Mythical Games emerged out of stealth in late 2018 and announced its mission to change the way digital assets are owned in video games. Now, the company has raised an extra $19 million in venture funding to make this possible — and launch its first game.
The way video games make money has changed, following the Free-to-Play revolution. Traditionally, a player would buy a video game and play it to their heart’s content, and later buy another one when they wanted something new. In this model, video game companies only get paid through a single transaction when the customer buys a new game.
But as games got more advanced and became connected to the internet, video game companies introduced Downloadable Content (DLC) and in-game purchases. This allows players to buy extra content on top of the game — like characters, levels, costumes, etc. — and gives game creators another chance to increase profits.
Eventually this led to games that are free to play at the base level, but which include in-game purchases that enhance the player’s experience. An example of this is “Fortnite,” which gives players the option to buy costumes, dances and other cosmetic items.
This business model earned “Fortnite” $2.4 billion in 2018 alone.
However, in-game purchases are not without player controversy. In 2017, video game studio EA debuted its hotly anticipated game “Star Wars Battlefront 2” with in-game “loot boxes” for purchase. These loot boxes gained a lot of negative attention among players, who argued that they disrupted the fairness of the game and essentially tied success in the game to how much players spent. EA ended up removing loot boxes from the game entirely.
So where does Mythical Games fit in? Mythical is gearing up to release its first game “Blankos Block Party,” which is a massively multiplayer online game where players can interact with a virtual world through customizable avatars and compete in games. Mythical is planning to add digital assets — like DLC or in-game items — within its game, but the company has created a whole in-game economy built on blockchain, called the dGoods standard.
Mythical says this will shift ownership of these digital assets to the player.
“By leveraging the TTF-based Microsoft Azure Blockchain Tokens service in combination with Mythical Games’ open-source dGoods standard, we can allow for a simple way to tokenize any type of asset in a game, creating new opportunities in and out of the game for players and content creators to participate in player-owned economies. The items that players earn in video games can be as diverse as our imaginations allow. When tokenizing game items, it’s important to us as game creators that we’re able to have a palette of tools to build an economy that fits our game and players,” Rudy Koch, Vice President of Marketplace Services at Mythical Games, said in a statement.
Mythical Games has raised $35 million in funding to date. Its team is just 30 people split between two offices in Los Angeles and Seattle. Mythical Games is actively hiring more developers, but the company also recently appointed people to some major executive roles. This includes adding a new chief operating officer, chief product officer, vice president of marketing and general counsel. The company also added several new board members.
Although Mythical is a young company, its employees bring experience from some major video game brands, including Activision Blizzard, Zynga, Oculus and more.
“We are very excited with the support from our new and existing investors, team and board members. We are well capitalized to lead this evolution in gaming economics for PC, console, and mobile games bringing participation from players, brands, e-sports teams and influencers directly into the game economics. We believe this new trend will come to dominate games and can’t wait to bring Blankos Block Party to market to show this new economy in action and share our platform with other incredible game studios around the world,” John Linden, CEO of Mythical Games, said in a statement.