web3 support. Link
  • MOBOX added a new daily quest rewards system to its MOMOverse. Link
  • Ascenders, an open world RPG, revealed NFT land features. Link
  • Planet Mojo revealed details about its auto-battler game Mojo Melee. Link
  • Splinterlands completed its year-long airdrop of SPS governance tokens and will move toward distributing them as part of play rewards. Link
  • PlanetQuest announced wave two of its planet sale. Link
  • Nine Chronicles added a new expansion chapter and economic stability changes. Link
  • Heroes Chained, a fantasy game on Avalanche, announced a closed beta starting August 5th. Link
  • Benji Bananas launched season 2 of its blockchain rewards program. Link
  • Champions Ascension released a combat guide detailing the combat system. Link
  • Aurory released a patch with 70+ improvements. Link
  • Zebedee revealed Bitcoin-rewarded versions of Sudoku and Solitaire in partnership with Viker. Link

Funding Announcements

Source: VentureBeat
  • Aftermath Islands, a metaverse project, raised $25M from LDA Capital through a private utility token sale. Link
  • KuCoin secured $10M in funding for product upgrades and metaverse push from Susquehanna International Group, LLP. Link
  • ReNFT, an infrastructure platform for NFT renting, raised $5M in a round co-led by Mechanism and gumi Cryptos Capital (GCC). Link
  • Adademon, a metaverse platform on Cardano, announced a private seed sale for early investors. Link

Ecosystem Updates

Source: VentureBeat
  • Magic Eden introduced its “semi-fungible token” marketplace starting with Genopets. Link
  • MetaMundo launched a marketplace for 3D NFTs. Link
  • Immutable announced layoffs despite growth plans. Link

Notable Market Moves

  • As has been common during most weeks, but especially right now, most of the coins followed the broader crypto market with a decent-sized dip on the 26th, followed by a return to near previous prices on the 27th.
  • ApeCoin managed to drive up a bit higher than the rest, which may be due in part to the release of the first part of Coinbase’s BAYC trilogy on the 26th. There is potential for it to head back down; however, the very next day it was made public that a lawsuit has been filed against Yuga Labs by Scott+Scott, accusing the company of artificially inflating NFT prices by using celebrity promotions.
  • AXS also saw a good bounce back that may in part be due to the conclusion of the Phase 2 portion of Axie Infinity: Origin. It’s possible that in less than a week, when AXS rewards are given out for players of this season, that it will have a neutral or negative effect on the price. According to Sky Mavis, it plans to have a few weeks of off-season time before beginning Phase 3, where most of the economy will begin with SLP rewards and crafting of Runes and Charms. It will be interesting to see if Origin will be the recovery that Axie Infinity needs.
  • As always, we recommend looking at the market long-term and thinking along different time windows. The blockchain game market is still in its relative infancy.

Content Worth Consuming

Source: CoinTelegraph
  • Metaverse visionary Neal Stephenson is building a blockchain to uplift creators (CoinTelegraph) - “I think what is possible is that 20 or 30 years from now, people who are using immersive experiences will look back on games as: “That’s how we got here.” It used to be, these things were all video games, that’s where the hardware came from, where the toolsets came from, the people who create immersive experiences learned their skills from video games, and so on. And, there will still be lots and lots of video games, but there also will be experiences that will be something more, and I think you see that already if you look at Fortnite, which is obviously a video game, but it is also a social environment.” Link
  • Lessons from Forbes’ digital transformation to Web3, NFTs and the metaverse (VentureBeat) - “Last year, in a first for the publication industry, Forbes auctioned one of its magazine covers off as an NFT — which sold for $333,333. The profits were donated to the Committee to Protect Journalists and the International Women’s Media Foundation. This year, it went a step further, expanding these efforts to engage its audience by selling a collection of fictitious billionaire NFTs — each tied interactively to an imaginary stock market portfolio. Every day, based on the real New York Stock Exchange market performance, your Forbes NFT characters move up or down in rankings — just like an evolving Forbes list.” Link
  • Blast Royale Deep Dive (Vader Research) - “In this episode, First Light Games co-founder Anil Das Gupta and game design director Nikita Denissov join Vader Research Podcast. Blast Royale raised $5m in April this year, co-led by Animoca and Mechanism Capital with participation from Play Ventures and Merit Circle.” Link
  • BreederDAO: The Factory of the Metaverse (Naavik Metacast) - “On this week’s Crypto Corner, BreederDAO Cofounder and CEO Renz Chong joins your host Nico Vereecke for a no-nonsense discussion about Play-to-Earn/Play-and-earn, inter-game arbitrage, NFT-based Breeding Ponzi’s and the future of the Web3 Metaverse.” Link

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