Indie game studio Playful Studios has announced it has raised $46 million from its Series A funding round for The Wildcard Alliance, which is established to develop Web3 games. Paradigm led the funding round. Griffin Gaming Partners, Polygon and venture capitalist Sabrina Hahn were other prominent investors in the round.
McKinney-based Playful Studios is known for Lucky’s Tale and Creativerse. The company formed The Wildcard Alliance to enter the Web3 industry. The new subsidiary of Playful Studios set out to develop Web3 titles and managed to attract the attention of investors with the first game it announced, Wildcard. The $46 million investment will speed up Wildcard’s development process.
Wildcard is a card game that combines the battle arena and real-time strategy genres. Unlike many other card games, it also includes various interactive elements. For example, battles will involve spectators as well as players, and these spectators can influence the battle results through various interactions. The new Web3 game will use the Ethereum blockchain and run on the Polygon network.
The Wildcard Alliance team does not see Wildcard as a play-to-earn game. Paul Bettner, Co-Founder and CEO of The Wildcard Alliance and Playful Studios said in an interview with GamesBeat:
“Web3 platforms present a tremendous opportunity to build entertainment that can include, empower, and onboard millions of new players.”
“Despite this opportunity, the current focus of Web3 game development tends to be on finance over fun, economy over engagement, currency over community. With Wildcard, we’re focused on fun first, building a next-generation ‘spectator sport’ to welcome the entire community of competitors, collectors, sponsors, and fans to play together.”
Web3 games have been criticized for “not being fun.” These criticisms are not entirely unjustified, as the genre is nascent or, as Bettner puts it, focusing more on economics than entertainment. Today, Web3 games may not be as fun and enjoyable experience-oriented as traditional games. The Wildcard Alliance wants to overcome this with the games it will develop.