Mythical Games - Gaming Company
Founded in 2018, Mythical Games is a video game studio for player-owned economies valued at $1.25B
Mythical Games is a game technology studio that aims to bring players, creators, brands and game developers together through personalized experiences and content. It is focused on building player-owned economies with top game developers and publishers in addition to its own portfolio of games. For this, it leverages blockchain technology and playable NFTs (Non-fungible Tokens) that enable players to become stakeholders and owners in new play-to-earn game economies.
Headquartered in Los Angeles, California, Mythical has raised a total of $260M in funding over 5 rounds. In November 2021, Mythical raised its latest funding from a Series C round. In September 2018, Mythical acquired Arcuity.
Business Overview & Products
The company mainly offers a decentralized gaming application called the Mythical Platform. This uses blockchain technology to produce games where any assets developed or acquired by players are owned by them. Mythical is also working on an Economic Engine, which is intended to help players create NFT Marketplaces that are in compliance with regulatory requirements. This engine will enable them to comply with anti-money laundering laws and other legal frameworks.
Mythical has launched its first game into beta testing in 2021, called the Blankos Block Party. It is an open-world multiplayer game and a platform where players can create games with NFTs. The game has a marketplace where players can buy and sell their characters, which can be customized or decorated with various digital goods earned in the game. To generate initial interest in the game, Mythical Games announced collaborations with Burberry, DeadMau5, Quiccs, and El Grand Chamaco in 2021.
How It Works
The team at Mythical is led by gaming industry veterans. These veterans are specialists in building games around player-owned economies, and have been involved in the development of major franchises such as the well-known Call of Duty, World of Warcraft, Guitar Hero, DJ Hero, Marvel Strike Force and Skylanders.
The decentralized gaming application is used by the company to build games on blockchain that allow players to have ownership of their digital assets in the game. These games serve as integrated secondary markets which can be used to develop new, in-game economies by players based on their digital ownership of the assets. The interesting aspect of this business is that it provides players a way for selling their digital assets to other players for real money, in safe and secure transactions on the Mythical Marketplace.
The Economic Engine is responsible for helping players create compliant NFT marketplaces. NFTs use the blockchain, a secure and transparent digital ledger, to authenticate unique digital items. Adding NFTs to a game also means that a company has to create a digital wallet for players to securely hold their digital property. Meanwhile, the blockchain platform often has to be modified to reduce transaction costs, speed up transactions, and use less energy than the likes of Bitcoin and Ethereum.
Business Model & Pricing
The company is both a game developer and created the Mythical Platform to enable others to develop blockchain games that use NFT assets and a play-to-earn model. Players are able to sell the assets they produce in-game, and are also allowed to sell any digital assets they earn while playing.
The way video game companies make money has drastically changed. The game “Blankos Block Party” is a 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 such as DLCs or in-game items – within its game, and the company has created a whole in-game economy built on blockchain, called the dGoods standard. This concept allows players to own the digital assets in the game.
To dive deeper into the technological aspects, the Mythical Platform is constructed upon an “EVM-compatible sidechain” that uses an environmentally friendly and sustainable model. To mint NFTs, it is not required for players to mine.
Mythical Games has somewhat been a pioneer of the “play-to-earn” concepts. It is now known as a top player in the gaming technology world. The unique design and quality of gameplay that it offers has managed to attract mainstream players to its platform.
Recently, Mythical secured $150M in funding and it plans on using it to launch its Blankos Block Party along with its platform to create games with NFTs. It also plans on expanding its team and operations, and hiring new game developers. In the near future, Mythical will add new game content and collaborations to Blankos and will take it to new platforms. Eventually, Mythical plans on bringing new games onto its platform; developers will leverage its Mythical engine and Marketplace to bring playable NFTs into their games and create their own player-owned economies. It is now also planning to expand to the Metaverse.
Founder(s) & Team
John Linden: Co-founder and CEO of Mythical Games. Linden is a video game developer and entrepreneur based out of Los Angeles. Prior to Mythical Games, John served as the President of Seismic Games.
