Top News

#1: GRIT Will Launch on the Epic Games Store

Source: Decrypt

In a move that may heat up platform acceptance of web3 games, Gala Games announced that GRIT, a free-to-play battle royale game with a distinct western theme, will launch on the Epic Games Store (EGS). It’s not a surprise that EGS is the first major game distribution platform to support a blockchain game; after all, Epic previously stated it was open to them when Steam took a hard stance against. The game itself was previously listed on Steam with a pending Early Access release until a delay was announced in January. That fact, combined with an announcement of a partnership with Gala Games in February, indicates the team most likely pivoted to include web3 features. Acceptance onto the Gala Games platform itself was subject to a vote by Gala node holders, which passed 2 weeks ago.

According to Gabe Newell (founder & CEO of Valve), Valve’s reluctance to allow blockchain games is mostly related to bad actors in the space. Epic is already becoming familiar with some of those bad actors thanks to recent scams involving fake Fortnite tokens and NFTs. GRIT itself already ended up in hot water after its announcement due to the usage of Unreal Engine assets for some NFTs, which the team has since stated was a mistake and the assets were meant to be placeholders.

It remains to be seen if the incorporation of NFTs or the western theme is enough to differentiate the game from an already overcrowded battle royale genre, but given the extra attention the game is likely to receive due to its unique situation, we expect it to gain some decent attention. Of course, it remains to be seen how compelling the game is actually going to be and how it can carve a niche in the market, which will be the ultimate decider of traction.

As the production quality and tokenomic design of blockchain games improve, we expect to see Epic capitalize on its position to gain another form of exclusivity and market share. It might take time for the EGS team to accept more blockchain games, but it’s a fact that many blockchain games teams — most of which aim to build fair, player-friendly economies — crave greater distribution. And it’s also true that EGS has a tall task of competing with Steam for both users and developers, so any opportunity to get a sustainable leg up should likely be capitalized on.

It’s likely that Valve, Apple, and Google Play are unlikely to relent on their negative stances until more best class examples (perhaps from larger studios) hit the market and succeed, there’s more regulatory clarity, and there are better frameworks for how crypto fits into their business models. We do expect compromises to eventually be found as the size of web3 gaming grows too big to reject, but, for now, we look forward to seeing how blockchain games on EGS perform.

#2: Gala Games x Battlestar Galactica

Source: Gala Games

Gala Games had another big surprise this week in the form of an officially licensed Battlestar Galactica game. The game was talked about publicly in an AMA last month, but under the codename of “Project Saturn” that didn’t reveal the licensed IP it would be using. The game is planned to be a 4X strategy game, which is well suited to the franchise. It’s worth noting that the IP and genre both have significant demographic overlap with web3 gamers, and as such will likely be well adopted at least among crypto natives (as always, if the game is good). Blockchain gaming has been looking for breakout hits that can expand the audience enough to convince outsiders to join in, and this particular property may be even more suited to do so than some of the other IP attempts like The Walking Dead.

Interestingly, this will be the second 4X space strategy game on the Gala Games platform (with Echoes of Empire being the other). The 4X strategy genre has proven to be very successful on mobile, so it’s no surprise to see attempts to bring it to web3 (with the other notable attempt in progress being Civitas - thankfully not also set in space). Battlestar Galactica licensed games also have a history of being well received both as PC games and board games. The team behind the game, Revolving Games, is full of members with game experience, and most notably quite a few from Kixeye, which had previously developed a 4X space game called Vega Conflict. Despite the lack of experience specifically in blockchain game development, the team at least looks well-positioned to execute on gameplay.

The team has provided no timeline or roadmap yet, but there is potential for this game to be among a handful of upcoming releases that will expand the blockchain gaming audience in the next 1-2 years.

Game Announcements

Source: NFT Plazas
  • The Sandbox announced a contest prize pool of $1M in SAND for owners of Snoop Dogg’s Doggies avatar NFTs. Link
  • RavenQuest ran an initial land sale on June 5th and will conclude the remaining portion on June 11th. Link
  • Ember Sword went live with its Immutable X migration. Link
  • OliveX announced the integration of its fitness “metaverse” elements into The Sandbox. Link
  • Alien Samurai Dino Warriors, an NFT comic project, announced plans to build games based on its IP in The Sandbox. Link
  • Genopets announced a sale for its Refined Water Crystal NFTs. Link
  • StepN suffered a DDOS attack taking the game down for over 24 hours. Link
  •, a hypercasual gaming platform, launched its play-to-earn features. Link
  • Shrapnel held its first public NFT mint, with additional mints coming on the 16th, 23rd, 30th of June, and the 7th of July. Link
  • Eternal Paradox, a hybrid strategy RPG game on Gala, announced its first land sale. Link
  • Legends Reborn, a collectible card game on Gala, announced its first creature sale. Link
  • Budweiser announced an extensive partnership deal with Zed Run, with multiple brand integrations. Link
  • Animoca Brands acquired developer Notre Game, with plans to develop a web3 version of its web2 game Scratch Wars called Scratch Lords. Link
  • Big Town Chef launched its NFT presale minting program, with a public mint on June 16th. Link
  • BoomBit announced a hypercasual Web3 gaming platform called BoomLand, using Polygon’s new Supernet technology. Link
  • Gods Unchained announced changes to its XP system to improve match quality. Link
  • Crypto Raiders announced a return of its unique Permadeath Tournament on June 25th. Link
  • Duskbreakers released the first chapter of its game world digital comic. Link
  • Axie Infinity launched a AXS holder forum on Commonwealth. Link

