One of the most successful crypto-projects of the first half is branching out into the hot new fields of gaming and NFTs.

Polygon (MATIC) is spinning out a US$100 million studio to help developers launch decentralised games and assist brands and intellectual property owners launch NFTs on the Ethereum layer two scaling solution. It’ll be looking to create “plug and play” solutions.

Polygon has attracted a vibrant ecosystem with US$8.4 billion in total value locked, according to DeFi Llama. It offers Ethereum integration without the high gas (transaction) fees.

“I would say 50 to 60, 70 per cent of the Ethereum games and all the major games that we see on the space are on Polygon,”  Shreyansh Singh, the head of gaming and NFTs at Polygon, told Stockhead.

“So we wanted to do something dedicated onto the gaming side, and I think we’re pretty much conquered that side of the industry.”

Everyone is looking at this space, Singh noted, including celebrities, brands and sports leagues.

NFT marketplace OpenSea, which uses Polygon and a few other chains, recently raised US$100 million at a US$1.5 billion valuation.

Polygon Studios will provide tooling, support and “gaming evangelism,” Singh said.

‘The brink of mass adoption’

While no crypto gaming project has really gained a mainstream following outside the niche crypto-space, as many as 90 to 95 per cent of the early blockchain game projects haven’t been built by game developers, Singh said.

“So they don’t have the experience or expertise to build out a game.”

But now there are games such as Zed.Run (founded by a Sydney team) and Axie Infinity as well as projects by Los-Angeles based Mythical Games, Singh said.

“They are game developers, they know how to cater to an audience, they work on the user experience, and they take a lot of time to build these games,” Singh said. “The Web 3.0 developers try to build out a game, but they’re not game developers…

“So maybe we are on the bring of major adoption, maybe in some time you will see a major wave of top-level games coming into this space.”

In two or three years, Singh says he envisages a major studio like Electronic Arts or Activision launching a game with play-to-earn and NFT components.

“After that, there’ll be no going back.”

Facebook is even talking about creating the “metaverse,” the virtual world coined in a 1992 Neal Stephenson science fiction novel, Snow Crash.

“When we speak about the metaverse, I think NFTs and blockchain should be a major component of it,” Singh said.