Top News

#1: Splinterlands Kicks Off A New Game Ecosystem

Source: Playtoearn

The developers of long-running web3 game Splinterlands surprised everyone with the announcement of a new game at a recent Discord town hall meeting. Splinterlands itself is a fantasy collectible trading card game about monsters and humans battling against each other, but the newly announced title is one based on soccer. Card games are a natural fit for NFTs due to the lengthy history of physical trading cards, with sports predating and even inspiring the original fantasy monster TCG, Magic: The Gathering.

Splinterlands has been successfully running and improving its game since 2018 (originally known as Steem Monsters) and boasts one of the more stable economies in the web3 gaming space. The pivot to soccer came out of left field thanks to the OneTeam organization that manages player associations through NFL, MLB, WNBA, Rugby, and more. In this case, the partnership is with the Major League Soccer Players Association (MLSPA). It’s especially surprising given that MLS itself has a separate deal with popular fantasy soccer game Sorare to be the league’s official NFT-based fantasy game.

The developers of Splinterlands aren’t necessarily looking to compete directly with Sorare; their new game, Genesis Soccer League, will be a management title. Given the small amount of information available so far, players will battle other players using their teams of cards that are based on real players and their actual stats. Splinterlands already works in a format that makes sense for a soccer sim, with battles being simulated without player input, based on the team put together per battle.

In a further hint that some of Splinterlands’ systems will be repurposed, the team plans to release card packs as early as October, yet they stated that they could release even sooner but need to wait until the season is over to collect final player stats. To further leverage the new venture, the team plans for soccer to just be the first sport in its Genesis League Sports ecosystem, with baseball, basketball, football, and hockey also being proposed. It is also shown that fantasy could be another mode, which would then put them in direct competition with Sorare for both soccer and baseball.

Source: Playtoearn

As far as the technology side of things, the team plans to continue using the Hive blockchain but with Genesis League Sports having its own token and validators. The team building the game is mostly composed of new hires to avoid cannibalizing development of Splinterlands itself, but it will clearly leverage the experience and technology developed so far. SPS, the governance token for Splinterlands, will also be leveraged by providing an airdrop of the new Genesis League Sports token to those staking SPS in a system similar to the year-long airdrop for SPS that recently ended.

Once the soccer game has been well-developed, it shouldn’t be difficult to duplicate it for other sports, much like Sorare recently did by tweaking its soccer fantasy system for baseball. While there is currently little other information available, the whitepaper is planned to be released in September, and we look forward to more details. Many of the Discord links (including on the official site) are invalid, but we managed to find a working invite you can use here.

#2: GameStop Opens Its Wallet

Source: Playtoearn

As the retail market for physical console games has dropped over time because of digital downloads, GameStop has been looking for ways it can evolve in order to survive. First, it started trying to dabble in digital games by buying Kongregate in 2010 before eventually selling it off to Modern Times Group in 2017. GameStop then went for a route we saw in a late-stage Blockbuster Video when it started selling collectible physical items, something digital couldn’t do. None of these pivots were able to keep GameStop from starting to become a relic of used game retail despite at least continuing to stay in business.

There were some that saw potential in GameStop as a business around console release cycles, such as Michael Burry of “The Big Short” fame. In early 2021, GameStop suddenly exploded thanks to a combination of growing popularity of the Robinhood trading, Ryan Cohen of Chewy fame joining the GameStop board, and subreddit wallstreetbets spreading a theory about a short squeeze against those shorting the company. Despite bearing the derogatory label of “meme stocks,” the huge wave of investment in GameStop helped the struggling company somewhat reposition itself.

GameStop finally actualized an opportunity to merge its inability to compete in the digital game space with its attempts to better monetize collectibles through the growing NFT market. Rather than becoming a digital collectibles retailer, it would instead be a marketplace competing with OpenSea and Magic Eden, and take a transaction fee on trades. GameStop decided to partner with Immutable X for the Layer 2 blockchain technology, partially due to its gas-free trading which makes it easier to collect transaction fees without having to worry about users paying gas fees on top.

The relationship started with Immutable providing a grant of $100M in IMX tokens and GameStop immediately selling $27.4M worth. The move immediately dropped the price of IMX by about 30% after the price had rallied 47% with the partnership announcement. Immutable clearly wasn’t phased by the sale as not only has the GameStop marketplace successfully launched, but now there’s a GameStop wallet with Immutable X integration. The wallet is interesting for not only being a wallet specifically created for a specific marketplace, but is also the first dedicated wallet for Immutable X. Despite being a Layer 2 network, Immutable X normally uses a typical wallet like Metamask and then simply integrated through the Immutable X marketplace website. GameStop’s browser extension wallet (only covering Chrome right now) integrates with Immutable X through an Immutable X Link, something that may be used by more apps in the future.

Unlike OpenSea and other competitors, GameStop’s NFT market only trades NFTs minted specifically for it at the moment. Despite that limitation, the market had a much stronger opening than other attempts like Coinbase’s NFT market, with GameStop doing more in trading volume in its first week than Coinbase was able to manage in its entire first month. That being said, Coinbase being able to trade in any NFT has allowed it to catch up for the moment as GameStop has slowed, based on 30-day volumes at the time of writing. It will be interesting to see if GameStop is able to get long-term traction, especially given the limitations of being on a relatively newer network and GameStop’s core audience usually being very anti-NFT (both core gamers and the Reddit following). It should definitely benefit once outside NFTs are supported and many of the forthcoming Immutable games start launching. Let’s hope this custom wallet is more secure than the recent Solana one.

