Kevin Lin, a blockchain game company, has created a Metatheory and has raised $24 million for it.
In an interview with GamesBeat, San Francisco-based Metatheory will focus on producing high-quality games and virtual worlds that utilize blockchain technologies such as non-fungible tokens. The company is currently developing a new game called DuskBreakers.
The round was led by Andreessen Horowitz, who include cryptocurrency companies Pantera Capital and FTX Ventures as investors. Metatheory, which was first established in the third quarter last year, is focusing on building web 3 games and virtual worlds across innovative new franchise intellectual properties.
I believe that ownership in the digital economy, particularly as we emerge into whatever the metaverse might be, will result in blockchain becoming a major technological form. So, for me, it is inevitable. I invested in Axie Infinity in January 2021. But because the ecosystem is so confusing from an end-user perspective, I wanted to build something there.
Metatheory is expanding its gaming presence into the web 3 world, with a strong focus on building franchises with exceptional IP that go beyond the games itself.
According to a Jonathan Lai and his partner, Metatheory is changing how games and stories are presented from the bottom up using web 3 primitives. We couldnt be more pleased to partner with Kevin Lin and the team on a journey to develop the next-generation Disney.
In the midst of the epidemic, Metatheorys officially kicked off in August 2021. David Barthwell and JT Gleason are among the cofounders.
Lin said that after early summer, Dave and I started talking about the idea. It was truly the result of being in Taiwan and meeting a lot of people in cryptocurrency. We were then discussing web 3 together and then decided to take the plunge towards the end of summer.
Lin said he had been crypto tense since 2011, as Kyle Vogt, the cofounder of Twitch, was mining Bitcoin from the Twitchs offices.
I never felt anything as a kid. He said, "I was kind of in and out and I would buy some here and there, just because he was curious." So, being in Taiwan, among all these crypto people, I became more committed to developing something with games.
The founding members include art director Darren Geers, chief operating officer Adam Bao, vice president of game development Nick Fotheringam, Nelson Wang, and Bernie Su, a three-time Emmy winner.
Lins'' other previous cofounder, Justin Kan, has also established Fractal, an NFT gaming marketplace. All of them are part of a Gold Rush to help fund blockchain games. Game venture capitalists have recently reported that 50% to 90% of all games from game companies are blockchain related.
Lin said the team started by developing an intellectual property. The group had a sense of imagination when it came to Twitch. Bernie Su, who joined as a founding team member, performed an interactive game on Twitch, which saw the audience vote through live polls to determine which characters would continue on the show and what they would do.
Lin said that if we could do this as a full-blown game, we could build the story and the lore with our community. That was the most important part of our first concept. It was about the relationship between humans and nature, but it was lighthearted and with a little bit of dark humor.
According to Lin, it would be a virtual reality game called Pokemon meets Tamagotchi in an AR world. However, after months with various AR platforms, the team decided to come up with something different.
Eventually, Geers, the artists director, had done a lot of cyborg art. So the team leaned into it and came up with the DuskBreakers'' intellectual property.
The world of DuskBreakers is set around 50 or 60 years old, where everything will be digital and cryptocurrency rules. Then a giant alien spaceship called the Dusk shows up. The power goes off all over the world, and this mysterious object in the sky disturbs everyone. The rich nations send shuttles up to the object, and they discover it is a dormant spaceship.
Lin refers to this game as a mint. It includes things that the planet needs, such as rare earth metals and minerals. And innovative techniques can save the planet. Those who joined the game first were the ones who were able to get the NFTs first.
In December 2021, Metatheory opened the DuskBreakers franchise with world art designed by Geers, a former lead illustrator at Twitch. It''s a science fiction metaverse and gaming experience powered by blockchain.
In just six days, DuskBreakers sold out its first 10,000 NFTS (the Genesis DuskBreakers). In the tale, the people who purchase the NFTs are the ones who go up to the spaceship first. They will be living in a cyborg, where enhanced humans will live among regular humans.
What does it really mean for us? What does that mean for society? Lin said, we can live longer, we can have superpowers in many different ways, shapes, and forms. Any normal human might improve. That''s what we were tackling at a high level.
NFTs each represent one of the first 10,000 recruited Breakers who travel up to the Dusk via a space elevator and spend their days exploring a massive, dismal alien spaceship The Dusk hovering above the surface. The Breakers make many choices as a community will resale history in a different era, ranging from NFTs to comics, animations and video games.
