Formerly ASX-listed NFT gaming company Animoca Brands and a partner are devoting US$30 million to help grow the crypto gaming guilds that have become increasingly popular with the rise of the play-to-earn economy.

The Guild Accelerator Program will identify, mentor and invest up to US$500,000 in each early-stage guild supported by the program. Animoca is launching the program in conjunction with Brinc, a global venture accelerator it has already been working with.

Gaming guilds have been increasingly popular with the success of play-to-earn games such as Axie Infinity, which allows players to make money through gameplay.

Gaming guilds such as Yield Guild Games have launched to buy the NFTs required for battle, in return for a split of the spoils. In the last six months or so, Australians have launched or co-launched Crypto Gaming United, Perion DAO and Balthazar, and there’s others sprouting up around the globe.

Animoca says that mentors and experts supporting the program will include Brendan Wong, founder of Avacado Guild; Saruboti Sasuke, head of partnerships for YGG; and Howard Xu, co-founder of the Vietnam-based guild Ancient8.

“As the world enters a new era of work and play, the play-to-earn guilds space has enormous potential for growth,” said Animoca Brands co-founder and executive chairman Yat Siu.

“The management of digital assets in games and in the open metaverse represents a significant source of income for hundreds of millions of people. The future of work in the metaverse is being written today, and we are proud to foster the guilds that are driving the evolution of these new opportunities.”

Brinc founder and CEO Manav Gupta said that Web 3.0 gaming guilds provide an onramp for the future of earning in a way that Web2 and traditional industries never could.

The technologies, principles and business models developed in gaming that have enabled true digital asset ownership and utilisation (with aligned stakeholders) can be leveraged across all future areas of jobs and work,” he said.

“Guilds can help transform education, skill development, agriculture, R&D and almost any industry where access to tools and assets historically prevented anyone with time to innovate, up-skill and thus earn a living. We’re excited to meet founding teams that challenge the way we think about the applications and impact of guilds across all industries.” 

Richard Robinson, entrepreneur-in-residence at Animoca, is leading the program.