Trade volume of the last 30 days for the top 5 NFT collections, GameStop vs Coinbase:


Game Announcements

Source: Playtoearn
  • Genopets launched its Habit management feature after a brief delay due to the Solana wallet hack. Link
  • Decimanted, a Solana post-apocalyptic MMO, opened up staking for its DIO token. Link
  • Froyo Games announced NFTs for mobile game Claw Stars. Link
  • Skyweaver announced a weekly play-to-earn rewards system to deploy later this year. Link
  • Alien Worlds announced a partnership with Zilliqa to make Alien Worlds playable on its chain. Link
  • Sky Mavis announced ERC-1155 support as part of its Axie Infinity marketplace reset. Link
  • StepN announced new ways to earn $GMT using a new NFT sneaker type called Rainbow Sneakers. Link
  • Galaxy Fight Club revealed upcoming P2E mechanics for both NFT holders and free players. Link
  • Infinite Fleet, a sci-fi MMO, launched a beta for ship NFT owners. Link
  • Imperium Empires launched its NFT game, Apollo, for ship NFT owners. Link
  • Imposters, a social deduction game, announced a three-hour closed beta for Genesis NFT holders. Link
  • Neopets Metaverse released a litepaper detailing gameplay, tokenomics, and NFTs. Link
  • Metalcore announced a “Build Your Own Barony Challenge” meant to encourage players to begin forming guilds for the game. Link
  • Arc8 is running a week-long experiment for dynamic prize pools based on the number of players. Link

Funding Announcements

Source: Charlieintel
  • Gunzilla Games raised $46M for its Battle Royale game Off The Grid. Link
  • INK Games raised $18.75M in a Series B round for its social platform and Prize Kingdoms mobile game. Link
  • Sweat Economy, Sweatcoin developers, raised $13M to expand web3 capabilities led by Spartan Capital. Link
  • InfiniteWorld acquired web3 developer Super Bit Machine for an undisclosed price to move into web3 gaming. Link
  • AO Labs raised $4.5M in tokens sales led by YGG for its Spacebar Project. Link
  • Playstudios started a blockchain gaming division and created a $10 web3 focused Future Fund. Link
  • MetaverseGo raised $4.2M in a seed round for its mobile platform led by Galaxy Digital. Link
  • Line Games’ Nerdystar web3 division raised $5.8M to produce web3 games based on Line

Ecosystem Updates

Source: NFTplazas
  • Magic Eden increased competition with OpenSea by adding Ethereum support. Link
  • reNFT announced a partnership with Unlockd for NFT renting liquidity. Link
  • Decentraland announced a partnership with Transak for in-world ATMs. Link
  • Metaverse land sales are down 85%. Link
  • Animoca Brands released a web store for spending TOWER. Link
  • Sony released a survey to PlayStation players to gauge NFT interest. Link
  • Immutable launched a trade-to-earn program for Immutable X NFT trading. Link
  • Klaytn is hosting a hackathon with over $1M in prizes to help build out web3 metaverse tech.
  • Dapper Labs signed a season-long partnership with NFL team the L.A. Rams. Link

Notable Market Moves

  • This week we were back to the the standard pattern of most tokens following the general movement of Bitcoin and Ethereum, with a couple of minor exceptions.
  • ApeCoin corrected back down after last week’s Gucci announcement and didn’t bounce back up as strongly as the other tokens, with some of the spike downward being attributed to an influencer who rage-quit his Yuga Labs holdings.
  • The Sandbox also didn’t gain as much as other tokens despite a partnership announcement with Paris Hilton to build a virtual version of her Malibu mansion, or perhaps because of it.
  • Bora has been on a little bit of a roller coaster lately after a big move up last week and then a little bit of a dip before jumping up again with the announcement of a cross-chain platform with Polygon and then bouncing down hard and up again.
  • StepN surprisingly regained a bit of GMT value in relation to the GMT earning news for Rainbow Sneakers, although if it leads to token inflation, we may see this drop back down quickly.
  • As usual, keep the longer-term context in mind when looking at weekly value, especially with the long-awaited Ethereum merge potentially happening next month!

Content Worth Consuming

Source: Venturebeat

Why Web3 companies created the Open Metaverse Alliance (GamesBeat) - “The reason why that’s important, to coordinate between us and then also have a voice into MSF and in general to the world, is because of how different the user-owned metaverse we’re all building is from platforms that are owned and managed centrally, like has traditionally always been the case. The classical way of building a technical platform is that a company builds a proprietary platform. Users engage with that according to the rules set out by the owners and creators of that platform. Users have very little power to define their ownership of what’s happening in that system, their identity, and any of the rules of engagement.” Link

The future of subscription NFTs (and why you should give a s* in the first place) (cantino.eth tweet thread) - “Web2 subscriptions are rented, not owned. You do not own your Spotify membership. You can not sell it. And due to Apple’s 30% commission, you are also paying ‘platform tax.’ But this is just first inning thinking. Here’s what they’re really capable of.” Link

StriderDAO: Community-Driven IP Creation (Naavik Metacast) - “On this week’s Crypto Corner, StriderDAO cofounder and CEO Andrew Green joins your host Nico Vereecke for a deep dive into Strider - a web3 platform and toolset that helps harness the creative power of communities to build new game and entertainment IP.” Link

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