Where Players Own Their Loot: Why Initialized Capital Invested in SkyWeaver

I don’t always invest in personal childhood dreams, but when I do, they’re usually around gaming

Alexis Ohanian
Jul 24, 2019 · 3 min read
Launch trailer for the first game on ArcadeumSkyWeaver

Growing up, I loved a collectible card game that was popular with my friends called Spellfire.

No, not Magic: The Gathering — the world famous card game, which has produced over 20 billion cards in the last decade. Instead, I played the knock-off made by the owners of Dungeons & Dragons. Though Spellfire was far less popular, we nevertheless spent countless hours playing, collecting, and trading these cards. The culture and community these collectible card games create have endured and thrived even as the internet has connected us and gaming has largely moved into the digital world.

Then Hearthstone showed up and resurfaced all those feelings in a beautiful digital package. 100 million registered players later, it’s a phenomenon. But there’s still something missing: real ownership. While I’ve spent real money to buy these cards that I can use in the game, I can’t trade them, sell them, or do anything with them other than log on to Hearthstone and play with them. And yet people still spend lots of money on them (the digital game card market is already $1.5B).

Enter SkyWeaver.

It’s a digital trading card game with blockchain superpowers.

SkyWeaver’s not only fun and remarkably polished, it’s a game in which you’ll actually own all of your cards — just like in the old days.

Black Lotus: the most valuable Magic card, worth over $100,000.

One of the benefits that blockchain technology provides is digital cards with real ownership and secure transferability. This means that digital cards can now be unique and scarce the same way that physical cards can be. In SkyWeaver, you’ll own your cards, and you’ll be able to trade them, sell them, and play with them. Plus, the ownership of digital goods enabled by blockchain isn’t limited to card games, but applies to any digital item — like your Fornite outfit, or your “Sword of a Thousand Truths.”

When the Horizon team pitched us the idea of building not just the technology for a new gaming paradigm (Arcadeum) powered by Ethereum, but also a proof-of-concept game that would rival the likes of Hearthstone and Magic the Gathering Arena, our interest piqued.

To say they have delivered is an understatement. Since enjoying their first alpha in December 2018, SkyWeaver has improved steadily and dramatically in the months leading to launch. Not only does the game look like its peers, but it also works universally across browsers and mobile apps. The gameplay is dynamic and easy to learn, there’s an awesome deck builder, and I love playing — despite my win-loss ratio.

Even though I’m much better at building companies compared to decks, the amazing thing about SkyWeaver is that, whenever I do win, I actually get to keep my loot . . . unlike ‘my’ Edwin VanCleef card.

You can sign up for the SkyWeaver private beta now. Maybe we’ll even play against each other.

Initialized Capital

Stories and thoughts on early-stage entrepreneurship from a…

Thanks to Vincent Chu and Michael Sanders

Alexis Ohanian

Written by

🚀 Co-founder & managing partner, Initialized (early stage VC, $36B in market value so far); bestselling author; co-founder, Reddit.

Initialized Capital

Stories and thoughts on early-stage entrepreneurship from a venture capital firm. We fund and help startups with their first check. https://initialized.com/our-startups

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