PlaiLabs raises $32m in a seed round led by a16z.
PlaiLabs is building web3 social platforms (a year ago everyone would have called it metaverse) with the use of AI. Not much info is publicly available, so we’ll just have to wait what that means.
Their first game is Champions Ascension, where AI will play a vital role, according to the team.
PlaiLabs is led by Chris DeWolfe and Aber Whitcomb, who have previously co-founded game studio Jam City and social media platform MySpace.
Jam City facts:
30m MAU across titles (e.g. Disney Emoji Blitz, Hogwarts Mystery, Frozen Adventures)
Started with Match3 games but later expanded into other genres like Puzzle, RPG and Strategy
Focused on licensed games, for example with Disney, Harry Potter, Frozen, and Family Guy
a16z shared an short article explaining their investment:
— Voodoo (french hypercasual game studio and publisher) reveals its own blockchain ecosystem ‘Voodoo Infinity‘, launching in Q3 2023. 10 games are in development right now, with 3 planned for the launch. Voodoo Infinity will be launching as an app on the App Store and Google Play Store.
— Createra raises $10m Series A led by a16z. Createra is a cloud-based engine, allowing players to easily build multiplayer games with web3 elements. Createra aims to become the metaverse for UGC creators.
As a result of the announcement, Createra’s Genesis Land collection (FREE mint on January 14) jumped from a 0.25 ETH floor to 1.75 ETH at the peak. At the time of writing, floor price is 0.8 ETH.
Createra so far has been focused on Asia, accumulating ~15 million, 500k builders and 1.3 million average monthly users.
— Club Game developer Formation Games expands development team with 3 industry veterans.
— Scenario, an AI-powered art engine for games, raises 6m
— Intella X announces $12m raise
— Stardust integrates Avalanche
— Avalanche x ReadyPlayerDAO
— TreasureDAO x MetaFab
— Parallel starter decks are coming to the Coinbase NFT marketplace before game release
— MatchBoxDAO launches eSports tournaments for developers. The goal is to find the best technical team
— GDC survey: “Only 23 percent of developers say that their studios are interested in Web3 technology“
tbh, 23% doesn’t sound too bad, keeping in mind the negative NFT news in mainstream media and that there hasn’t been a (non-speculative) hit game yet.
— Analysis of the skin economy in CS:GO
— Currencies in game economies
Taking on this central banking function may also introduce a new revenue stream for games (buying low, selling high).
— Overview of Nor’s Economy
I already provided my views in the WolvesDAO Discord, so just gonna share them here as well. Nor is one of the projects I’m looking forward to the most
— Jonah Blake on the FOGDAO Podcast, talking about value accrual in web3 games
Quick summary (more insights in the episode):
Game NFTs get value from the social significance of the game (note: especially for skins.). Other NFTs get value from art, price momentun, liquidity, etc.
As all games die after some time (with only a few notable exceptions), gaming tokens will tend to zero. The risk/reward is not there to try to find the exceptions. Jonah prefers publisher tokens over game tokens.
Note: I also wrote about the topic
— Breaking video game economies
h/t @0xAhri for the find
— Lighspeed is betting big on gaming
— Bankless show on the Arbitrum ecosystem, with TreasureDAO and Beacon
🕵️ New projects
Chief revenue officer for web3 games, spotting opportunities to retain, convert and nurture their most valuable players.
Turning your browser into multiplayer mode.
To make things more exciting (and give myself a space to share whatever I want), I decided to add a little surprise section to the newsletter. Sometimes it will be there, sometimes it won’t. The content will always be different.
This time, I wanted to use the section to recommend a great Substack about game design I just discovered this week.
Go check out:
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This is a big surprise to me too! Thanks for the feature!