7 investors discuss regulation, opportunities and NFT hype – TechCrunch

video game industry It has always been on the brink of bleeding, but blockchain gaming is still widely seen as an emerging technology.

In October 2021, Valve banned all blockchain-related games from its Steam platform. Meanwhile, inside Axie Infinity, an online NFT-based game, new players are paying hundreds of dollars to get legendary pets and love potions.

There is still a fog of uncertainty surrounding blockchain gaming, so we reached out to several active investors in the space to get a clearer picture of where the opportunities lie today and what they see on the horizon. We asked them to share the advice they give to their portfolio companies, along with their thoughts on how future regulation will affect the industry.

Interestingly, at least one investor noted that growth wasn’t a major consideration: “We tell our companies to really think about the missing pieces, particularly in gaming infrastructure,” said Panfasha Fathia, chief investment officer, Americas at Prosus Ventures. “What weaknesses can we mitigate for users and builders? Growth is less of a focus now, and the benefit is incredibly important at this point.”

We scanned:

  • Anton Bachmann, Director, and Kenrik Drikoningen, General Partner, Play Ventures
  • Banfasha Fathia, Head of Investments, Americas, Prosus Ventures
  • Josh Chapman, Managing Partner, Konvoy Ventures
  • Eddie Thai, General Partner, 500 Startups and General Partner, Ascend Vietnam Ventures
  • Beryl Lee, co-founder of Yield Guild Games
  • Rajul Garg, Founder and Managing Partner, Leo Capital

Anton Bachmann, Director, and Kenrik Drikoningen, General Partner, Play Ventures

What was your initial reaction when you heard about Steam banning blockchain games?

It wasn’t a completely unexpected move from Steam. Job incumbents tend to be more wary of adapting new business models and games are no different. As a nascent space, NFTs are barred from projects of varying quality and we think Steam wants to do some quality assurance and wait for the situation to stabilize before allowing blockchain games en masse. Interestingly, at the time of writing (November 14), MIR4, a crypto-enabled MMORPG on Steam, was running on 88,000 concurrent users. It seems that there is still a gray area in terms of how these games are rated.

What advice would you give your portfolio companies to grow? What kind of guidance and assistance do blockchain game companies require from you?

We usually act as a sparring partner to the founders on matters related to strategy. With blockchain gaming companies, we have mostly helped teams navigate the technology stack, i.e. what blockchain and/or scaling solutions to consider, as well as the distinct economic design. In our view, it is essential to adopt a native coding approach to building and testing the product while also involving your community in the process.

How do you see the regulatory environment for blockchain games? Does uncertainty make you reconsider your strategy?

No, it’s not the first time innovation has trumped regulation and we see it as a natural reaction to new consumer behavior and ways of building companies. Likewise, Uber fought an uphill battle with regulators before eventually democratizing the taxi medal system and providing massive improvement to the taxi services’ end users. This does not mean that companies and projects should build products against the law, but instead that they should engage in healthy discussion with regulators as their products become more approved.

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