Updated: July 7, 2022

As major players stay away, an ex-TikTok gaming executive will build a blockchain games startup

Jason Fung, the former president of TikTok's gaming division and co-founder of a blockchain gaming firm, told Reuters in an interview that the company is starting as a result of the growing interest in blockchain games despite the caution of industry titans.

The 34-year-old left TikTok last month after working there for two years. His departure coincides with TikTok and its Chinese owner ByteDance's aggressive expansion into the $300 billion global gaming market in an effort to compete with rival Tencent Holdings. So far, this aggressive expansion has had mixed results.

A new generation of online games built on blockchains that allow players to trade items in the form of non-fungible tokens also shows the exploding interest among investors and entrepreneurs in blockchain gaming (NFTs).

Fung, whose new business is known as Meta0, claimed he quit TikTok because he saw a chance to provide a remedy for the presently segregated nature of infrastructure alternatives accessible to developers wishing to create blockchain games.

"At the moment, every developer who wants to incorporate NFTs or blockchain technology into their games must select just one blockchain, be it Polygon, Solana, or Binance Smart Chain. But consider an option that is more interoperable," he told Reuters in Hong Kong, referring to well-known current blockchains.

"So, we decided to move forward. Let's jointly found this business. Fung, who was based in Shenzhen and reported to TikTok's chief operational officer Vanessa Pappas, stated, "Let's leave up my comfortable corporate existence at TikTok and take a huge risk."

In addition to the two co-founders, Meta0's founding team consists of six other individuals, and the company has completed the first round of investment, according to Fung.

He refused to provide information on the other co-founder, the remainder of the crew, or the funding. He stated that in addition to seeking funding from strategic and venture capital investors, the company was aiming to issue tokens.

Big brands stay away

The gaming business will be disrupted, according to proponents of blockchain games, because cryptocurrencies can make virtual goods more tradeable and even transfer game ownership to users. The virtual economies of certain games have collapsed shortly after player buy-in, and blockchain games are occasionally linked to scams.

The majority of well-known gaming businesses, including Tencent, Sony, and Microsoft, haven't made any sizable bets on blockchain games yet.

Fung was given the responsibility of developing gaming content and testing new features, such as hosting mini-games on the app, as TikTok's worldwide head of strategy and operations for gaming.

During Fung's leadership, TikTok and ByteDance aggressively moved into the gaming space, with ByteDance making purchases including the $4 billion purchase of Moonton, a gaming studio, and TikTok experimenting with mini-game features on its app.

There have been both successes and failures in the endeavours. Data tracking company Sensor Tower reported last month that ByteDance's selection of mobile games had brought in more than $1 billion in revenue globally over the previous 12 months.

However, ByteDance also shut down its 101 Studio in Shanghai last month, laying off half of the 300+ employees. 101 Studio, a byproduct of ByteDance's 2019 acquisition of Mokun Technology, was the company's first development division to close due to performance issues.

When questioned about who might succeed him at TikTok, Fung, who oversaw the e-sports divisions of Alibaba Group Holding and Electronic Arts in Asia before joining TikTok, declined to answer.

An inquiry for comment from TikTok did not immediately receive a response.

Blockchain gaming is a popular financial fad

Blockchain games have emerged as one of the hottest investment possibilities being debated by crypto tycoons from Silicon Valley to Dubai, despite the skepticism of some in the sector.

According to research released in April by investment banking company Drake Star Partners, the blockchain gaming sector raised a record $1.2 billion in the first quarter before the recent collapse of the crypto market. A total of $3.6 billion was raised for the industry last year.

Speaking on the potential for blockchain gaming, Fung stated, "We've designed a protocol for game makers and we take a flexible, blockchain-agnostic approach to their game development."

"With the help of a protocol we're creating, developers can easily create games that take advantage of the features of various blockchains and provide users the ability to transfer their NFTs across chains."

Social Share

Trending Articles