Firefly Games establishes metaverse-focused studio MetaWorld Entertainment

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Mobile game publisher Firefly Games has created a new studio called MetaWorld Entertainment to focus on Web3 mobile games following a successful $10 million fundraiser in August.

The current chief executive officer of Firefly Games, Michael Zhang, will move to MetaWorld Entertainment to manage the new studio. MetaWorld Entertainment already has a project, collaborating with Atari and The Sandbox, to recreate the classic Atari game Crystal Castles within The Sandbox metaverse. Crystal Castles is just the first of nine games that Atari will use to promote its metaverse experience.

“We’re providing high-quality content on top of the metaverse platforms. We want to be part of it and want to provide the highest-quality content,” said Zhang, as per VentureBeat.

Zhang said MetaWorld Entertainment would focus less on creating original IPs and games and more on collaborating with other companies to develop licensed metaverse content. The company will also focus on more than just games, looking to become a general entertainment company by hosting events and concerts in The Sandbox metaverse.

“We are creating high-quality games, DJ concert experiences, celebrity content, and we’re partnering with other companies on their platforms.”

Zhang started branching into the Web3 ecosystem because he noticed that most companies were focused on developing infrastructure while there was a shortage of high-quality content to keep users engaged.

He was initially skeptical of blockchain gaming, but the concept of the metaverse intrigued him. The Sandbox then contacted him for a metaverse theme park project, and he decided to pivot fully into the Web3 ecosystem by starting MetaWorld Entertainment.

“Everything started from you [Dean Takahashi]. The first time when I heard metaverse was in March 2020, right before the pandemic, when you [Dean Takahashi] (and Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney) started to mention it. I started to learn and then I started talking to The Sandbox. They hired us to do a theme park project. They all feel like this is the right time,” said the exec.

MetaWorld Entertainment’s goals

MetaWorld Entertainment’s target audience is the general gaming audience. Using its Web2 expertise, the company plans to create a play-to-earn experience with high-quality, fun games where players can earn digital currency by playing the games normally.

It will also utilize its platform advantages and business partnerships with companies such as Com2uS and Crit Ventures to facilitate the widespread adoption of blockchain gaming.

Currently, Zhang thinks that the biggest roadblock for blockchain gaming and metaverse projects is their poor public perception and high barrier to entry. As the technology continues to develop and more companies start putting more effort into blockchain games, Zhang believes that more players will be receptive to blockchain gaming and join the ecosystem. He added that better onboarding experiences would be essential to change the reputation of blockchain games.

“We try to remove the entry barrier to the general public and encourage more people to play first and later on if they feel like it, they can trade things like non-fungible tokens (NFTs) as well. We want to use some of our experience from Web2 games as we move to Web3,” said Zhang.