Playstudios, a publicly traded mobile gaming platform and developer, is venturing into the web3 world with a new blockchain division and investment fund.
The gaming entity, which owns popular mobile apps like Tetris, is now launching a new blockchain-focused sector, which will use “rewarded play” to leverage blockchain technology and deliver more rewarding experiences to users across its portfolio of games. It also announced a $10 million investment, Future Fund, to back companies building rewarded play options.
In the past, the gaming studio accumulated a massive portfolio of free-to-play games -- like MGM Slots Live, myVEGAS Slots and others -- that provide players the ability to earn real-world rewards through its loyalty program. To date, its community has used its in-app loyalty points to purchase more than 10 million rewards, the company said.
“As we enter into the web3 space, we’ve kind of been doing play-to-earn for 10 years, so I’d argue we’re the pioneers in the world of play,” Andrew Pascal, founder and CEO of Playstudios, said to TechCrunch. “We’ve spent a lot of our energy thinking about how to reward players in our games.”
The new division will be built upon the acquisition of blockchain-based loyalty platform for games WonderBlocks, as well as a strategic alliance with blockchain infrastructure gaming developer Forte.
“A lot has been made in the promise of web3 games,” Pascal said. “The fact that people can acquire assets that are no longer specific to one game, it’s really massive that it can enrich over time as that asset can be incorporated and leveraged across games. Interoperability is one of the more exciting dimensions of what web3 gaming can unlock.”
Its fund has already made investments in blockchain gaming technology like Forte and will be used to grow its strategic innovation through blockchain loyalty and reward models, Pascal said.
Last month, industry players said that the web3 gaming industry is one of the few sectors seemingly less affected by current crypto market conditions due to gamers seeking entertainment regardless of volatility, though overall sales volumes in the sector are still broadly slumping. The blockchain gaming space has continued to court attention over the past year as developers and funds alike continue to bank on the industry through new capital and innovations.
“It’s our intention to continue growing, adopting and diversifying our games and audiences and the things we offer our players,” Pascal said. “With the emergence of blockchain models and web3 space, we certainly have watched how it has evolved in all its different forms. We think we’ll have a unique take in the way we approach tokenizing our loyalty programs to continue to enrich the benefits for players.”