Top News

#1: NFTs – Where Music and Gaming Collide

Source: Peakd

After performing in the Super Bowl and launching NFTs in The Sandbox, Snoop Dogg announced his intention to turn Death Row Records (which he acquired last month) into a NFT music label. Snoop has been a huge proponent of blockchains, NFTs, and the metaverse writ large, but this ups the ante for music’s involvement in the space. Expect him to continue pushing boundaries with his influence and help bridge the gap to fans who don’t understand web3 just yet.

Not to be outdone by Snoop Dogg, Splinterlands successfully launched its promotional card tied to rapper Waka Flocka (the first phase sold out in under one minute) and announcement that the company is partnering with Warner Music Group. Splinterlands has been one of the top blockchain games since last year, and we recently published our deep dive about it. It remains to be seen exactly what will come of this partnership; it’s a strange duo, but we’re curious to see where it goes.

#2: Matthew Wolf Clarifies Zynga’s Blockchain Future

Source: Mobidictum

Ever since Take-Two Interactive’s recently announced acquisition of Zynga, there’s been speculation on what it might mean for Zynga’s interest in blockchain gaming. Thanks to an interview with the recently hired “Crypto Czar” Matthew Wolf, we finally get some detail. Most importantly, we learn that Zynga is (smartly) trying to target the crypto enthusiast audience first, not the typical casual gaming audience.

Wolf doesn’t mention whether or not Zynga intends to do anything blockchain-related with Take-Two’s successful IPs, but he does mention that executives across the two companies share similar viewpoints on the space. The interview also digs into how he hopes to navigate resistance from gamers and other skeptical audiences. Given the number of recent backfires from gaming publishers this seems like an important topic to solve for before trying to work with any of the combined company’s most important franchises.

Game Announcements

Source: Carbon Based Lifeforms
  • Scotland-based Carbon Based Lifeforms announced its new project: Hyperspace, a free-to-play and play-to-earn MMO set in a space-based sandbox. The game is designed tokenless, chain-agnostic, and powered by Metanomic, a game economy engine the company designed for web3 games. Link
  • Fancy Birds, a play-to-earn spiritual successor to Flappy Bird, launched its gameplay. The game is intended to be the start of a collection of casual play-to-earn games. Link
  • Axie Infinity is looking to release an Alpha of its long awaited Origin update by the end of March, but they are delaying Land features. Link
  • Related, Axie Infinity recently surpassed $4 billion in lifetime NFT trading volume. Despite its recent economic struggles, changes, and pivots, Axie remains the top dog of blockchain games. Link
  • Netmarble is going all in on blockchain gaming. The company is integrating blockchain technology into their existing game economies starting with A3: Still Alive. The intention is to use a token called Inetrium across multiple games. Link
  • Kongregate announced two games coming to the Immutable network later this year. Link

Funding Announcements

Source: Sequoia Capital
  • Sequoia Capital launched a $500-600 million crypto fund for primarily investing in “liquid tokens.” Sequoia is no stranger to the space, having invested in crypto as far back as 2015. Link
  • Metaverse Mining Alliance, an emerging guild (that, full disclosure, Naavik is working with) raised over $12 million in its IDO.
  • Encore Studios received $7 million in funding for its blockchain game MixMob. The round was led by Defiance Capital, and the game will eventually be a play-to-earn MMO on the Solana blockchain. Link
  • Heroes of Mavia, a “AAA Blockchain Base Builder” currently in development, raised $2.5 million in a funding round led by Capital. This is in addition to $5.5 million raised last month, meaning the team now has $8 million to put to work. Link
  • Jam City, a well established mobile game developer, released the Prime Eternals NFTs for its highly anticipated entry into blockchain gaming, Champions Ascension. Expect these to sell quickly. Link
  • Worldspark Studios raised $3 million in seed funding for a MOBA that uses NFT cosmetics. The round was co-led by Animoca Brands, the studio is made up of AAA talent, and the project has been in development for a few years. Link
  • Spellfire raised $3.8 million to try and improve on the hotly contested NFT collectible card game space (Splinterlands, Gods Unchained, Skyweaver) by incorporating physical cards linked by QR codes. Link

Ecosystem Updates

Source: SiegeGG
  • FTX is launching a gaming division to better support game publishers wanting to integrate the blockchain into their games. The company has been a big supporter of gaming, and its Rainbow Six TSM FTX team just won the world championship last week. Link
  • Gala Games has finally unveiled plans for its ecosystem blockchain infrastructure, Project GYRI. The “GalaChain” as it was previously known has been expected for some time and a test event will be launched over the next few weeks. Link
  • Yield Guild Games released its community update for Q4 of 2021, which showcases the guild’s continued growth and current involvement in 48 projects. Link
  • Kickstarter still wants to push forward with blockchain support and is trying to find a way to avoid intense backlash with some compromises. Given the Kickstarter-like nature of many token/NFT sales and how important Kickstarter has been to gaming (especially tabletop), it seems like a natural and vital push for the company. Link

Notable Market Moves


The top 10 gaming-related tokens all pretty much shared the same weekly downward trend. This was also generally true for the rest of crypto, including Bitcoin and Ethereum. It’s easy to speculate why this bear market is happening — prices were too high, geopolitical instability, pandemic repercussions, etc. — but 1) it’s not the first and won’t be the last bear market, and 2) when prices move in sync, it’s important to not overthink the price movements of any one game or token. Fundamentally, teams across the sector continue to build and show significant progress. The hype cycle may continue to roll on, but it’s important to keep an eye on the projects with great people that are executing quickly. These projects, of which there are a growing number, will set the ecosystem up for meaningful long-term growth, and short-term price volatility doesn’t change that.

  • Following a release on Feb 9th,  the idle game Pizza Game has quickly climbed to the #2 game on Avalanche. It’s already gained 35% in users and 166% in transactions this week. Link
  • NFT World’s WRLD token experienced a 298% price increase over the past 30 days and has only dipped slightly in the last couple days. For those who are less familiar, NFT Worlds is a virtual world that’s compatible with Minecraft. Link
  • Bomb Crypto has been fighting to dominate Binance Smart Chain gaming since temporarily knocking Mobox off #1 in January. The team recently launched Adventure Mode and announced many upcoming features
  • Sunflower Farmers, which released last month on Polygon and was subsequently shut down due to bot activity driving up gas fees, has seen continued activity in its “dead” smart contracts despite the shutdown. That activity, still mostly driven by bots, has finally dropped off recently thanks to a heavy decline in the $SFF token.

Content Worth Consuming

  • On The Metacast by Naavik, the team talked about Crypto Raiders with Nick from the development team. The game has some interesting innovations and a passionate community behind its slowly expanding launch. Link
  • Ryan Wyatt, who recently moved from Head of Gaming at YouTube to CEO of Polygon Studios, talks about why he moved to web3. Link
  • Joakim Achren joined the Deconstructor of Fun podcast and discussed the current state of raising capital for mobile and web3 games. Link
  • Philip La, who recently moved from Pokemon Go to Axie Infinity, has been writing great Twitter threads about various Axie Infinity topics, the latest of which is about the game’s Land endeavors. Link