Xterio, a new Web3 gaming platform, has closed an investment round with a sizeable $40 million USD. The investors include some familiar names like Animoca Brands, FTX Ventures, and Forte. Xterio’s ambitions are admirable and their proposed ecosystem would solve many problems, but they aren’t the first to identify the needs of Web3 gaming, and it is anything but easy to execute.
What Is Xterio?
Xterio is a “play-and-earn gaming platform and GameFi-as-a-service solution that will serve as an onboarding catalyst to web3,” according to their whitepaper. (I do wish people would stop using the term GameFi for any games that have earning potential!) Xterio aims at being a complete solution for both gamers and developers, integrating a games library, wallets, a decentralized identity system, marketplace, social aspects, and more. With regards to gamers, Xterio wants to be the path of least resistance for play-and-earn, free-to-play games, as well as all of the peripheral functions necessary to a Web3 game’s success.
For developers, the aspiration of Xterio is onboarding through an “easy-to-use, end-to-end, chain-agnostic solution for blockchain gaming.” Xterio want their platform to be an onboarding catalyst for both players and developers with high-quality games, tools, and systems.
Xterio has joined a sought-after race with a lucrative prize pool to the winner who manages to build an all-encompassing platform. But, it will be anything but straightforward to build it successfully.
The Race and Xterio’s Biggest Challenge
Xterio has exactly the right aim for where blockchain gaming and Web3 are at present. That is, they aim to build a holistic onboarding experience for gamers and developers with a fully fleshed-out and thoughtful platform. They have a highly experienced team and there is certainly a requirement for what they want to build. That said — and this might sound absurd — I don’t believe $40 million will cut it. They will get more money in later rounds, I’m sure, but Xterio’s whitepaper has a familiar ring to it: overambition.
So many whitepapers I read in Web3, usually of ventures looking to improve gaming, have all the right ideas. Some of those, albeit a smaller percentage, have a sense of how they can achieve the lofty targets, too. Then there is the even smaller group, in which I believe Xterio resides, that has the right ideas, a plan to build and implement them, and (at least some of) the backing to do it. Why, then, am I cautious rather than bullish?
There is a race to be the Steam 2.0 — a Web3 gaming platform that manages to unify players and publishers as Steam did, but with blockchain technology and improvements over a now aging behemoth. Xterio may not be aiming specifically at a Steam-style platform per se, but it’s similar in scope. The concept is simple enough, but this industry is fresh-faced in the extreme and highly segmented, which is part of why any platform that succeeds at what Xterio is aiming at, will cost the GDP of a medium-sized nation.
Blockchain gaming is so new that there are thousands of problems cropping up on a weekly basis that need solving. Then, these problems often need to be solved by people with expertise, of which there are too few due to how young this sector is. That means talent is significantly more expensive inside of Web3 than outside of it, and hard to find. Add into this the concept of chain-agnosticism, cross-game NFTs, and cross-platform functionality (all Xterio’s words/aims) and you have a sea of difficulties that will breed more difficulties as you force interactions.
Xterio is looking to solve many problems that Web3 gaming has. They are not alone, but that is far from the biggest challenge. Building the number of systems and products necessary — with very few, if any, out-of-the-box solutions — is a tremendous task. Nevertheless, I’m rooting for them. Why wouldn’t you? My only criticism so far (only after assessing their whitepaper and concept, admittedly) is it’s too ambitious. Prove me wrong, Xterio; I’ll cheer you on as you do it.