Gaming hardware and peripherals firm Razer has announced the establishment of zVentures Web3 Incubator (ZW3I), a new initiative aimed at funding Web3 gaming projects and bringing them to mainstream audiences.
With its considerable brand recognition and vast user base of roughly 200 million gamers, Razer has the potential to significantly influence the future of Web3 gaming. ZW3I aims to help bring Web3-enabled games to mainstream audiences, and will select developers for its incubator program who possess “a strong track record in creating successful games."
Razer has not made any disclosure as to the scale or amount of funds allocated for ZW3I, citing its private company status. However, it is worth noting that zVentures had a $30 million fund when it launched sometime in 2016. Razer's interest in venture capital and commitment to crypto and Web3 is evident through its existing investments in crypto and blockchain firms Monsoon Digital, Forte.io, TripleA Finblox, Coinomo, and Web3 gaming firm Animoca Brands.
According to Lawrence Lin, Razer's Director of Blockchain, the incubator intends to provide marketing support and accommodate up to 36 projects, including mobile games, despite Razer's traditional focus on PC gaming.
“Presently, numerous blockchain games prioritize the use of blockchain technology over creating an engaging and entertaining gameplay experience, leading to a dearth of player attraction and retention,” Lin shares.
Razer acknowledges that first-generation Web3 games have not managed to captivate mainstream audiences, and emphasizes the importance of understanding gamers' motivations and behaviors to make progress in this area. Builders (or BUIDLers, in Web3 lingo) in the space believe that the next generation of Web3 games will be better able to reach traditional gamers by emphasizing compelling gameplay and satisfying social experiences over token reward systems. Razer envisions such "immersive" and "engaging" experiences to come to fruition with ZW3I.
“The gaming experience is the most important aspect of any successful game launch. With blockchain technologies and support from companies with strong gaming knowledge, we are certain that Web3 will revolutionize this experience for all,” Lin shared in a statement.
This contention resonates with the ideas of game developers who argue that early crypto games were too focused on financial aspects rather than richer gameplay mechanics, intensely appealing graphics. Consequently, some in the emerging Web3 gaming industry have rejected terms such as "play-to-earn" and "GameFi," which emphasize financial gain, sometimes forgetting the core of what gaming is all about: enjoyment.
Disclaimer: This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.