‘Web3 unlocks unmet needs in gaming’: Fenix Games and its EA and Blizzard veterans team with Immutable
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Aussie firm Immutable, one of the leading names in the growing world of blockchain gaming, has partnered with Dubai-based Fenix Games, another developing powerhouse in the space, with an aim to launch mass-market web3 titles.
And yes, that may sound like a lofty, difficult-to-accomplish task that isn’t exactly a new aim within the industry – but when we asked the Fenix team a bit more about it, the partnership’s strategy to achieve that goal stood out to us as uniquely focused.
Essentially, the strategic partnership has been formed to bring the experience of Fenix Games’ publishing capabilities into the Immutable ecosystem in order to help attract top-tier game developers to the space.
Fenix Games self describes as a “VC fund” for blockchain gaming and it has a broad plan to invest in the next generation of gaming studios and acquire existing web2 games to build out its portfolio.
The team’s personnel consists of Wall Street and gaming-industry veterans who have decades of operating experience on big franchises including Madden Mobile, Need for Speed mobile, The Sims mobile, Plants vs Zombies and more. These are titles and IP that’ve reached hundreds of millions of gamers.
To learn more about the partnership and about Fenix’s vision for web3 gaming, Stockhead got in touch with Rudy Koch, Chief Business Officer and co-founder of Fenix Games…
Hi, Rudy. We’ve been keeping an eye on Immutable’s developments for a while, and it seems clear it’s on a mission of expansion and partnerships across the web3 gaming space. Was this part of the reason Fenix has teamed up with it – to tap into a broadening network?
Immutable has been the benchmark for providing scalable, end-to-end web3 solutions for mass market games. But the web3 market is still a very small one relative to the mainstream games market.
So we believe it’s going to take a group effort from top tier web3 teams to really expand the sector. This is why we’re excited to partner with Immutable. We see ourselves as two parts of the same flywheel, and we’re excited to team up to support great game developers.
With our collective efforts, we aim to accelerate growth in the web3 games sector and provide a clear path for top-tier game developers looking to enter the space.
We understand that Fenix plans to “invest in the next generation of gaming studios and acquire existing web2 games to build out its portfolio”. Does this mean a plan to shift existing web2 games onto blockchain rails?
One of our strategies is to look for successful web2 games that we can convert into web3, blockchain-enabled games.
The games industry is a hit-driven business, so taking an already successful web2 game means that we only need to worry about what the web3 integration looks like.
This narrows down the risk profile, and allows us to test our web3 hypothesis faster.
Why is web3 the future of gaming? Is there still a long way to go before some sort of inflection point when ‘traditional’ web2 gaming embraces web3 tech in a significant way?
We’ve seen a lot of investment into web3 infrastructure over the last few years. This foundational work was important in providing critical infrastructure that could support great web3 consumer products. Now, we need to turn our attention to content and provide a clear path for great game developers to bring great games to web3.
We are very early in this journey, but we intend to leverage our deep expertise in launching and running large, mass-market games to stimulate growth in web3.
Combining our efforts with Immutable was an easy decision given their already long and successful track record in web3.
What we are most excited about is that web3 unlocks capabilities that address unmet needs in the games industry. The games industry has had digital item sales for 30 years, and now with blockchain, we can tap into the full potential of this massive digital economy.
Is Fenix eyeing up any particular gaming sub-categories as having high potential? Do you have an opinion on what sort of genre or style of game the first big mega-hit web3 title will emerge from?
At Fenix Games, we have deep expertise in Sports, Racing, and Lifestyle. And our executive team has had a long career running some of the biggest franchises in these genres at companies like EA. We also know from our experience that these genres tend to have a lower barrier of entry for players because you don’t really need to explain sports or racing, making it easier for us to introduce new web3 concepts.
While it’s hard to say what the first big web3 mega-hit will be, our hypothesis is that it will be mobile games from top-tier game developers.
We need developers who have a proven track record of success to enter the market and take a position. The challenge right now is, there isn’t a clear path, and this is where Fenix Games in collaboration with Immutable plan to combine efforts to support great game developers in bringing great games to web3.
What does Fenix think of the big AAA contenders vying for attention in the web3 world? Titles such as Illuvium and Shrapnel and others? Does it see promise in this area?
We are big fans of teams like Illuvium and Shrapnel – they represent a new breed of sophisticated game developers entering web3. We love seeing that because it further validates web3 as a sector, but it also means there are more and more smart people working to grow the market.
This Q&A was edited lightly for clarity. The article is not sponsored and none of the information presented here should be construed as financial advice.