Gaming Hardware Titan, Razer, Announces Web3 Incubator, ZW3I

"Razer is a welcome addition to the Web3 space, and experienced gaming VCs are proving to be the lifeblood of forward motion for the sector. Not to mention, Razer makes bloody excellent mice."

Razer is one of the most recognizable brands in gaming, famed for their hardware preferred by gamers, streamers, and esports professionals for well over a decade. Now, the company has announced that the venture arm of the company, zVentures, will have a Web3 incubator, ZW3I.

Razer was one of the first gaming-centric hardware manufacturers I remember really becoming a staple of the scene. Around the Counter-Strike: Source days, it was still slim pickings for hardware aimed at gamers, but Razer was on the rise. Now, Razer has cemented itself as not only creating everything a gamer needs, but investing money back into the industry through zVentures.

What Is zVentures?

zVentures is Razer’s venture arm, investing in seed rounds and Series As for start-ups in and around gaming. The scope is broad and ranges from esports through to renewable energy. There are some familiar names in zVentures’ portfolio, including Loupedeck, THX, and AFAR.

Interestingly — and not all of this is mentioned in the Web3 section of the zVentures website — the company has been investing in several Web3 organizations. For example, in the portfolio are big hitters in the space, Animoca Brands and Forte.

What Is zVentures Web3 Incubator? (ZW3I)

ZW3I is the latest branch of zVentures and is centered around Web3 projects, be it games — which appears to be a primary concern — or companies utilizing blockchain. ZW3I has several strategic partners for this, including the aforementioned Animoca Brands as well as Amazon Web Services.

We believe that the foundation of any successful game (be it Web 2.0 or Web 3.0) is immersive and engaging gameplay. While blockchain technology can bring innovative new features to games, the core fundamentals for what makes a great game is the same for all games. Many blockchain games on the market today focus primarily on utilizing blockchain technology rather than creating an engaging and enjoyable gameplay experience, resulting in a lack of player interest and retention.

Through ZW3I, zVentures will prioritize game quality in its selection process for identifying promising Web 3.0 game titles and partners. The focus will be on supporting new game developers/publishers that are focused on the gameplay experience first as well as game developers that already have a strong track record in creating successful Web 2.0 games as they transition to incorporating blockchain technology and enter the Web 3.0 ecosystem.

— ZW3I

While I agree with the sentiment of the above statement by ZW3I, it does miss a crucial consideration: exploring what blockchain can achieve in games. Yes, fundamentally, games must have an enjoyable gameplay experience — that’s not open for debate. However, blockchain technology can (and ought to) infuse the gameplay experience, it needn’t simply run parallel to it. A great example of this is what Alien Worlds is doing with its in-game DAOs. Innovation with blockchain in the gaming world is essential.

Nevertheless, Razer is a welcome addition to the Web3 space, and experienced gaming VCs are proving to be the lifeblood of forward motion for the sector. Not to mention, Razer makes bloody excellent mice.

Lead image by Zany Jadraque on Unsplash

Robert Baggs
Robert Baggs
Full-time professional crypto writer and Editor of Token Gamer. Co-host of the Mint One Podcast. Obsessed with MMOs. London based. Primary holdings: WAXP, ENJ, & BTC. Secondary holdings: ETH, GALA, & MATIC

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