Axie Infinity’s Ronin Network Expands with New Games

Sky Mavis, the creator of the popular blockchain game Axie Infinity, has announced that it is expanding its Ronin Network with the addition of four gaming studios. The move is aimed at creating a native gaming ecosystem that is more community-centric, rewarding, and fun.

Axie Infinity has gained immense popularity in the blockchain gaming space, with over one million daily active users and a market capitalization of over $4.5 billion. With the addition of new games on the Ronin Network, the company aims to attract more users to the Web3 space and drive the adoption of blockchain gaming.

“With the upgrade to DPoS, we are ready to open up our infrastructure and technology to the wider Web3 world. We believe that this is the path toward creating gaming that’s community-centric, more rewarding, and above all, more fun,” said Sky Mavis.

The addition of new games to the Ronin Network is part of the company’s game studio strategy, which aims to attract both Web3 and Web2 users. By working with teams that have a history of Web2 user acquisition, Axie Infinity hopes to get blockchain games exposed to the masses and be a catalyst for more Web3 adoption.

“Our goal is to work with teams to build great games that not only attract Web3 users but also attract millions of Web2 users,” said Osgood, a representative of Sky Mavis.

Despite the recent crypto winter, many believe that more traditional gaming firms will eventually enter the NFT and blockchain gaming space. In a recent discussion among Web3 executives, the potential for mainstream gaming companies to jump in was discussed, with a focus on NFT gaming models like play-to-earn and move-to-earn.

With its continued success and expansion, Axie Infinity is poised to be a leader in the Web3 gaming space and a catalyst for more widespread adoption of blockchain gaming.


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Catheon Gaming Hires Mark Aubrey as New CEO To Drive Growth

Catheon Gaming, a major blockchain gaming, and entertainment company based in Australia, on Friday, announced the appointment of Mark Aubrey as the company’s new co-Chief Executive Officer. Aubrey will commence his new position effective July 11, 2022.

Aubrey will work alongside William Wu, the Founder, and CEO of Catheon Gaming, to set the ground to support the firm’s growth in the rapidly growing blockchain gaming industry.

Aubrey joins Catheon Gaming with over 19 years of experience in the entertainment and gaming industry in the APAC region.

In the most recent, Aubrey served as the Managing Director and Head of Asia Pacific (“APAC”) at Activision Blizzard, a major gaming developer and publisher of entertainment software, recognized for developing some of the industry’s most critically acclaimed games, including Call of Duty and World of Warcraft.

At Activision Blizzard, Aubrey was in charge of managing all verticals of both Activision Publishing and Blizzard Entertainment’s commercial and go-to-market operations and teams across Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Korea, India, and Greater Asia. He managed large teams of workers across four regional offices and held full profit and loss responsibility for APAC, the most important Web3 region globally with the majority of gaming revenue and the greatest number of Web3 users.

Before joining Activision Blizzard, Aubrey worked as a Group Marketing Director at Warner Bros. Entertainment for a long period of time where he drove synergies and commercial opportunities across the company’s groups (Home Entertainment, Theatrical, Television, HBO, Games, Consumer Products, and Digital Distribution).

Mr. Wu commented about Aubrey’s hiring: ‟I am delighted with the appointment of Mark Aubrey as the CEO of Catheon Gaming and look forward to working alongside Mark to lead Catheon Gaming into its exciting next phase of growth. Mark brings deep world-class gaming expertise at the highest level, having led the highly relevant APAC division of the world’s most successful gaming developer and publisher.”

Blockchain Shaping the Future of Gaming

Founded in September 2021, Catheon Gaming has become one of the fastest-growing integrated blockchain gaming and entertainment companies in the world. With over 240 employees, the full end-to-end platform offers world-class technical, publishing, and partnership capabilities across blockchains. The firm partners with leading game developers and IP-holders to incubate and launch “best-in-class” blockchain games and bring them to audiences at the local grassroots.

With Aubrey’s appointment, Catheon Gaming is taking steps to consolidate its place in blockchain gaming in the world.

As blockchain games get greater prominence in the digital economy, top gaming firms like Catheon Gaming, Decentraland, Axie Infinity, Mythical Games, Opensea, Animoca Brands, and others are working to reach untapped new markets and legitimize new ownership possibilities for gamers on their platforms.

Increasing interest and investment in blockchain games in the industry have attracted the attention of many market players. The concept of ‘play-to-earn’ is recognized as the future of gaming, and the likes of Catheon Gaming are trying to be ahead of the curve to see consumers on the street playing and earning via their platforms wherever they are.


Image source: Shutterstock


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FarmVille developer Zynga set to release first NFT game this year

San Francisco-based game developer Zynga, best known for the FarmVille and CSR Racing series, has announced plans to release its first blockchain and NFT-based games this year.

The billion-dollar game studio first made waves in the crypto world last year after appointing 30-year gaming industry veteran Matt Wolf as Vice President of Blockchain Gaming to lead the company’s charge into the burgeoning industry.

Zynga has also announced plans to increase the current blockchain gaming team from 15 employees to anywhere up to 100 by the end of this year. The company may also soon fall under the umbrella of video-game colossus Take-Two Interactive, publisher of Grand Theft Auto which publicly announced a $12.7 billion dollar acquisition move set to close in the first quarter of 2023.

Speaking on the firm’s NFT based gaming plans with Axios, Wolf said that forthcoming blockchain-based games will be brand new titles, as it “doesn’t make sense” to start adding NFTs into existing games such as FarmVille straight away.

He said that players can expect the new games to look something like Mafia Wars, a now-discontinued social media game where players assumed the role of gangsters and worked to build up their crime family.

Zynga has been taking more aggressive steps into the sometimes-controversial blockchain-based gaming sector than many other traditional gaming companies. Hesitancy has been the common denominator from gaming studios as cryptocurrency-related features have often provoked a backlash from angry gamers.

Some players who’ve had NFTs added to their gaming experience feel that companies are just looking for new ways to squeeze money out of their customers.

Wolf has made it clear that the company’s game developers will always have the option to opt in or out of any NFT plans, a lesson he seems to have learned from witnessing internal protests against the technology at fellow gaming companies: EA and Ubisoft.

Despite the criticisms, Wolf sees NFTs and blockchain technology as the obvious next step in Zynga’s evolution with tokenized systems creating new and more realistic forms of value, ownership and wealth creation for gamers.

“By creating an integrated experience that enables players to become owners in their gaming journey, our goal is to expand Zynga’s audience reach and drive stronger engagement and retention,” he added.

Speaking to the New York Times, Wolf said that he’s acutely aware of the difficulties that NFT-based games stand to come up against: “It really is all about community… we believe in giving people the opportunity to Play-to-Earn.”

Related: NFTs and play-to-earn are the future of gaming industry, says EA boss