Fortnite Star Wins BAYC Game, NASA Metaverse, Ankr Partners with Microsoft

Jethro Sandico

Feb. 22, 2023

Today’s Web3 digest will highlight various fields such as gaming, art, entertainment, fashion, lifestyle, space travel, technology and many more. 

Here are the stories that shape Web3.

Top Stories

  • Azra Games: Azra Games, a game dev studio founded by former Electronic Arts (EA) general manager Mark Otero, has raised $10 million in a seed funding round. The additional fundraiser brings the company’s warchest to a total of $25 million. For its first project, Azra Games is releasing role-playing game (RPG) Legions & Legends. In essence, the title will incorporate NFTs to provide players with rewards and experiences (FC).

  • NASA: 2,300 developers have entered NASA’s competition to build a virtual reality (VR) Mars simulator. Participants will get the chance to receive a portion of the $70,000 prize pool and have their designs utilized by the space agency. Basically, NASA plans to use the metaverse to prepare astronauts for manned missions to the Red Planet in 2030 (PS). 

  • Strider: Collaborative story-telling platform Strider has raised $5.5 million to create story-driven Web3 games. Led by Makers Fund and Fabric Ventures, other entities that supported the project include Magic Eden, Sfermion, and Shima Capital. Strider is founded by executives and partners from a16z, EA, Jam City, Rockstar Games, and Square Enix (BW).

  • Loco/Avalanche: Indian game streaming platform Loco has joined Ava Labs’ “Avalanche Multiverse” incentive program, and is launching its own subnet on the AVAX ecosystem.  Essentially, the company’s main goal is to bring eSports and streaming experiences to Web3. According to Avalanche network’s tweet, Loco is “the LARGEST eSports streaming platform in India” with over 50 million users (VB).

  • Ankr/Microsoft: Web3 infrastructure firm Ankr has teamed up with technology giant Microsoft Corporation. The initiative aims to provide blockchain node hosting services for businesses using cloud computing platform Microsoft Azure. According to Ankr co-founder and chief executive Chandler Song, the partnership shows how far Web3 has come “in integrating with the crucial players in every layer of web systems” (SA). 

Web3 Games

  • Tamadoge: Play-to-earn (P2E) platform Tamadoge has announced the upcoming launch of its new Web3 game Tamadoge Arcade. “We can’t wait to bring you onto a new adventure – Check it out!” the team tweeted. Furthermore, Tamadoge also hired mobile games expert Ozan Daldal as the company’s head of gaming. Prior to the appointment, Daldal has worked with entities such as Block Labs, Infinite Arcade, and Coda Labs (TW).

  • Planet IX: Virtual World strategy game Planet IX has announced that its ‘Agents of Change’ badge packs can now be opened. Basically, AOC packs include one to three badges, with 24 background scenes, and 12 colors. Moreover, holders can also open five packs at a time (TW).

  • IguVerse: SocialFi/GameFi app IguVerse recently listed its native token $IGU on select digital asset exchanges. Users can now avail of the cryptocurrency on the following platforms: OKX, KuCoin, Huobi, Gate, MEXC, Poloniex, and Bitget. $IGU quickly reached a total volume of $20 million, a few hours after launching (TW).

  • Curio Research: Web3 gaming lab Curio Research has secured $2.9 million in a seed funding round led by Bain Capital Crypto. Other investors include Formless Capital, Robot Ventures, Smrti Lab, and TCG Crypto, among others. Curio will utilize the capital to build more games, provide smoother experiences, and expand the company’s workforce (BW).

  • Arc8 by Gamee/Benji Bananas: Ethereum-powered action/adventure game Benji Bananas has teamed up with eSports arcade game Arc8 by Gamee for a Twitter Spaces session. As part of the ask me anything (AMA), lucky participants can get the chance to earn $500 in $PRIMATE tokens. Additionally, Arc8 is also giving away $250 worth of $GMEE tokens to attendees (TW).

NFT News

  • Bored Ape Yacht Club: Fortnite star Kyle Jackson aka “Mongraal” was recently hailed as the winner of blue-chip NFT collection Bored Ape Yacht Club’s (BAYC) racing game Dookey Dash. “Many have dashed, more have dookey’d, but one person arrived. Congratulations to @Mongraal, the Key is yours!” BAYC announced (DC).

