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Crypto Raiders has raised $6 million in funding for its “play-to-own” role-playing game (RPG) using non-fungible tokens (NFTs).
The company is one of several blockchain game companies seeking to combine high-quality gaming with non-fungible tokens (NFTs), which use blockchain to authenticate unique digital assets.
The Los Angeles company makes a dungeon crawling RPG with a retro art style. The game rewards players with random NFTs that they can hold, trade or sell. This gives players the feeling that they really own the items they earn in the game.
“We looked at the NFT space early on and fell in love with it right away,” said Nicholas Kneuper, CEO of Crypto Raiders, in an interview with GamesBeat. “After seeing a lot of other projects with these really cool ideas, we thought there was a huge opportunity in the NFT gaming space to just make a really fun RPG game. Like a Runescape style or a World of Warcraft style game.
He added: “We just think the use case for NFTs is so strong with all the items you get in games and the assets you own when you play the game. And so we launched it in June of last year. And we’ve just been quietly in stealth mode, with new content, new updates, new dungeons, all kinds of new in-game features like player versus player (PvP).
About four months ago, interest in the game started to grow as people noticed how much content the team was building, Kneuper said. The game now has thousands of players, with no real user acquisition spending. This traction allowed the company to raise funds.
“It allows us to really grow the team and continue building this great game,” he said.
DeFiance Capital and Delphi Digital led the round with participation from GuildFi, Merit Circle, Three Arrows Capital, Yield Guild Games and others.
Crypto Raiders is creating a more accessible NFT market through an ever-changing and interactive gaming landscape. Built on transparency, Crypto Raiders creates an engaged community of players united by trust, collaboration and ultimately blockchain. The team still considers their game an alpha test, with only thousands of players.
NFT games have been a flash point for hardcore gamers in the West as well as some developers. They are concerned about scams, bullshit games, environmental damage from blockchain computing and pyramid schemes. But Kneuper said community members are already playing and enjoying the game.
And his playing attracts the youngest who of course do not hesitate to experiment. The game’s Discord channel has over 20,000 members. The development team has 22 people.
“There are a lot of gamers who don’t want to jump into NFT games. And I think it’s for several reasons. I think some of them think games aren’t that interesting, right? Or maybe not so much fun. I think a lot of people are also concerned about how to spend $500 to play the game. It’s a bit ridiculous,” Kneuper said. “Our main goal is to make the game very accessible to all players.”
The classic retro style is meant to appeal to gamers of all generations. The company hopes its network of dangerous dungeons and monsters will keep players coming back.
Enemies in games are called “mobs”. And if a mob kills a “crypto raider,” players can lose or gain loot, co-founder David Titarenco said in an interview. The mob that kills a raider gets a certain percentage of the loot.
The game features PvP tournaments that take place daily. Players increase their characters and eventually sell them for a profit, Kneuper said. When players get tired of a character or weapon, they can sell it back to a merchant and recoup some of their investment.
Currently, the team is in the process of porting the game from a web browser to Unity. And they will be releasing some updates over the next three to four months. There will be more complex battles and player versus environment battles. After that, the company could do more marketing for the game.
Over time, the company hopes to focus on iOS and Android — once those platforms know what they’re doing with blockchain games. The company also hopes to appear on the Epic Games Store.
“Epic Games has been very welcoming to blockchain games,” he said.
Kneuper, Titarenco and Matt Powell co-founded Crypto Raiders because they saw a gap in the global NFT market. The trio couldn’t find a NFT game they wanted to play, but understood the game’s ability to make it easier to enter the NFT market. So they decided to create their own game. Capital will allow Crypto Raiders to expand the development of the game’s art, music and story teams to create a better experience for players.
“Native, community-driven cryptogames are rare. However, we believe the team behind Crypto Raiders pioneered a different approach to blockchain gaming – one that puts the hearts and minds of the community first,” said Arthur Cheong Capital, founder of DeFiance, in a press release. “DeFiance Capital is pleased to support Crypto Raiders on its journey to become a full-fledged Polygon-based game.”
Merge worlds and find the right fans
Designed to merge the worlds of gaming and crypto, Crypto Raiders makes NFTs accessible to everyone. The play-to-own model allows players to truly own their game.
“Delphi Ventures is pleased to announce an investment in Crypto Raiders. Crypto Raiders has taken an innovative path by creating a Web3 dungeon crawler and RPG experience that players will truly enjoy, while providing players with “play-to-own” options. Along the way, they have managed to build a loyal community,” said Ryan Foo of Delphi Ventures. “They have also successfully integrated several DeFi and NFT primitives and continue to deliver at a breakneck pace. We are excited to support them on this journey and look forward to sending our Raiders into increasingly challenging tournaments, raids and battles.
Players have the option to buy characters and mobs, go on missions, team up in a virtual universe while discovering the NFTs they then have. Crypto Raiders is built on the Polygon blockchain and all NFT loot is random so the value of all discovered loot is also random.
As noted by John Osvald of Gala Games, many blockchain games can become profitable on a smaller player base than free-to-play games due to the high interest in owning NFTs. Players pay for it and this helps to make money faster from a game as 98% of players in free games pay nothing at all. And so free games need a base of millions upon millions of players to become sustainable.
Games like Axie Infinity are the big hits in space, but even this game from Sky Mavis only has about 1.8 million daily players.
“The players we have now are early adopters and they are very excited about what the game can become,” said Kneuper. “And we are confident that with this investment deal and the new features that will be added to the game soon, we will see some really explosive growth. But you’re right. It is not a typical game in the sense that a lot of money is spent on user acquisition costs.
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