Why Firefly Video games pivoted to the metaverse with MetaWorld Leisure



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 house from cell video games and begin a brand new studio known as MetaWorld Entertainment.

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

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

“We’re offering high-quality content material on prime of the metaverse platforms,” mentioned Zhang, in an interview with GamesBeat. “We wish to be a part of it and wish 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 way in which within the blockchain gaming house.

Michael Zhang, CEO of MetaWorld Leisure.

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

At first, Zhang, a 15-year recreation veteran, was skeptical concerning the poor high quality of blockchain video games. Because the trade progressed, Zhang started excited about MetaWorld Leisure’s formation in 2020. He bought extra severe final yr, when he was listening to me (of all folks) speak concerning the metaverse on Clubhouse. The idea of the metaverse was new to him, and he began inspecting 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, interact, and work together with new ranges of immersion, not like something we now have seen earlier than. When he first tried, it took him a few days to create a cryptocurrency pockets. Now it may be accomplished in 5 seconds, he mentioned.

Somewhat than make its personal titles, MetaWorld Leisure will begin out by making content material for others, like with the Atari/The Sandbox undertaking. He mentioned MetaWorld Leisure shall be an all-encompassing leisure firm, bringing concert events, occasions, and video games to the worldwide market by metaverse platforms, together with The Sandbox.

MetaWorld labored on Crystal Castles.

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

Zhang famous that plenty of corporations within the metaverse and blockchain house are offering expertise infrastructure. However he didn’t see studios that have been making high-quality content material that would maintain 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 corporations on their platforms,” Zhang mentioned.

There are a couple of dozen folks from Firefly who at the moment are engaged on content material at MetaWorld Leisure in Los Angeles. And Zhang is hiring extra senior folks, whereas Firefly has underneath 10 folks nonetheless.

MetaWorld Leisure is engaged on high-quality content material.

Over time, Zhang will share extra concerning the roadmap, together with the corporate’s first Web3 recreation and which blockchain associate it would assist. Nobody appears good on that entrance but. He’s enthusiastic about offering enjoyable content material for Kpo followers and others who interact with celebrities.

He famous that MetaWorld Leisure is only a recreation firm. It’s targeted on the broader thought of leisure. Zhang is speaking to some large 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 assist of key companions comparable to Agora and their real-time audio expertise.

MetaWorld may even make the most of the Web2 recreation publishing expertise of its companions to focus on an enormous gaming viewers whereas utilizing the “play-and-earn” mannequin that provides high-quality and fascinating video games by which gamers may also earn digital currencies. By combining and using its distinctive gaming sources, platform benefits, and enterprise cooperation in expertise and leisure, MetaWorld plans to deliver 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 staff’s expertise as builders.

Zhang acknowledges players have to beat their objects to blockchain video games, and he thinks that can occur when the video games turn out to be 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 folks to play first and afterward the in the event that they really feel prefer it, they will commerce issues like non-fungible tokens (NFTs) as effectively,” Zhang mentioned. “We wish to use a few of our expertise from Web2 video games as we transfer to Web3.”

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