A16z new fund $600 million all in Yuan universe game, how will gamefi go in the future?

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On the evening of May 18, Beijing time, Silicon Valley's top VC a16z announced the launch of a $600 million yuan universe game fund dedicated to investing in the best founders of the game industry. In order to cooperate with the launch of this fund, a16z official twitter account avatars and banner have been replaced with game element images, which seems to tell you that they are ready for all in.

In the context of the cold winter of capital, a16z launched such a heavy fund focusing on a certain field, which has explained many problems.

In the official announcement, a16z it was mentioned that:

"Games have also driven innovation in the entire consumer ecosystem, creating first-class user participation, retention and monetization mechanisms, such as micro trading, battle pass and Web3 tokens. In the long run, we believe that game infrastructure and technology will be a key part of the metauniverse, an opportunity that will dwarf the current $300 billion game industry itself."

Up to now, the metauniverse game projects that a16z Games has laid out include more than 30 teams such as forte, dapper labs, Yuga labs, improvable, sky Mavis, bonfire studios and altavr, which are officially givenIn a 1 minute 15 second videoAll present.

A16z's metauniverse game investment theory

About the investment direction of metauniverse game, a16zinvestment theoryIt reads:

โ€œIn the past decade, games have completely transformed from packaged entertainment to online services similar to social networks, with a scale similar to that of consumer technology companies. Today's games also promote the innovation of the whole consumer ecosystem through new methods of participation, retention and monetization. We believe that in the next century, games will play a key role in defining the way we socialize, play and work.โ€

It can be seen that the game defined by a16z is no longer limited to the game we traditionally understand, which also includes two meta cosmic application scenarios of "social" and "work". In this paper, we focus on the game itself.

Six basic elements of the universe game

In my opinion, a metauniverse game needs many conditions to achieve long-term success, and the following are some of them:

1. Do you have experience in developing large-scale games

Before the game has been developed, investors and players can only judge the quality of the game according to the pictures or trailers given by the project party, but we simply rely on "ppt" is not enough. If a team does not have relevant talents to develop the game, the game may always be in the state of talking on paper.

Some chain game teams with developers from large game companies such as Ubisoft, Blizzard, Epic Games and riot games are more likely to produce an attractive metauniverse game.

In this regard, we can judge the development strength of a team by investigating LinkedIn data.

2. Supported investment institutions and game guild Dao

Compared with other Web3 projects, the game may rely more on the support of investment institutions, so the metauniverse game project supported by top VC is more likely to succeed.

Up to now, the leading metauniverse game investment institutions include a16z, paradise, three arrows capital, binance labs, FTX (Alameda Research), animoca brands, Sequoia Capital, framework ventures, etc.

In addition, "game guild Dao" can also bring great help to a game. At present, YGG, which is popular because of axie infinity, is widely regarded as the most influential game guild Dao in this field. In addition, there are maindao, pathdao, guildfi, merit circle, avocado guide, good games Guide, blockchainspace, gamefi guide, paragonsdao Various game guild Daos such as readyplayerdao.

In my opinion, the competition of game guild Dao has just begun, because there will be a large number of meta universe games in the future, and there will be a very close mutually beneficial symbiotic relationship between these game guild Dao and the games they choose to support.

3. Game playability and balance

When a game enters the playable stage, players will judge the success probability of the game through experience.

Here are some important factors:

  1. Game screen(a good game picture can bring visual impact to people, so it is easier to become a good game)
  2. Balance(whether shooting, strategy or RPG Games, balance is crucial to the sustainable development of the game)
  3. Innovation(a successful game must be constantly innovated to bring fresh experience to players. In addition to conventional game playing methods, it can also introduce new technology experiences such as AR and VR)

4. Can the underlying blockchain infrastructure of the game support large-scale applications?

As the underlying infrastructure of the metauniverse game, the blockchain (whether L1, L2 or L3) must be extensible, because when we find a fun game, it will naturally attract a large number of players to interact at the same time. If the underlying blockchain is not extensible, the game cannot move towards large-scale application.

At present, the game project party will have many options to develop Ethereum side chain, avalanche subnet, Cosmos hub, Polkadot parallel chain, or migrate to Ethereum L2 or L3, Solana, flow and other public chain infrastructure.

In the case of axie infinity, I am not optimistic about the game project party developing the underlying infrastructure. Although this helps to improve the narrative, it may be very unwise to disperse the team's energy into areas where they are not good at.

5. Game economy design (including token economy)

For encryption players familiar with gamefi, game economic design is naturally a very important part, which involves the design of game equipment, land, rare resources, currency and other components.

At present, land and token are usually designed as limited resources, and they are also the most common hype targets in the game field.

In general, good game economic design is also very important for the sustainability of the game.

6. Is there a free to play mechanism?

At present, most chain games can only be experienced by holding NFT, which is helpful to promote the price growth of NFT in the short term. However, it also raises a problem that the potential player group is very limited (because few people can afford thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars of initial game investment).

If the project side launches a free to play mechanism, that is, players who do not hold NFT can experience the game for free, but do not give them token rewards, or only give very few token rewards, the group scalability of the game will be greatly increased and it will be easier to succeed.

How to see metauniverse games

About how to treat the meta universe game, if the people around you who play the game tell you:

"No fun, don't want to play".

Then you should understand that this is the opportunity. We are still in a very early stage.

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