Why Firefly Video games pivoted to the metaverse with MetaWorld Leisure

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The metaverse and Web3 aren’t going to construct themselves. That’s why Firefly Games CEO Michael Zhang determined to pivot into the brand new area from cellular video games and begin a brand new studio known as MetaWorld Entertainment.

Earlier this summer season, MetaWorld Leisure raised a couple of million {dollars} in seed funding from The Sandbox, Com2uS, Crit Ventures, and Formless Capital.

Whereas Firefly will concentrate on Web2 video games similar to cellular video games, Zhang has moved to turn into CEO of MetaWorld Leisure. Final Friday, The Sandbox and Atari introduced that MetaWorld Leisure had remade Crystal Castles, a traditional Atari recreation that’s considered one of 9 that will likely be launched with Atari’s new expertise inside The Sandbox metaverse.

“We’re offering high-quality content material on high of the metaverse platforms,” stated Zhang, in an interview with GamesBeat. “We need to be a part of it and need to present the highest-quality content material.”


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The important thing companions on this new metaverse firm embrace The Sandbox, a decentralized digital gaming world and subsidiary of Animoca Manufacturers, and Com2uS, a world multi-content platform main the best way within the blockchain gaming area.

Michael Zhang, CEO of MetaWorld Leisure.

Over time at Firefly Video games, Zhang’s firm made video games similar to DreamWorks’ Universe of Legends, Skydance’s Terminator: Darkish Destiny, and MGA Leisure’s match-three cellular recreation LoL Shock! Room Maker.

At first, Zhang, a 15-year recreation veteran, was skeptical in regards to the poor high quality of blockchain video games. Because the trade progressed, Zhang started occupied with MetaWorld Leisure’s formation in 2020. He bought extra critical final 12 months, when he was listening to me (of all individuals) speak in regards to the metaverse on Clubhouse. The idea of the metaverse was new to him, and he began analyzing blockchain on the identical time. The extra he the ideas behind the concepts, the extra he excited he bought. He determined that Web3 and the metaverse have been changing into pivotal within the digital age. And so he raised a brand new spherical of funding.

Zhang sees the metaverse because the venue for leisure the place audiences will play, have interaction, and work together with new ranges of immersion, not like something we’ve seen earlier than. When he first tried, it took him a few days to create a cryptocurrency pockets. Now it may be carried out in 5 seconds, he stated.

Moderately than make its personal titles, MetaWorld Leisure will begin out by making content material for others, like with the Atari/The Sandbox challenge. He stated MetaWorld Leisure will likely be an all-encompassing leisure firm, bringing live shows, occasions, and video games to the worldwide market by metaverse platforms, together with The Sandbox.

MetaWorld labored on Crystal Castles.

“Every little thing began from you. The primary time after I heard metaverse was in March 2020, proper earlier than the pandemic, if you (and Epic Video games CEO Tim Sweeney) began to say it,” Zhang stated. “I began to be taught after which I began speaking to The Sandbox. They employed us to do a theme park challenge. All of them really feel like that is the correct time.”

Zhang famous that numerous firms within the metaverse and blockchain area are offering know-how infrastructure. However he didn’t see studios that have been making high-quality content material that might preserve followers engaged for a very long time with on-line digital areas.

“We’re creating high-quality video games, DJ live performance experiences, celeb content material, and we’re partnering with different firms on their platforms,” Zhang stated.

There are a couple of dozen individuals from Firefly who are actually engaged on content material at MetaWorld Leisure in Los Angeles. And Zhang is hiring further senior individuals, whereas Firefly has beneath 10 individuals nonetheless.

MetaWorld Leisure is engaged on high-quality content material.

Over time, Zhang will share extra in regards to the roadmap, together with the corporate’s first Web3 recreation and which blockchain companion it should help. Nobody appears good on that entrance but. He’s enthusiastic about offering enjoyable content material for Kpo followers and others who have interaction with celebrities.

He famous that MetaWorld Leisure is only a recreation firm. It’s centered on the broader thought of leisure. Zhang is speaking to some huge manufacturers about doing video games and metaverse work for them.

MetaWorld will function each a developer and writer of a number of experiences and video games, empowering audiences all over the world to work together with the metaverse like by no means earlier than. MetaWorld will maximize the immersive expertise utilizing the help of key companions similar to Agora and their real-time audio know-how.

MetaWorld may also make the most of the Web2 recreation publishing expertise of its companions to focus on a large gaming viewers whereas utilizing the “play-and-earn” mannequin that provides high-quality and fascinating video games by which gamers may earn digital currencies. By combining and using its distinctive gaming sources, platform benefits, and enterprise cooperation in know-how and leisure, MetaWorld plans to convey brand-new play-and-earn leisure experiences to the Web3 period to drive broader adoption. Sebastien Borget, COO of The Sandbox, and Com2uS president Kyu Lee are optimistic about Zhang’s firm and his workforce’s expertise as builders.

Zhang acknowledges players have to beat their objects to blockchain video games, and he thinks that may occur when the video games turn into extra enjoyable and the onboarding course of for Web3 turns into even simpler.

“We attempt to take away the entry barrier to most of the people and encourage extra individuals to play first and in a while the in the event that they really feel prefer it, they’ll commerce issues like non-fungible tokens (NFTs) as nicely,” Zhang stated. “We need to use a few of our expertise from Web2 video games as we transfer to Web3.”

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