MetaGoons: Pushing the Guild Model Forward
March 10th, 2022
Disclaimer: FLYING FALCON HAS INVESTED IN THE METAGOONS, DECENTRAL GAMES, AXIE INFINITY AND RONIN. THIS STATEMENT IS INTENDED TO DISCLOSE ANY CONFLICT OF INTEREST AND SHOULD NOT BE MISCONSTRUED AS A RECOMMENDATION TO PURCHASE DIGITAL LAND OR ANY TOKEN. THIS CONTENT IS FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY AND YOU SHOULD NOT MAKE DECISIONS BASED SOLELY ON IT. INVESTING IN ANY CRYPTO ASSET IS A MAJOR RISK. THIS IS NOT INVESTMENT OR FINANCIAL ADVICE
Why guilds, what are guilds; and how did we get here?
Over the past year, the idea and concept of gaming guilds took off along with the rise of NFT Gaming. The number of ‘active’ blockchain based games more than doubled over the past year to approximately 400 games. The leading game, Axie Infinity, saw its user jump from ~15,000 at the beginning of 2021 to approximately 2 million today. Capital flooded into the space, with an estimated $4.5B investing in the NFT gaming ecosystem, up more than 35x from the year prior. As the industry continues to take shape and mature, more and more entrants will begin to recognize the importance and value of NFTs and digital ownership of in-game assets.
Guilds serve as the onboarding platform for new, unfamiliar entrants to enter the world of NFT gaming. Guilds often lend the required in-game assets to would-be players who may not have the capital or are not yet ready to purchase in-game assets. Guilds provide an educational resource and community to help navigate this complex and fast paced world where real monetary value is on the line. The industry landscape can be confusing and overwhelming given the sheer amount of games and complexities around self-custody of assets, setting up wallets and crypto in general. We believe that at scale guilds will serve as the most common entry point into web3; and, rather than highlighting bitcoin or ethereum as their gateway into crypto, new participants to our space will highlight a specific guild.
As active community members within the NFT gaming industry we recognize the importance of guilds and the benefits that they can bring to the industry as a whole. We agree that a successfully managed guild should offer at least three core benefits: an intentional community, a deliberate identity, and a unity of purpose. Guilds will be competing for top tier talent with the goal of climbing up gaming leaderboards, winning professional tournaments and generating engaging content. While in-house tooling and monetary incentives can serve as an edge, these are more short-term benefits that will be commoditized over the long run. What’s much harder to build and replicate is the culture, recognizable brand and sticky community associated with that guild. We believe the most successful guilds will be the ones that will serve as a digitally native home and provide a sense of community from within.
We knew we wanted to partner and get actively involved with a guild; however, we also knew we needed to find the one with an existing and exceptional community and the vision to move this industry forward. We believe the MetaGoons are uniquely positioned to garner a strong, unified community that is dedicated to human development and one’s needs both inside and outside of NFT gaming. We couldn’t be more excited to have joined forces with the MetaGoons and believe they will be at the forefront of this cultural revolution.
Our first introduction with Donnell, co-founder of the MetaGoons, came through a discord direct message from him where we shared our Axie story and talked through the prospect of developing digital land and the rise of Axie’s digital nation. After several months of growing the relationship, Donnell excitedly discussed his desire to grow their guild (previously known as GWDG at the time of our call), scale their scholarship program and partner with gamers and content creators that have yet to enter the world of NFT gaming. At this point during our conversation he emphasized his vision to create the first “Meta-Lifestyle” brand built around crypto, culture, content and community
We booked flights to meet Donnell, his co-founder Jacky and the rest of their team to dive deeper into their business plan. It was evident at the dinner table that we were amongst two natural leaders that were well positioned to develop a successful organization and brand. As the dinner concluded we sealed the deal with a handshake committing as the lead investors in their seed round. The next morning, we joined Donnell and Jacky in their office to brainstorm and discuss what needed to be built: IRL events, branding, token economics, partnerships, and community programs.
