VC Play-to-Earn Investors Now ‘More Cautious’, Game Engagement Still Strong
This year’s downturn in the crypto market has made venture capital investors in the metaverse and play-to-earn sector “more cautious,” although user engagement in the games themselves remains “robust,” metaverse investor Animoca Brands told Cryptonews.com.
According to Robby Yung, the CEO of North American Operations at Animoca Brands, the downturn has so far had only a limited impact on user activity in the play-to-earn sector. This is despite the fact that prices of most (fungible) tokens and non-fungible tokens (NFTs) in the gaming category are down significantly from their highs.
Yung told Cryptonews.com that,
“Crypto prices are down, but I still see robust game engagement, as I’m not sure there’s really a direct correlation to crypto market conditions.”
For the more professional investors in the space, however, Yung noted that there has been a change in how they approach the market compared to last year.
“I think the volatility in the crypto markets has naturally made investors more cautious in their approach,” Yung said. He added that investors are now “taking their time,” given that there is less pressure to close deals as quickly as before.
At the same time, some investors are taking advantage of the situation to negotiate lower valuations for the companies they seek to invest in, while others choose to invest smaller amounts, Animoca’s North America head explained.
Notably, Yung said that the downturn also represents an opportunity for them as a company to assess the terms and conditions of transactions, making sure they are “in line with changes in the overall market environment.”
“That said, the state of the market does not have any impact on our enthusiasm and interest in continuing to grow our business,” Yung added, noting that volatility is something that should be expected in all growth markets.
Yung stated that,
“[We] are still very much in the early days of the metaverse and in particular of how NFTs are changing the concepts of digital ownership, interoperability, and equitability in games and beyond.”
The comments from Yung came as Animoca Brands has continued to add more companies to its growing portfolio of game studios this year.
According to an emailed investor letter for June by Animoca’s founder and chairman Yat Siu, the company’s combined portfolio investments and digital asset reserves now make up approximately USD 5.7bn.
The Animoca chairman said in the letter that in addition to six acquisitions this year, the company has developed a number of “significant partnerships.” Among the companies it has partnered with are Yuga Labs, OneFootball, Planet Hollywood, Cube Entertainment, and Untamed Planet, the letter said.
Since starting on its crypto investment journey during the ‘crypto winter’ of 2018, Animoca Brands has helped “kickstart the movement for the open metaverse,” Yat Siu further wrote.
The Animoca chairman concluded his letter by saying: “Today we are in a significantly stronger position than we were in 2018 and we intend to continue to support, grow, and invest in the development of the open metaverse.”