The consortium called NG+ will seek to fund experienced, traditional video-game developers and studios, and help them with token economics and liquidity as they create blockchain-based titles. The members will receive minority stakes in the efforts’ tokens, said Richard Kim, general partner at Galaxy Interactive, billionaire Mike Novogratz’s venture arm.
The blockchain-gaming industry became red hot last year, led by the games such as Axie Infinity that let users earn tokens. A myriad of copycats has emerged since, and so have many venture funds focused on blockchain gaming.
Last year, Solana Ventures, FTX and Lightspeed Venture Partners created a $100 million gaming fund. Retailer GameStop Corp. said it was in talks with partners to create funds to support gaming startups and nonfungible token developers.
“Our idea with this consortium was, Can we reach out to real game developers who’d love to introduce tokens and NFTs into their games but don’t know how?” Kim said. “We are targeting people with traditional gaming experience who want an introduction to crypto.”
There are already more than 1,450 active blockchain-based game apps listed on industry tracker DappRadar. Meanwhile many large traditional gaming companies are staying on the sidelines, waiting for laws and regulations surrounding crypto gaming to get settled worldwide, Kim said.
“There’s no shortage of practical hurdles to consider,” Kim said. “The first ones likely to be successful here are startups that are willing to take more risks in this space.”
Video-game spending got a boost during the pandemic, as many consumers stayed home instead of going out for entertainment. It stayed high even as lockdowns ended. In the U.S. alone, spending on video-game subscription services not counting mobile subscriptions rose 14% last year, according to researcher NPD.
The consortium has already invested in three efforts: GreenPark Sports, which focuses on sports and esports in the metaverse; Delysium, which is building a player-owned, open-world game experience set in the future, and Mirror World, which enables cross-platform social gaming.
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