New Finance VC
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New Finance VC

Guilds & Gaming

*NB None of the views expressed here are representative of New Finance Ventures or Mike Kelly. No mention of any app or protocol is an endorsement.

This week's podcast featured the brilliant Will Robinson PHD from Defi Alliance.

Defi Alliance is one of the most well-known and respected accelerators in the crypto ecosystem. They run two programmes: one for DeFi and one for Gaming.

So it was no surprise when Will dropped some alpha on the podcast about what he finds exciting going forward. It’s probably worth listening to.

What did he say? He is particularly excited about guilds. They are an underappreciated and not well-understood part of the burgeoning crypto gaming ecosystem.

What is a guild? A guild, at it’s most simple, is an organization (usually a DAO) full of individuals who are passionate about gaming. They play video games together.

Perhaps the most well-know is YGG (Yield Guild Games) and of course, they have a governance token (would this be crypto otherwise?).

Others include Merit Circle & Good Games Guild

Here’s the thing, web 3 video games are currently quite expensive to play, even games like Axie Infinity costing anywhere from $500–1500 to field a decent starting team.

Why do people pay that much to play these games? Because they can earn money doing it. This is the Play-2-Earn (P2E) world. In some cases, so much money they are able to do it as a full-time job. Places such as the Phillipines, Brazil & Indonesia are making the most of this opportunity, and many are earning more than they could earn at a traditional job.

These games can be expensive, you may not have the money to start, but you have the time, ability and willingness. Where do you go? To a guild.

Guilds will lend you the assets needed to play these games, for a cut of your earnings of course. You get to take these assets, go play, make money and keep X% or earn in the guilds native token.

This is interesting for a few of reasons:

  • it allows people who couldn’t afford to play to get involved
  • these guilds start to build treasuries and communities.
  • they have to manage these communities
  • these communities gain a collective bargaining/purchasing power for new games

Guilds represent a fascinating development in the P2E space.

Building good games is really hard. No I mean it, really hard.

Then you have to find an audience. Why would they come to play your game over Axie Infinity or other options? To quote Will Robinson:

“Well, what if you gave them some of your equity? What if you give this guild a piece of your company in exchange for player liquidity”

You have Players As A Service (PaaS). I was going to call it Audience as a…nevermind.

You can see the power a guild can hold, they can help bootstrap games while also accruing value to both the guild and players creating the success of these games.

Guilds begin to build up treasuries full of in-game assets across multiple platforms and equity or tokens in games the form relationships with. This value can begin to accrue to the guilds governance token.

All of this allows the guild to sponsor more players and increase their reach, impact and power.

It can be a powerful flywheel effect.

Wangarian from Defiance Capital shared a great thread on twitter with some thoughts around gaming and guilds:

The birth of these guilds is also creating opportunities for new projects to help manage them. Tools like BlockchainSpace have emerged to help guilds with: accounting & CRM, tracking assets, management, financial solutions, educational content & more.

Traditional DAO management tools are useful but as the sector continues to specialise and guilds grow larger, custom tools like BlockchainSpace will become essential.

Another example is GuildFi which, in their own words is: “ a Web3 infrastructure that connects games, NFTs, guilds and communities”. We are already seeing aggregation layers emerging like this to create more cohesion amongst these different players in the space. Guilds can use this platform to recruit new scholars, to find new games and relationships.

Guilds are a fascinating development with the potential to heavily influence to future development of blockchain gaming.

This isn’t an exhaustive exploration of guilds, we have more to come on that. It’s an introduction to some of the important concepts around them, whet the appetite of those curious.

Will also shared a great thread on the value proposition of web3 gaming for those looking to learn more:

If you are thinking of building in this space, talk to Mike Kelly & I, and also to Will Robinson at Defi Alliance!




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Kieran Parker-Moroney

Kieran Parker-Moroney

Interested in learning. Art collector, investor, DeFi obsessed, golfer.

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