Proof of Play, a blockchain gaming startup led by FarmVille co-creator Amitt Mahajan, successfully raised $33 million in a seed funding round.
Greenoaks and a16z Crypto led the seed round, with Anchorage Digital, Mercury, Firebase, Zynga, Alchemy, Balaji Srinivasan, and Naval Ravikant also contributing to the project’s funding. Ravikant previously invested in both Uber and Twitter in their early stages. Rounding out the list of high-profile investors were Twitch founders Justin Kan and Emmett Shear.
Proof of Play, a Web3 company led by Amitt Mahajan, the co-creator of the hit game FarmVille, has raised a bumper $33 million from a high-profile list of investors.
Other former executives at the firm include alumni of Epic Games, Zynga, EA, Activision, Google, Facebook, Disney, and Warner Brothers.
Following the seed round, Mahajan commented on the raise.
“As one of the creators and lead developers of FarmVille, the #1 Facebook game played by over 300 million people, I saw firsthand the amount of energy and storytelling players put into games they love,” said Mahajan.
“When the [FarmVille] game shut down in 2020, however, over a billion hours of playtime, creativity, and investment were lost. Realizing this, I felt compelled to find a better way to make games timeless.”
Having been stung by the loss of FarmVille, Proof of Play is developing games that are immutable, preserving gameplay on the blockchain.
Chris Dixon, the founder and managing partner at a16z Crypto, highlighted the importance of Amitt Mahajan’s record of success in the gaming sphere.
“Amitt is a brilliant founder with the unique ability to develop games that people love to play as well as innovate on the underlying tech stack to push the boundaries of on-chain performance and possibilities,” said Dixon.
Investors in the project expect that Mahajan can rediscover some of that FarmVille magic in his latest venture. The first game from the studio is Pirate Nation. The game is a social role-playing game (RPG), inviting players to build ships, recruit their crew, and battle enemies on the high seas.
Welcome to Pirate Nation, an on-chain RPG by @ProofOfPlay, built at the intersection of casual gaming, web3 technology, and shared ownership & incentives.
A thread 🧵 covering what you need to know about our game, ecosystem, & team.
Let's jump in. 👇 1/many pic.twitter.com/aS9e4OvAuJ
— Pirate Nation (@PirateNationNFT) July 5, 2023
Pirate Nation is currently in beta, though interested parties can sign up for the waiting list or play the demo now. MetaNews played the demo version to get a feel for the latest effort from FarmVille’s creator, Mahajan.
Pirate Nation is a turn-based combat game rendered in a blocky, pixelated style somewhat reminiscent of Lego or Minecraft. At the start of each round, players receive a selection of cards, which they can choose to play in any order. Cards have a range of abilities, from dealing damage to their opponent to healing powers.
Some cards offer increased hit power for a number of turns. Others promise a higher number of cards over the course of a number of turns.
The strategy of the game comes in two parts: the order in which the player chooses to play each card and the number of action points that each card takes to play. Displayed on the bottom left-hand side of the screen is the number of action points a player has left to play in that round.
Playing a card uses up action points (though there are exceptions), and the number of action points varies for each card.
Players must therefore weigh up the costs of each card against the benefits of playing it. Both the player and the enemy vessel have a health bar. The winner of the combat is the player who drains their opponent of all health.
Players of turn-based card games will find much here that is familiar to them. The final version of the game will also include building and expansion components as Pirate Captains create a home base from which to build their seafaring empire.
As it stands, the limited demo version of the game suggests there may be enough here to intrigue fans of the genre, although further elements could yet make or break Pirate Nation.