  • Joepegs/MetaOps: Joepegs, an NFT marketplace on Avalanche, has announced the launch of FPS game MetaOps’ ‘Scarlet Summit Set’ collection. Scheduled for release on the 25th of February, the project offers a digital collectible set featuring three NFTs. The assets will be available to the public for 2 $AVAX (around $42 as of this writing) (TW).

  • Friendsies: Creators behind NFT collection Friendsies received backlash after announcing that “it would be best to put a pause” on the project. The team put the blame on market conditions for their decisions. Subsequently, the team also deleted their Twitter account, creating widespread rumors that Friendsies might be “rug-pulling” its throng of NFT holders (CD).

  • Blur: NFT marketplace Blur has announced plans to airdrop $300 million worth of $BLUR tokens to its loyal users. The additional rewards are a celebration of the platform’s recent success, after overtaking leading digital collectible marketplace OpenSea. Moreover, the extra incentives serve as a follow-up to the “care packages” that Blur recently sent out to supporters (DC).

Into the Metaverse

  • Sensorium Galaxy: Metaverse platform Sensorium Galaxy has launched its virtual reality (VR) multiplayer public playtest. The project is now available on video game store Steam. Along with the early-stage beta phase, Sensorium also released a music-dedicated Virtual World called PRISM. Furthermore, the platform also unveiled a VR environment dubbed the ‘Salvador Dali’ experience, which allows users to converge with the iconic surrealist artist (BNC).

  • Assouline: Book publisher and luxury lifestyle company Assouline has launched a new project called “Metaverse Dream.” The book focuses on the metaverse as the next frontier in travel. Along with the release, Assouline also opened a pop-up boutique in virtual world platform Decentraland. Owners can scan the QR code on the book’s cover to access the metaverse and avail of the bonus content and experiences (HB).

  • Jewel: Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Jewel is utilizing the metaverse for her mental and emotional health advocacies. The Inspiring Children Foundation co-founder has initiated the formation of a new virtual world platform called “Innerworld.” Dedicated to providing resources on depression, anxiety, loss, and other illnesses, the project is available in VR and flat screens (F).

Around the Blockchain

  • Litecoin Ordinals: Software engineer Anthony Guerrera recently launched a project called “Litecoin Ordinals” on Microsoft Corporation subsidiary Github. Litecoin is a cryptocurrency that offers faster transaction speed than $BTC. Ordinals is a protocol that allows users to inscribe NTFs via pioneer cryptocurrency Bitcoin’s blockchain. To date, Ordinals has recorded 154,000 inscriptions since its release (DC).

  • Web3 Gaming: According to dAppRadar’s data, Web3 games accounted for 48% of the overall activity on the blockchain in January. Additionally, the top gaming token market cap is also up by an average of 122%. One of the best performers in the scene however is Web3 gaming company Gala Games. Apparently, the platform’s native token $GALA saw a 218% rise during the first month of 2023 (CT). 

  • JP Morgan/BNY Mellon: Financial services company JP Morgan and corporate investment bank BNY Mellon are ramping up hiring for their digital assets and blockchain-focused initiatives. For example, BNY Mellon is currently looking to fill 18 positions, including a ‘Digital Cash Product Architect’ role. Meanwhile, JP Morgan has 15 open positions for its Web3 arm Onyx (LI).

Web3 Content Creators

  • Brycent: Web3 gamer Brycent teased an upcoming collaboration with app-less mobile gaming platform Artie. “Excited to connect with @theartieverse and make sick content in LA this week!” Brycent tweeted. Recently, Artie launched the V0.2 Alpha release of its game Pong Legends. 

  • Hustle: In Crypto Banter’s latest episode of “In the Game,” host Hustle focused on the impact of Chinese and Asian markets on trading. Some of the projects that the influencer touched on include Optic Gaming, Deadrop Midnight Society, Dr. Disrespect, Gala Games, Superverse, Gods Unchained, and many more.

  • Spike: Web3 content creator Spike recently partnered with MMORPG project Kuroro Beasts for a 72-hour giveaway. Lucky participants will get the chance to win three Silver Ferry tickets. According to Spike, the adventure-themed project is a “creature collector game coming to Treasure DAO.”

  • Stache: The latest edition of CryptoStache’s “The NFT Beat” with co-host JChains touched on the ongoing NFT marketplace rivalry between emerging platform Blur and perennial leader OpenSea. Additionally, Spike and JChains also discussed various digital collectible projects, including music, gaming, and many more.