Funding Announcements

Source: Binance
  • Binance Labs confirmed a $500M development fund for incubation, early stage, and late stage project growth for Web3. Link
  • Oxalis Games raised $4.5M in a seed round for its game Moonfrost led by Blocore, but most notably included Supercell becoming financially involved in its first web3 project. Link
  • Solana Ventures announced the creation of a $100M fund for GameFi and DeFi projects in South Korea. Link
  • Jadu raised $36M for its AR NFT game in a Series A round led by Bain Capital Crypto. Link
  • OKX Blockdream Ventures invested $10M in the Wax blockchain. Link
  • Anicent8 raised $6M in a private round led by Makers Fund and C² Ventures. Link
  • Curio raised $3.7M in a seed round led by Alexis Ohanian & Katelin Holloway at 776 to build NFT intelligence tools. Link

Ecosystem Updates

Source: Merit Circle
  • Merit Circle announced its NFT marketplace, Sphere. Link
  • Salesforce announced its NFT marketplace, but there’s no word if gaming NFTs will be included. Link
  • Atomic Hub, a Wax chain NFT marketplace, is partnering with Banxa for fiat payments. Link
  • Fractal, a Solana chain NFT marketplace, announced an easy wallet integration system for games. Link
  • NFT Trading volume on Solana has now exceeded $2B. Link

Notable Market Moves

  • While the market saw some bouncing up and down this past week, prices mostly stayed flat — a nice breather compared to performance over the recent months. Of course, we continue to expect significant churn in this list; many of these assets will continue to underperform while new projects with superior fundamentals will eventually gain much more market share.
  • Out of the top 10, the Gala token performed the best. It’s not worth overly reading into, but multiple new game announcements may have contributed to the light short-term outperformance.
  • After a drastic recent drop in the price of GMT (and GST) due to sustainability concerns, StepN owners got a smaller break from the decline this week. The same could be said for Axie Infinity, too.

Content Worth Consuming

  • Games with a Thousand Faces (Ran Mo's Blog) - “Compared to the F2P model, the transaction fee model allows players to freely transact with each other, which enables an open player economy and paves the way for large virtual communities (remember, F2P requires every player to be siloed economically). Since publishers no longer rely on virtual storefronts, they can spend less time coming up with wacky ways to sell (discounts, loot boxes, battle passes, etc.), and instead focus on the more important and player-centric task of building a player community that transacts with each other. In many ways, the transaction fee model is the marriage of the best parts of the subscription model (enablement of player economy) and the microtransaction model (access to price discrimination). Before blockchain, such a model could not be implemented for the virtual economy at scale in the same way it’s implemented for the real economy. It is now possible.”
  • Value Accrual in Play to Earn Economies (MetaPortal) - “Many games cited the existence of a treasury and value flows, but did not have transparent enough or accessible enough data reporting (contract addresses, multi-sigs…etc) for us to gather this data. We believe this is a dangerous practice, as community members have a right to know where value is flowing into, who controls it, and what it's being used for. To this end, we have put together a comprehensive reporting guideline that we believe will provide minimal overhead to gaming economies, while still greatly amplifying transparency.” Link
  • Building A Competitive Advantage in Web3 (Eliot Couvat) - “Web3 is a modular space where users have certain purposes and needs and where they find the tool to do it and piece those together. Everything in Web3 is already interrelated, and there's no problem with reprocessing data from one platform to another. And so, Web3 startups shouldn't fear composability but embrace it. The community's ability to carry their tokens wherever they go is a feature, not a bug. It will force platform builders to design bridges among protocols and platforms to incentivize a circular economy. Users aren't lost if they're still transacting with you through their new platform of choice. They aren’t lost if you're already there to meet them wherever they go.” Link
  • Is it a Ponzi? (Nat Eliason) - “Now, what about crypto projects? There are tons of crypto projects that launch, get bought into by early investors, go through a hype cycle, then drop 80-90% or more and never recover their all-time highs. The investors who sell at the top can end up making tons of money thanks to the people who bought in later as it was running up. Are those projects Ponzi schemes? Again I think we have to look at what the business is actually doing. Solana is down 85% from the all-time high, and some investors absolutely made a killing by buying it at $3 and selling it at the top. But that doesn’t mean it’s a Ponzi or pump and dump. Solana is building a real product with users who are spending SOL to use it, albeit currently much less SOL than is being emitted as staking rewards.” Link
  • Glimpsing the future through the lens of days past (Yat Siu) - “Our investment philosophy over the last few years has been to provide funding to Web3 projects that we identify as open, innovative, and conducive to the emergence of the open metaverse. We remain committed to supporting that ecosystem. Some of our portfolio companies will require support during the current cycle of hardship, and we will seek to assist those in need. We are encouraged at the level of activity that persists among the companies and projects that are building the open metaverse. While the value of many crypto tokens has dropped in recent times, the important long-term indicator that everyone should keep their eyes on is the strong growth of the Web3 market. Key talent and resources are moving to Web3, taking advantage of and helping to build exciting new opportunities. Just in the first quarter of this year, investment in blockchain gaming topped US$2.5 billion.” Link

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