DuskBreakers'' second free-to-play minigame, Beast Battler, was released by Metatheory in January 2022, with a boss fighting in the same environment as the first minigame. Additional NFT drops, games, and content are expected to be released throughout the year and beyond, with a full play-and-earn game scheduled for launch in Q4.
I asked if Lin was aware of Freeverse.io, which is developing nanotechnology devices that can evolve over time, to handle live operations, item upgrades, and bug fixes. And Lin said he was also interested in the technology.
The concept of the system must be more careful, according to the author. It''s important to be much more sensitive than any character. I think it''s important to be very specific. That''s why gamers are used to upgrading their characters.
Metatheory has grown to a combined 42 employees, including veteran artists, writers, producers, game developers, engineers, and experienced community developers.
Kevin Lin is one of the most experienced makers in creating digital communities, and has already done so with the DuskBreakers NFT collection. "We are grateful to assist him in achieving this goal as a live game," said Amy Wu, head of ventures and commercial at FTX Ventures.
Lin believes that being focused on leading with excellent games is vital, and that investing is important.
As you may see with the crypto ecosystem this week this week, everything is not very stable, unfortunately, and its quite volatile and quite fragile. I like how people [like FTX] think about the global ecosystem. We thought they would be great investors and advisors for us in the near future.
Kevin Lins'' vision for future gaming and the creation of franchise IP, according to Paul Veradittakit, the general partner at Pantera Capital, has us very excited to partner on this opportunity to progress on web 3-enabled gaming.
Addressing the criticism around NFTs
As many as 100,000 players enter the game, they believe that NFTs are the future. Lin was talking with his friends in gaming about it and talking to creators as well, and he came to the conclusion that web 3 would be required.
I believe that ownership in the digital world, particularly as we enter into whatever the metaverse might be, will make blockchain an important technology. So, for me, it is inevitable. I invested in Axie Infinity in January 2021. I realized the ecosystem was so unreliable from an end-user perspective. But, since I thought that technology would be so jarring, I wanted to create something there.
Lin said he is aware of many criticisms about NFTs by some game developers and gamers. He said the company will utilize a sustainable blockchain that will be efficient in computing usage and therefore it will not impact climate change.
The team decided to sell NFTs without producing any real elements of the game first. So they clocked the core lore and the artwork and wanted to spark fan interest first. So it started with free-to-play elements rather than launching a play-and-earn economy immediately.
Lin said that I wanted to develop something that felt good to the user and wasn''t too thin in depth.
The team possesses experience in gaming, social media, and design areas. They settled on a strategy of developing multiple minigames to build out the tale first.
We focus a lot on understanding the user journey. Besides, we focus a lot on developing good, fun games at the core. A lot of what you see out there is not just fun. It''s almost just like a sheen on the go, which was already a very thin system in decentralized finance. So were taking the approach of making great games, lets build great engaging experiences, and figure out how the token can fit naturally into it.
Lin hopes to develop a metaverse-like experience for players over the years. He believes that his team is striving to develop non-traditional companies that are beyond what we have previously experienced.
Lin said he believes that some crypto enthusiasts have not realized that the game''s commercialization strategy is a crucial component of the relationship with the player. It determines whether or not the player will trust the game creators.
Bitcoin is a crazy chaotic world, according to Lin. Were learning, sometimes with more anxiety on some days than other, but it is also a rich subject.
People outside of the games community are not really aware of it, according to Lin. So the games community is not so simple to understand. It''s really about learning how to manage a community.
Lin said that the cryptocurrency industry is in its early stages and his team is still learning. He added that the rise and fall nature of the cryptocurrency market has been distracting. He said, I dont have all the answers right now, but I was constantly thinking through this. Were constantly involved with our community through this. Were constantly connecting with people who are actually thinkers. Were also focused on building something we believe will be beneficial to the community and
Lin believes that the cryptocurrency component must be very easy to understand and almost invisible in the commerce system. It will require a lot of technology and possibly some regulatory changes.
He believes that the blockchain gaming industry should be able to communicate how environmentally sound the ecosystem is when it comes to protecting the environment, and that it must also communicate how the games will be fun rather than a source of income.
Id say my smartest game industry friends are keenly curious but cautious. I think a lot of people come into the area that are amazing, like veteran designers or musicians. However, it''s important to think about the sheer amount of money you may spend on it here now. On the other hand, you have a lot of individuals that are willing to hire out there. Blockchain, as a part of the games ecosystem, is always necessary.