In today’s edition of The Daily, we focus on the intersection between the cryptocurrency industry and gaming. A game startup recently raised $16 million from investors such as Okcoin and Galaxy Digital, while the developers of a game backed by the investment arm of Coinbase have released a new gameplay trailer. And in related news, a recent report shows that young people prefer cryptocurrency and in-game coins over fiat cash.
Mythical Games Secures $16M of Funding
Mythical Games, a new Los Angeles-headquartered game studio, announced on Friday that it has secured $16 million in a Series-A financing round. The funds will support the development and co-production of blockchain-powered games for mobile devices, PCs and consoles. The round was led by Galaxy Digital and included Okcoin, Javelin Venture Partners, Divergence Digital, Fenbushi and Noris.
The startup plans to provide its proprietary platform to other developers to help build “player-owned” economies. It will also produce tools for brands to monetize their game assets.
“We believe that gaming — and specifically players’ interaction with in-game economies and virtual goods — will play a key role in how the masses first discover the true potential of the blockchain,” said Mike Novogratz, CEO and Founder of Galaxy Digital. “Mythical’s experience building rich and immersive game worlds will be invaluable to this mission.”
The company was founded by former executives from Activision, Blizzard and Yahoo. They each previously led development teams for games such as “Call of Duty” and “World of Warcraft.”
“The investment from Galaxy, Javelin, and our other new investors will allow us to ignite a new approach to developing games, giving players and content creators a bigger stake in the games they love,” commented John Linden, co-founder and CEO of Mythical Games. “We believe these new economics will come to dominate gaming, resulting in an even bigger addressable market for the industry.”
On Saturday, Mythical Games revealed its first collectibles game, “Blankos Block Party.”
Fuel Games Releases ‘Gods Unchained’ Trailer
Fuel Games, another blockchain-powered game development company that was founded earlier this year, released an official gameplay trailer on Thursday for its upcoming title “Gods Unchained.” The startup raised $2.4 million in seed funding in May and is backed by Coinbase Ventures, Continue Capital, Sora Ventures and Nirvana Capital.
“Gods Unchained” is a competitive collectible trading card game, like a cross between “Magic: The Gathering,” “Hearthstone” and “Crypto Kitties.” Fuel Games also announced on Thursday that it will begin rolling out a closed beta of the game “over the next week or two.”
Teenagers Want Bitcoin for Christmas
Beyond investments by cryptocurrency exchanges in blockchain-powered games, another connection between crypto and gaming is that young people tend to prefer in-game digital currencies over old fiat money. Piper Jaffray, an investment banking and asset management firm, on Wednesday published its “Holiday 2018” consumer report, which rates the gift preferences of American teenagers. The reports shows that for the first time ever, young people prefer cryptocurrency and “V-Bucks” as presents over fiat cash, gift cards and money for car-related expenses.
The V-Buck is the in-game currency of the battle royale game “Fortnite.” The wildly popular title has been raking in hundreds of millions of real-world dollars per month from the sale of in-game assets, despite being free to play. The game’s incredible commercial success is probably a major contributing factor to the recent increase in game-development funding, as many investors hope to capitalize on its popularity.
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