Animoca Brands take an early position on the future of play-to-earn gaming
Animoca Brands has pledged to fund a Guild Accelerator Program to the tune of $30 million. The Hong Kong-based investor has clearly identified the money-making potential of play-to-earn gaming. But what have they seen that’s made them so confident?
Animoca Brands yesterday announced its plans to set up a Guild Accelerator Program, with funding of up to $500,000 per guild. The goal is to promote growth and encourage innovation in the industry. With these in mind, Animoca Brands is prioritizing those groups of gamers who show a commitment to ecological and social sustainability.
Funding is available to guilds worldwide, as Animoca Brands looks to tap into the global reach of the online gaming industry. With 3.2 billion gamers spread across the planet and billions of dollars changing hands in daily trading, it’s no wonder the venture capital firm wants to join the party while there’s still space. For anyone who wants to apply to the Guild Accelerator Program, online applications are open until February 27th.
Today’s play-to-earn market
Animoca Brands is positioning itself for tomorrow’s expanded P2E gaming market. The gaming company already owns a variety of play-to-earn games and invested in many more. They own The Sandbox, Crazy Defense Heroes and REVV Racing, while they invested in Axie Infinity and Star Atlas. Each of these games offer a play-to-earn opportunity for gamers. But what does today’s environment look like for people already playing and earning money within it?
In 2021, the industry generated $4.5 billion in NFT trading and these numbers will only grow over the next few years. The Sandbox, one of the P2E gaming heavyweights, closed its November 2021 Series B round with a $93 million investment from the famed growth investor SoftBank. And as we can see in the graph below, transaction numbers in gaming are far higher than those for other areas of the decentralized landscape.
One more thing to note is that the blockchain gaming industry is not a single thing in itself; it comprises all parts of the decentralized ecosystem. This means crypto money is spent on gaming and people earn, trade and use NFTs. Blockchain technology can be used in a role that supports the gaming experience, as in games like Chainmonsters. Or games can be based entirely on the blockchain, as in games like Splinterlands, where every player action is recorded and stored forever.
This is why the gaming industry is seen as such a good bet for the future. Because even if one area sees some decline, another one can act as a hedge. The graph below shows how the DeFi market turned bearish towards the end of 2021. But NFTs were able to pick up the slack and gaming has continued to boom as a result.
The return of the guild
The word guild might conjure images of medieval livery companies or a loose-knit bunch of bounty hunters from the Star Wars universe. But on today’s decentralized platforms, guilds are highly organized groups of gamers who offer scholarships, educational opportunities and a share of their P2E spoils.
Many of them are decentralized autonomous organizations (DAO) and all of them have the aim of promoting true decentralization through blockchain protocols.
- Merit Circle: this guild plays games across 20 platforms and has 2,750 scholars earning money on its behalf. Scholars keep 70% of their earnings and each month the guild takes on 100 new gamers. Merit Circle gamers have earned $2 million and the guild has $124 million in assets. The guild is structured into subDOAs, with each one being responsible for the assets and money linked to each game that the guild plays. Merit Circle has its own MC token with a $2.95 price tag at the time of writing.
- Yield Guild Games: one of the largest gaming guilds in the world, Yield Guild Games has a current market cap of $286 million. The guild has more than 4,700 scholars and each one pays 10% of their earnings in rental fees. The guild has its own YGG token which conveys voting rights and future plans for dividend payments are on the roadmap. The Philippines branch of Yield Guild Games also raised $1.45 million as part of the relief effort following Typhoon Odette in December 2021.
- Good Games Guild: another guild behind which all of the big investors have already put their money, Good Games Guild has over 300 scholars in its program. It also has an investment arm and a game incubator, Good Games Labs. Its native token is called GGG and the total maximum token supply is 100 million. Good Games Guild takes 20% of gamer revenues and its token price is currently $2.10.