After the success of games such as League of Legends, it seems willing investors are keen to back Riot Games’ former executives and their new game studio, The Believer Company. With the help of backing from major firms, like Lightspeed Ventures, Andreessen Horowitz, and Michael Eisner’s Tornante Company, the team have raised $55 million for their first game in a Series A round. It’s yet to be announced what the game will be, but the company promise it’ll be a next-generation open-world game creating a whole new IP. What’s interesting though, is their stance on one major component of their game. Namely, the whole concept of NFTs, or ‘non-fungible tokens’. NFTs are popularly used in recent gaming trends, allowing players to trade and monetize assets within games. But The Believer Company is saying a resounding “No F*cking Thanks” to these tokens. Steven Snow, co-founder and Chief Product Officer doesn’t think they enrich the industry or make the game experience in anyway more fun. In an interview with TechCrunch, Snow clarified:
“We say ‘no fucking thanks’ to NFTs. These technologies are struggling in games because players aren’t asking for them, and no one as of yet has shown how they can make a game more fun. I believe games are supposed to be fun. We’re not here to meme on tech that won’t enrich the industry for anyone, let alone players.”
So while Snow hasn’t sworn off Web3 forever, he doesn’t interact NFTs have a place in the game right away stating that more R&D needs to happen first.
It’s a savvy move on behalf of The Believer Company, considering the alternative. Web3 gaming companies like Avalon Corp have been getting investments to fund their products too. Founded by experienced game developers from companies such as Electronic Arts and Microsoft, they’re building an MMO and metaverse-style game, set in Unreal Engine 5. Angelic, from Metaverse Game Studios, is a dark science fiction-themed narrative RPG featuring turn-based combat. But both of these games aim for decentralization, with the addition of blockchain technology, NFTs, and low transaction costs.
Ultimately, both The Believer Company and the alternative of Avalon Corp and Angelic demonstrate that the gaming world has changed from a few years ago. With advances in technology alongside a new gaming audience, it’s hard to say which strategy will be victorious in the long run when it comes to the use of NFTs, but for now The Believer Company is taking a public stance of ‘no thank you’.
The Believer Company’s next-gen open-world game still has yet to be announced, and perhaps with the hefty injection of capital, they’ll be able to create something revolutionary. But what’s clear is that the focus of this game will be firmly outside of NFTs, something that will no doubt be keeping other Web3 game companies on their toes.