Might & Magic creator raises $7.5 million for original blockchain games


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Digital Insight Games has raised $7.5 million to create original blockchain games. It is led by Jon Van Caneghem, creator of Might & Magic and the Heroes of Might & Magic.

Hivemind Capital and Griffin Gaming Partners led the investment in the Los Angeles company, which was co-founded by former Tencent CEO Jack Sheng. Sheng and Van Caneghem act as co-CEOs.

They don’t say what they’re making yet, but Van Caneghem said they hope to pioneer web 3 and blockchain technology used in fun and original games.

Other investors include The Hunt Technology Ventures, RSE Ventures and Signum Growth Investments.

In an interview, Van Caneghem said he was delighted that DIG is partnering with experienced investors who believe the web 3 vision will be key to the next generation of gaming. I asked him what he thought of the resistance of hardcore gamers in the West to blockchain games, which players view as worthless, a scam and environmental pollution.

Van Caneghem acknowledges that many people are angry about NFTs because the early games were “financially focused, where it was about how you make money per hour”.

Rather than promise you’ll make a lot of money, he thinks more down-to-earth pitches are in order, like comparing owning digital assets to selling your used games to GameStop when you’re done playing so you can could have money for the next game.

“Back in the days of World of Warcraft, players had to do that under the table,” he said. “I think blockchain is positive for the player community and consumers in the long run, rather than having to spend $50,000 to play this game. Back with mobile games, things were terrible. mechanic. And today people are putting thousands of dollars into Fortnite skins and nobody thinks twice about it.”

Van Caneghem said that he has been studying blockchain games for a while and believes that people can build high-quality blockchain games as long as they remember all the lessons of designing quality games. He said the resistance to blockchain games reminds him of the early days of free-to-play, which came to dominate the gaming business.

“This whole transition to digital asset ownership and blockchain gaming is so exciting,” he said. “It’s a similar kind of transformation when we went from regular games to free play. Back then the industry was completely against it where people said you are going to ruin the industry. And now it turns out that thanks to free-to-play, we have ten times as many players and all kinds of new huge, amazing companies and games to play.”

The founders have worked together before, most recently at Tencent, leading North American research and development studios and international partnerships and investments.

“Innovation and gameplay have always been my focus in game development, and now that digital asset ownership is becoming accessible to everyone, it’s finally time to create games that empower players to own, buy, sell, trade, collect and have control over their digital assets,” he said.

In gaming, Van Caneghem is best known as the creator of Might and Magic and the Heroes of Might and Magic series, which has earned him Hall of Fame status.

Big ambitions

Might & Magic X: Legacy recaptures the feel of older role-playing games – and not in a good way.

In a statement, Sheng said: “Video game companies’ business models will once again fundamentally change in the coming years, with the real economies merging with the in-game digital economy. DIG aims to stay ahead while staying focused on the underlying fundamentals. /intrinsic community value of creating a fun and enjoyable web 3 gaming experience.”

My Warzone partner offered a quote about the Digital Insight Games team.

“We are excited to partner with JVC and Jack on their vision to create the next generation of compelling triple-A games powered by the latest Web3 technologies,” said Anthony Palma, partner at Griffin Gaming Partners, in a statement. declaration. “They and their team of game industry veterans have unparalleled experience building great studios as well as great games, and we’re excited to help them move forward.”

The company aims to build the world’s premier web 3 triple-A metaverse experience, providing an easy-to-use technical platform for in-game digital economies using blockchain technology and NFTs.

The company is a pioneer of a game-as-a-service (GaaS) 2.0 roadmap and aims to be a market leader in free-to-play 2.0, GaaS/live service 2.0, online marketplaces and NFT/blockchain gaming.

Van Caneghem said he has about a dozen people on board. The team includes veterans of companies such as Take-Two (Jon Horsley, chief development officer), NX3 Games (Won Chung, chief operating officer), Crystal Dynamics (Eric Lindstrom, creative director) and Electronic Arts (Jay Lee, chief technology officer). ).

Members of the wider team have worked on renowned franchises such as Call of Duty, Tomb Raider, Command and Conquer, Rock Band, Borderlands and more. The team is spread across locations in Vancouver (Canada), Los Angeles, San Francisco, Austin and New York. And it’s staff. For questions, send a message to info@digitalinsightgames.com.

A long career

Digital Insight Games was founded by Jon Van Caneghem and Jack Sheng.

Van Caneghem has been involved with many game companies, starting with New World Computing where he created the Might & Magic and Heroes of Might & Magic Games. He was around 20 when he started doing that. He sold that company to 3DO in 1996, and I crossed paths when he started Trion Worlds, which made ambitious online multiplayer games like Rift.

“I was proud of the games we made like Rift,” he said.

He also ran studios building free games for Electronic Arts, then went on to build mobile games for Tencent, where he met Sheng.

While he enjoyed Tencent’s work, Van Caneghem said he has more freedom to explore innovations such as blockchain and NFTs at a startup.

“All those years I was making games, everyone wanted to own the characters and their items,” said Van Caneghem.

Van Caneghem has always seen games as a hobby.

“If you have a hobby. Why stop people from spending more than $15 or $50, right? If I told someone who plays golf that you can only spend $50, you’d be unhappy because that’s what you do all day,” he said.

He added: “It struck me that when games became people’s lives, they were playing all day with their friends or family, they wanted to spend money, do more things and have more items, and whatever it is. was – skins or characters or whatever – there was a way for people who wanted more and we as publishers didn’t really deliver it to them.”

As free-to-play games took off in Asia, Van Caneghem tried to get his former companies to embrace it, with limited success.

rupture

“I’ve always been a you know, watching when the big trends change. And as a game designer, as well as an entrepreneur, those are exciting times for me,” he said. “And now I’m looking at blockchain and digital ownership. In the past, players had no way of actually trading and selling this stuff among themselves legally or safely. So I think that’s a huge positive. And then I look at blockchain and smart contracts, I’m just so excited to see us come up with game design to take advantage of that.”

Van Caneghem believes that those who believe in user-generated content will benefit from blockchain games and invent new ways for players to express their creativity.

“I play a lot of these survival games and a lot of these crafting games, and it just amazes me the thousands of hours some people spend on these beautiful creations,” said Van Caneghem. “Now you are constantly involved with the community. And I think this really empowers players to be a part of future game development as well.”

Van Caneghem acknowledges that many people are angry about NFTs because the early games were “financially focused, where it was about how you make money per hour”.

Rather than promise you’ll make a lot of money, he thinks more down-to-earth pitches are in order, like comparing owning digital assets to selling your used games to GameStop when you’re done playing so you can could have money for the next game.

“Back in the days of World of Warcraft, players had to do that under the table,” he said. “I think blockchain is positive for the player community and consumers in the long run, rather than having to spend $50,000 to play this game. Back with mobile games, things were terrible. mechanic. And today people are putting thousands of dollars into Fortnite skins and nobody thinks twice about it.”

Over time, competition will lead to better blockchain games. If we have two quality games on the market, and one offers the ability to own your own stuff and the other doesn’t, it’ll be easy to see which one gets more acceptance, he said.

“Maybe some of the bigger publishers won’t want to adopt it because it takes money away from them,” he said. “But players are going to trade among themselves. And that’s revenue that the company may have brought in by selling everything to players in one way. But that will be disrupted when the new paradigm comes along.”

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This post Might & Magic creator raises $7.5 million for original blockchain games

was original published at “https://venturebeat.com/2022/04/08/might-magic-creator-jon-van-caneghem-raises-7-5m-for-original-blockchain-games/”

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