Jamie Jackson: Co-founder and CCO of Mythical Games. Jamie Jackson is a Games industry veteran of 20 years.Prior to Mythical Games, he founded Slingshot Cartel LLP, and FreeStyleGames LTD. He has also served as Studio Head at Activision Blizzard.
Rudy Koch: Co-founder and SVP of Business Development. He has over 10 years of game development experience, and is responsible for shipping some of the most prolific games in the industry.
History and Evolution
The way video games traditionally made money has changed, following the “Free-to-Play” revolution. Players would just make a one-time purchase of the game they wanted to play and video game companies made money off those purchases. But as games got more complex and internet-dependent, video game companies started introducing Downloadable Content (DLCs) and in-game purchases. This allows players to buy extra content on top of the game such as, characters, levels, costumes, etc. and lets the company reap greater profits. This resulted in free-to-play games at the base level along with in-game purchases.
Then came Mythical Games in 2018. And based in Los Angeles, Mythical Games is building a next-generation game technology studio and currently pioneering the “playable NFTs” concept. The company is currently developing several games for PC, mobile, and consoles. These will be developed on its blockchain, and will let players own “pieces” of the game.
So far in its short operating history, Mythical Games has achieved the following milestones:
June 4, 2018: Raised a $1M seed round.
November 15, 2018: Raised a $15M Series A round.
November 4, 2019: Raised a $19M Series A round.
November 6, 2019: Announced integration of Microsoft Azure blockchain tokens with dGoods standard.
October 27, 2020: Brought digital scarcity to gaming
June 9, 2021: Raised a $75M Series B round for Blankos Block Party game and playable NFTs.
June 14, 2021: Launched early access for Blankos Block Party.
June 15, 2021: Burberry announced a partnership with Mythical Games.
In the Blankos open beta, at present there exist more than 60,000 NFTs for more than 300,000 registered players. However, there are fewer than 5,000 Blankos in circulation which are designed by artists.
Mythical Games was one of Forbes Disruptive Technology Companies to Watch in 2019 and a Fast Company’s World Changing Ideas in 2021.
In January 2022, Mythical Games announced its acquisition of Polystream, which is a cloud-streaming platform. This is in line with Mythical Games's plans to start building in the Metaverse.
In traditional video games, players pay real money for in-game items that cannot be easily sold to other players. Billions of dollars have been spent on in-game assets (more than $50B per year) across the video game industry that are useless if players lose interest in the game or don’t need the digital item to play anymore.
As highlighted in a TechCrunch article, in the founding year of Mythical Games the market sentiment was very positive regarding the booming gaming business. This stemmed from the success of Epic Games, Twitch, Discord and others in the space that had successful funding rounds one after the other. Some of the highlights of the time include:
Epic Games raised $1.25B from the success of its game, Fortnite. By that point, Fortnite had earned an astonishing $1B from in-game virtual purchases alone.
Discord, a chat application for gamers, raised a $50M financing at a $1.65B valuation
Dapper Labs, best known for the blockchain-based game CryptoKitties, raised a VC round financing of $15M.
In total, VCs had invested $1.8B in gaming startups that year, per PitchBook.
In a 2021 article, the rising popularity of NFTs is highlighted. Dapper Labs has now seen sales and resales of those NFTs top $780M. In March, an NFT digital collage by the artist Beeple sold at Christie’s for $69.3M. NFT sales hit $1.2B in the first quarter, $1.3B in the second quarter, and a whopping $10.7B in the third quarter as games such as Axie Infinity took off.
Suggested Next Reads
Mythical Games wants to conquer the world of free-to-play with blockchain (Decrypt, November ‘19)
Mythical Games raises $75M to build an NFT game engine (Techcrunch, June ’21)
Andreessen-Backed Mythical Games Buys Game Streaming Startup to Build in the Metaverse (Decrypt, January ‘22)