Veterans from the established gaming world are flocking to web3. Whether they do it out of a fear of missing out or genuine belief in blockchain technologies, the trend appears irreversible at least for now, as investment keeps pouring into the industry.
Oasys, a Japan- and Singapore-based startup that’s building a blockchain for gaming developers, has just raised $20 million. The round was led by Republic Capital with participation from Jump Crypto, Crypto.com, Huobi, Kucoin, Gate.io, Bitbank and Mirana Ventures.
Rather than a traditional equity round, the capital came in a private token sale, which “doesn’t dilute the equity of our project that we firmly believe in” and “allows us to reach a broader base of backers than a traditional equity fundraiser will,” Daiki Moriyama, director at Oasys, tells TechCrunch.
The founding team is deeply rooted in the Japanese gaming industry but picked Singapore as the firm’s other home because Japan “has regulatory issues regarding crypto assets,” the executive says. Singapore has emerged as a crypto hub in Asia in recent years.
Some of the biggest obstacles facing blockchain-based applications are slow transactions and high gas fees, the costs incurred when a transaction is added to a blockchain. Infrastructure developers like Solana, Avalanche and Polygon are trying to make blockchain services more scalable.
Oasys, merely five months old, shares the same goal. For most games to be “fun” or “good” in the blockchain, they need to be highly scalable with high transaction speed and low or zero gas fees for users, Moriyama suggests.
With a focus on blockchain games, Oasys has attracted a list of household names in the gaming world to be “validators” on its blockchain. The network uses the “proof-of-stake” consensus mechanism, a less energy-intensive alternative to the “proof-of-work” method used in the Bitcoin chain. In PoS, a validator “stakes” its tokens in the network and is responsible for ensuring data saved in the network is valid.
Oasys’s early validators include Bandai Namco Research, a research arm under the Japanese entertainment conglomerate; SEGA, a Japanese console giant; French games group Ubisoft; South Korean’s video gaming companies Netmarble, Wemade and Com2uS; as well as Yield Guild Games, an a16z-backed outfit in the Philippines that lets users play games to earn tokens that can be cashed out.
Eventually, Oasys hopes to allocate more governance power to its community and transition to what’s called a decentralized autonomous organization. In contrast to a traditional corporation with a board of directors who shape the firm’s direction, a DAO has no central authority and relies on blockchain-based smart contracts to execute decisions agreed upon by the community.
With the new financial infusion, Oasys plans to strengthen partnerships with game developers, digital asset exchanges and others in the gaming and crypto industry. It will also be spending the money on marketing, business development and hiring. The company has roughly 20 staff across Singapore, Japan, South Korea and the U.S.
When asked about potential collaborations with Oasys’s crypto exchange investors, Moriyama explains “there is naturally a firewall between the investment team and the listing team, but the fact that the investment team has deemed us worth investing in is likely to be highly valued by the listing team as a result.”
Oasys is actively working to list its tokens on several crypto exchanges.