Blockchain game investment rebounds to $306 million in November
2022 YTD total is $7.8 billion
I’m gearing up for some big annual retrospectives but as a taster, here’s a quick overview of what happened during November in terms of investment into the blockchain game and metaverse sector.
As ever, the data needs to be double-checked but the broad trends are what we’d expect in terms of recent months:
November — $306 million, 21 deals
October — $235 million, 20 deals
September — $292 million, 18 deals
However, it’s worth noting that almost half of November’s total was a single deal —Fenix Games’ $150 million announcement.
More generally, 2022’s year to-date investment total is $7.8 billion, with the full year total now estimated to be around $8 billion.
This compares to $4.3 billion in 2021, but 75% of 2022’s total was announced in the first half of the year.
Investment dropped off considerably after May, which coincided — perhaps causally, perhaps not — with the collapse of Luna and 3 Arrows Capital.
The number of deals announced hasn’t dropped so much, though, as these are mainly early stage pre/seed rounds.
It’s the larger value Series B and C rounds that have evaporated.
You can check out a more detailed explanation in this video.
As for December, I’d expect it to be pretty quiet. I get the impression everyone wants to finish up their outstanding deals and have a couple of weeks’ rest, hoping macro and crypto sentiment will improve next year.
And certainly from a valuation point of view, things are already looking good for investors so in the absence of any new existential threats, Q1 2023 may have surprising upside potential.
This Substack is sponsored by Hiro Capital; gotta wear shades, it’s the future!
Animoca Brands’ New Fund news?
I’m not sure how official this news is: it seems a bit rumormill, but everyone has jumped on a Nikkei snippet that Animoca Brands is launching a new metaverse fund, which could have up to $2 billion to deploy.
Certainly, chairman Yat Siu is well known for his enthusiasm for the sector, and he knows the right people having raised $800 million to-date to fuel Animoca’s hundreds of investments into the sector.
With that stated, $2 billion is a large chunk of change in the current macro environment, even if you do have the likes of Temasek, GGV Capital, Mirae Asset Management, TGC and Liberty City Ventures on speed dial.
More Marketplace Competition news
Competition between NFT marketplaces is hotting up. Uniswap’s NFT marketplace — which combines aggregation and direct listing — is now live as a tab within its main AMM.
And as part of the launch, anyone who’s used Genie, the aggregation service Uniswap Labs acquired earlier in 2022, is eligible for part of a $5 million airdrop distributed in USDC.
But this isn’t the only airdrop ongoing. The cut-off point for Blur.io’s second airdrop is Monday 5th December. Users earn this by listing NFTs on the marketplace.
Still, although its dominance is being eroded, OpenSea remains the marketplace market leader.
Don’t Build On Someone’s Platform news
The lesson arising from Microsoft banning people adding NFTs into Minecraft servers has been reinforced as Take-Two has enforced a similar ban with respect to GTA, although it’s technically not just about NFTs but about any commercial exploitation of UGC in the GTA universe.
This time, the main casualty has been Enjin-associated MyMetaverse, which was also hit by the Minecraft ban. MyMetaverse had been minting vehicle NFTs using Enjin’s Polkadot-based Efinity parachain, that could be used in its Infinity Auto GTA V mod.
The sainted Dean has a good breakdown of what happening, including comment from project CEO Simon Kertonegoro who commented that I’ve “sold my house and spent everything I own to try to prove this point. Today is a big loss for me, my team, and our players”. Ouch.
Learning From History news
Here’s an interesting interview by TechCrunch with Magic The Gathering creator Richard Garfield on his PVP game mode in blockchain game Blockchain Brawlers.
In particularly I was intrigued by his confession that in the early days of Magic, the company purposefully overprinted cards to destroy the speculative economy, which Garfield thought was “just awful for gameplay”.
On a more positive basis, Garfield says that he thinks the great advantage of blockchain experiences like this is that it’s free-to-play, with the monetization purely driven by cosmetics, and not impacting his design decisions.
Blockade Games x AI = ? news
With Neon District finally prepping to burst into action during 2023, developer Blockade Games has merged with AI tech outfit 330AI.
No doubt, many content companies are going to leveraging AI tech in future, but given her history as an artist, Blockade CEO Margerite deCourcelle looks like she has the right eye to make the most of the opportunity.
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What’s Gabe Not Saying news?
Limit Break’s Gabe Leydon is talking up his Super Bowl TV ad for Digidaigaku, which will see the project giving away 10,000 dragon NFTs via a QR code.
But, as ever, my advice is to think less about what Gabe is telling us he’s doing, and more about what he’s not telling us, even as he tell us...
“Everybody thinks we’re making a video ad. We’re creating a worldwide Web3 event in real time. That has not been done before.”