July 30, 2022
Issue No. 13
EDWIN ONG, JOEL COLON, ASHRAF AHMAD
Welcome to this week's AtherXplorer, covering the latest in gaming, blockchain, and everything in between.
This week’s top picks include:
Blockchain & DeFi Developments
Prominent Web3 Metaverse Projects Formed an Alliance to Develop Metaverse Standards
Animoca Brands, alongside Alien Worlds, Dapper Labs, Decentraland, Star Atlas, The Sandbox, Wivity, Space, and Upland has formed an Alliance called OMA3, with goals to develop standards and build an open and borderless metaverse, ensuring that the metaverse operates as a unified system where digital assets, identities, and data are permissionless and controlled by users, not platforms. The Alliance is currently seeking Members who share similar views and are interested to join them. The application form can be found here: https://www.oma3.org/#join
Projects Onboarding Non-Crypto Natives into Web3 using Tokens
Zebedee and Viker announced that they are teaming up to bring Play and Earn to 2 classic games - Solitaire and Sudoku, which ‘are played by billions of people for hundreds of hours over many years. After players input their Zebedee Gamertag into the Viker app, playing these games on Viker’s platform will allow players to earn Bitcoin.
Step-Counter Application Sweatcoin has also recently raised $13Million, in order to fund its move into Web3. Sweatcoin has an outreach of over 100 Million Users, who have thus far earned a non-tradable currency ‘Sweatcoin’, which could be redeemable for branded products and digital services from partners. However, on September 12, all Sweatcoins will automatically be matched with their upcoming ‘SWEAT’ token, which is available on both Ethereum and the NEAR Blockchains.
Fantom’s Community Votes Overwhelmingly on Formation of Ecosystem Support Vault
Currently, 30% of all network fees collected on Fantom are permanently removed from circulation via Burning. However, Governance voters on Fantom have recently greenlit the creation of an ‘Ecosystem Support Vault’, to which 10% of all network fees collected are sent to. The Ecosystem Support Vault will be used primarily to fund and bootstrap future ecosystem projects. Moving forward, the % of Burnt Network Fees will decrease from 30% to 20% to reflect this change.
Travel the World with Hello Kitty!
On August 25, Japanese legacy brand Sanrio (creators of Hello Kitty) is teaming up with RECUR to send the cartoon cat on “a journey around the world” and into Web3, according to a recent press release. Kicking off this virtual world tour is the launch of the Hello Kitty and Friends NFT collection, featuring 10,000 PFP NFTs of Hello Kitty and five of her friends. Functionally, Hello Kitty and her friends will be virtual tour guides in the forthcoming collection, as it’s set to feature locales from eight different cities worldwide. Two of those cities will be exclusive to RECUR pass holders.
“We’re thrilled to create a platform for all Hello Kitty fans, old and new, to take flight and experience the metaverse through Hello Kitty and Friends World,” said RECUR Founder and CEO Zach Bruch. “Our goal is to provide a community where fans can interact and explore the metaverse with brands and IPs they love. We can’t wait to bring that to life for Sanrio fans across the globe.”
Games & Blockchain Gaming
Should Dark Souls get an easy mode?
From Dark Souls to Bloodborne and now Elden Ring, these games are infamously known to be "brutal". The games have a punishing death system, endless traps, and challenging combat, plus the bosses absolutely crush you if you're unprepared - their fast and wide move set can even catch the most experienced RPG players off guard. This has also led to some players complaining that the game is “too hard” and some others have completely turned away after getting wrecked by the first boss in Dark Souls 1. Unfortunate…
So why did the developers make the games so difficult? Don't they want more new players joining in and playing their game? To understand why Dark Souls is the way it is, first we need to understand what is the core game experience the developers intended to deliver for their players.
In games like Hitman and Metal Gear Solid, players are nudged by the developers to take a stealthier approach to their gameplay to enjoy the experience, unlike Just Cause 3 or Saints Row: Gat Outta Hell, where players are driven to go on a reckless rampage to enjoy the full experience. For Darkest Dungeon the game actually saves every few seconds so you will have to live with your mistakes and the random outcomes which might completely crush your characters. The designer Tyler Sigman says "The way I love to play games? I like permissive save systems. Who are you to tell me how I should and shouldn't save my game? But when we talked about Darkest Dungeon, we realized that would not work - it would rob the player of the experience that we intend them to have"
So what core game experience did Dark Souls intend to give its players? - Lead Developer Hidetaka Miyazaki said "Ever since Demon's Souls, I've been really pursuing making games that give players a sense of accomplishment by overcoming tremendous odds" It is this very clear vision that makes the Dark Souls franchise so successful. They want players to feel underpowered and hopeless when they start playing. Bosses are designed to kill you in seconds with devastating combos. But every small and big gamer wants to try their best and achieve the “impossible” because if they do, it's a huge accomplishment. And everyone wants to feel a sense of accomplishment. It's a form of "achievement motivation" when individuals are driven, inspired, or stimulated by successes or accomplishments.
