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Singapore-based hardware firm Razer is delving into blockchain gaming with a web3 investment fund.
Its new zVentures Web3 Incubator (ZW3I) is Razer's early-stage venture arm, which aims to build the next generation of blockchain-enabled gaming companies and projects.
However, Razer acknowledges that the web3 industry has thus far struggled with gaming.
In a press release, Razer said that incorporating blockchain successfully is a "complex endeavour" that requires "a deep understanding of what gamers’ behaviour and individual motivations are in a game."
"Web3-enabled games to date have struggled with engaging and reaching the core gamer community," Razer states.
It goes on to say that current blockchain games focus on blockchain technology integration instead of optimizing gameplay. "This results in players losing interest and low retention," Razer said.
Lawrence Lin, director of blockchain at Razer, emphasized that the gaming experience "is the most important aspect of any successful game launch." Razer believes that web3 will "revolutionize this experience for all."
“ZW3I will help to foster close collaboration with pioneering gaming projects to drive mainstream adoption across the industry,” he added.
Game companies selected by Razer will receive access to Razer's marketing and partnerships and can leverage the Hong Kong gaming giant's ecosystem of hardware and services.
zVentures’ wide network of partnerships, which these selected gaming companies can access, include Animoca Brands, Amazon Web Services, 1Up Ventures, Griffin Gaming Partners, and Play Ventures Future Fund.
Web3 x gaming
As acknowledged by Razer, web3 doesn't exactly have the strongest history with gaming. Last month, Japanese game publisher Square Enix came e under fire after releasing a trailer for its upcoming NFT game "Symbiogenesis."
Symbiogenesis marks Square Enix's first NFT game, described as "narrative-unlocked entertainment." As the player unlocks the main story and stories of each character, "mysteries" of the world will unravel.
The game particularly came under fire for incentivising players to "hold NFTs for a long time without selling them."
However, Sony's web3 gaming announcement received a slightly warmer welcome. In the same month as Square Enix's NFT game trailer, Sony filed a patent with World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) titled “NFT framework for transferring and using digital assets between game platforms.”
The framework will see NFTs integrated into gameplay in the form of skins, artwork, weapons and other in-game functionalities.
In a poll by Twitter user NFT POWER RANKINGS, 55.3% said they were "aggressively bullish" about Sony's NFT patent, whilst another 21.9% opted for 21.9% "bullish" and 13.1% went for "mid bullish." Only 9.8% said they were "not bullish."
Web3 gaming is still a sore spot for many gamers, especially when it comes to NFTs. Razer will have to tread carefully in its blockchain pursuit, but its awareness of the pitfalls could just save it from an early game over.
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