Building at the intersection of content and gaming
The MetaGoons aim to build a globally recognized brand and culture that will captivate the eyes of the top gamers and content creators. The brand is designed in a way that resonates with those not yet in our industry, with the goal of being the “cool kids on the block” and capturing the attention of new participants. To get there, it comes down to the personalities of the team and community, their desire to connect on a personal level, digital experiences, and their sharp attention to detail as demonstrated by their apparel line and website. As the MetaGoons reach expands, content creators will come to the MetaGoons as a way to propel their already established Web2 user-base by both leveraging the brand and Web3 creator economy tools such as Glass and Sound. It’s ambitious, but the MetaGoons goal is to bridge the gap between Web2 and Web3 and onboard more into our industry through educational, gaming and lifestyle content creation.
As it currently stands, many guilds are primarily dedicated to growing the number of scholars and in-game assets to maximize their pie of potential earnings. Going forward, it will be less about the pure number of players/games and more about the underlying skill and value add of the guild. Recently, Axie adjusted their SLP rewards mechanism directly impacting NFT gaming earnings creating a more competitive environment. Axie Infinity cut the daily quest and adventure rewards to zero and added 117,676 AXS tokens for PVP players compared to 3,000 AXS prior. This change will likely put a spotlight on the more skilled players within the ecosystem which in-turn benefits the MetaGoons who are well positioned to attract the top gamers in the industry. As Axie’s new all-star hire Philip La noted, going forward, “It’s simply not possible for everyone to put in $5 and take $6 out…There will be some people who put in $5 and can get $6 out, and some people who put in $5 and can get $2 out.” We believe it is clear that guilds and players at the top of the bell curve will increasingly get a larger percentage of earnings and rewards across NFT games.
The MetaGoons’ focus on branding and community will be a key differentiator in the upcoming competition for talent. We and the MetaGoons believe the true competitive edge in onboarding new talent will come from establishing a community and brand that welcomes the most competitive and skilled gamers along with the best content creators. By positioning themselves as a premier guild, MetaGoons can maximize play & earn earnings and importantly generate additional revenue through professional esports tournament winnings, streaming viewership, NFT sales, brand sponsorships, content creation and apparel. The guild model becomes more dynamic and transitions away from the current model of farming in-game currencies. The model sits at the intersection of gaming, content creation and NFTs, a $104B, $180B and $23B market, respectively.
Since we first embarked on this journey with Donnell and Jacky, we have seen them “cooking with grease” by achieving the following milestones on the path to building a globally recognized brand:
- Completed a $2M seed round alongside best-in-class investors including Arrington Capital, Hof VC, LD Capital, YGG, Jihoz and Aleksander from Axie Infinity, Baronar from Axie Chat, Path, and Tin from Sipher.
- Formed an esports partnership with Team Pacquiao GG
- Incubated a content creation arm led by Ansel through MetaGoons TV
- Co-hosted an IRL party through the NFT New York Axie rally
- Hosted a virtual world party with DecentralGames and MIMS inside Decentraland
- Built a website and brand that would speak to those outside our industry
- Invested and partnered with Sipher, Cyball, Solarbots, Dehorizon, Big Time, Ember Sword and Star Atlas, among others
- Grown scholar base from 135 to 1000+
- Wilmer, a MetaGoons scholar, was at the top of the Axie leaderboard
- Scholars have increased their SLP earned/month by 50% compared to August.
We believe the top gamers and best content creators will want to join the MetaGoons for their culture and the key opportunities the guild presents through NFT gaming, content creation, entertainment and digital experiences. These opportunities along with a strong brand and unified community will help the guild continue to attract top creators and gamers creating a flywheel effect accelerating the growth of the MetaGoons guild and brand as a whole. As more gamers and content creators join the MetaGoons, new NFT games will seek to partner with the MetaGoons given the usage and attention the guild can bring to the game.
Thank you Donnell and Jacky; we appreciate this opportunity and couldn’t be more excited to have joined forces with the MetaGoons.