Through a token sale, AO Labs raised $4.5 million for its Spacebar community-driven Web3 gaming platform. Its backers are a who's who of Web3 gaming.
AO Labs is a virtual studio founded by gaming and technology veterans Joony Koo and Christy Choi. They believe that gaming will lead the way to Web3, the blockchain-based internet dreamers' dream. They're working on a casual game that the community may help construct, but they haven't said much yet.
Yield Guild Games led the round, with 70 investors including some of the most well-known companies in crypto and gaming. They include Gabby Dizon, CEO of YGG; Balaji Srinivasan and Sandeep Nailwal of Polygon; Jeff Jiho Zirlin of Axie Infinity creator Sky Mavis; and Kyu Lee of Com2uS.
In an interview with GamesBeat, the studio's objective is to create a playground for Web 3 communities. AO Labs is committed to creating a community-owned, open-source game platform called Spacebar.
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I believe gaming will be the piece that engages all of these different building blocks across crypto, according to Choi. That is why I am so eager to develop this game because it might be the vehicle for mass adoption. It is because while playing the game, you will interact with all of the different tools being built in this area. We will act as a point of interaction for all of these individuals in crypto.
Spacebar is a space-themed casual game that integrates Web 3 tools such as a decentralized identification system, decentralized finance (DeFi), non-fungible tokens (NFTs), and game guilds. The company isnt yet revealing what kind of blockchain technology it will use.
The seed round investors are all angels and are leaders in Web3, from some of the world's largest protocols, networks, and funds. Other than YGG, there are also other big names in the world.
Spacebar is convinced that a game that is both enjoyable and built together with the community can result in widespread adoption of Web 3 and crypto. Spacebars' builder-only raise is an important first step in developing a community-owned composable game, according to Koo.
Choi stated, "We are committed to creating a game that is both sustainable in its development and enjoyable for players, both from the gameplay itself as well as by the fact that users actively participate in the creation of the game and its governance."
Dizon of YGG said in a statement that YGG is thrilled to support the AO Labs team in their quest to improve ownership economy and composability through games in Web3.
Spacebar will release its first game in the next months. The group includes alumni from Binance, Kakao, Coupang, Com2uS, and venture-backed businesses.
Koo was a judge for the International Mobile Gaming Awards (IMGA) years ago, and he got to see a lot of great mobile games in his position. Choi was a founding director at Binance Labs, which invested in a wide array of crypto and early-stage blockchain businesses. She also served on the boards of several companies.
Joony had been talking about making this game for a while, and so we started. We wanted to empower the community and develop a game where we played with the community. We decided we should not go to the money first. We reached out to all the creators of the Web3 space, people we trust.
Although they raised a round, they arent yet ready to talk about what they are planning to develop. However, the company is putting its employees to the test.
Choi and Koo said they know that startups can fall during a bear market, but the finest things with cool technology can still make money. The companies that make real games can thrive, and that's what AO Labs wants to do.
Choi said there must be a reason why people want to participate in a game. It's going to be a different kind of fun. The users will have a lot of fun designing the game and having control over how they define fun. That's an issue that we're trying to address.
Koo said the group is working on a slew of different concepts for what this implies. It's like going back to 2009 when everybody's definition of mobile games changed. We think of it as something like a native blockchain game. The genre itself is difficult to define. But the core team will be curating assets to provide to players. It will be simple, with simple leaderboards.
The advantage is that we curate really well and were not just following what the users told us to do, according to Koo.
The game will be free to sell assets, and players will be actively involved in the updates. He believes native blockchain games will triumph. They want the game and its technology to be compatible with other games and to be easy to use. Ultimately, they hope to develop a token that might be used for governance, or giving players some voice in the game.
Koo remembers the beginning of free-to-play games, when everyone was chastised for being sloppy. The same is happening now, but that doesn't mean all Web3 games will be terrible.
Koo noted that the difference between now and now was between now. If we are like Supercell in launching a game in 2010, then we are attempting to become the native blockchain game business that understands both the inside and the outside of constructing a game on blockchain. This is what we must work on and understand.