Is it the most fun game? Maybe not for all gamers. It simply takes players to have a good understanding of the combat and memorize boss patterns after countless deaths to complete the game, but similar to other roguelike games, it gives players a sense of accomplishment and success!
reNFT Raises $5M in Investment Round
New blockchain native gaming projects are launching daily and they all have a similar problem they have to solve: how do they enable the holders of their NFTs to generate revenue from their assets in a convenient and secure manner? reNFT is solving this problem with one of its product lines which provides Web3 gaming projects with a turnkey whitelabel solution to integrate renting, lending and gamefi automation into their own proprietary marketplaces or ecosystems.
In addition to co-lead investors, Mechanism, and gCC, this $5 million round also saw key participation from strategic investors such as Gemini, The Sandbox, OpenSea, Sfermion, Morningstar Ventures, EveryRealm, OP Crypto, Fourth Revolution Capital, Metastreet, and others. The funds will primarily help reNFT accelerate its onboarding of talent, capture integrations across multiple blockchains, and extend its product suite. Overall, such efforts will have an underlying focus on the blockchain gaming sector, as this area of entertainment is leading the way for creating mass global adoption of NFTs.
Ather Labs’ Backers
Konvoy Ventures on Bloomberg — Launches $150M Web3 Gaming Fund
AtherLabs Backer Konvoy Ventures was recently interviewed at Bloomberg regarding their recent launch of Web3 Gaming Fund.
Watch the interview here:
Kyber Integrates Transak in KyberSwap
In an effort to improve their user experience and allow an easier DeFi onboarding process, KyberSwap integrated Transak, a service that allows users to purchase Crypto using Visa, Mastercard, Google Pay, and Apple Pay.
Magic Eden Becomes the “First Semi-Fungible Token (SFT) Marketplace” on Solana
Magic Eden introduced this “SFT” terminology with the launch of the Genopets game assets in their Magic Eden NFT Marketplace.
Here’s the description of STFs by Albert Chen, CEO of Genopets:
“We’re thrilled to work with Magic Eden to continue pioneering the future of Web3 games by being one of the first games on Solana to roll out efficient token technology and game mechanics that enable players to create and transact value meaningfully.”
In reality, it seems that SFTs are the equivalent of ERC-1155 Tokens in the Ethereum Blockchain, which is a token with a mix of Non-Fungible and Fungible data. ERC-1155 tokens can be “stacked” or minted/traded in multiple quantities. For instance, our Sipher Spaceships are ERC-1155 tokens.
However, they might just be the first to allow this type of token to trade in their Marketplace.
Through its partnership with Genopets, Magic Eden will enable a streamlined experience for gamers by powering the minting and trading of SFTs.
For certain in-game assets that are not one of one and can be redeemed in greater quantities, SFTs become a useful way to “stack” like-for-like assets in the player’s inventory. For creators developing games on the blockchain, SFTs lower the number of resources needed for players to efficiently mint and transact during gameplay. SFTs minted on Solana share a “mint account”, which results in less storage used per asset and lower minting fees.
Crystals and Terraform Seeds are among the first Genopets SFTs that will be listed on Magic Eden’s marketplace. Within the game, Crystals are base layer materials used for crafting other items, and players will be able to use multiple quantities of them at a time.
National Policies & Legal Updates
Coinbase Investigated by SEC
The SEC has initiated a probe into Coinbase, and whether they had allowed US Citizens to trade digital assets that “contained hallmarks of the definition of a security”. The nine tokens in question are: AMP (AMP), Rally (RLY), DerivaDEX (DDX), XYO (XYO), Rari Governance Token (RGT), LCX (LCX), Powerledger (POWR), DFX Finance (DFX), and Kromatika (KROM) Coinbase has denied that they had listed any unregistered securities and that their listing processes has been reviewed prior by the SEC and had not found any areas of non-compliance.
Yuga Labs May Face Class Action Lawsuit for BAYC NFTs and Apecoin
A class action lawsuit is currently being organized against Yuga Labs by Law Firm Scott+Scott in the United States. According to Decrypt, the suit will likely “allege that Yuga falsely promoted Bored Ape NFTs and ApeCoin, the collection’s native Ethereum token, as securities with guaranteed returns but which in reality plummeted in value over the last three months”. Industry watchers believe that the BAYC NFTs are less likely to gain sufficient traction in this suit’, as the SEC has thus far refrained from labeling any NFT as a security, which could open up a regulatory can of worms for the organization. However, they believe that Apecoin may be a more likely angle.
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