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Razer Launches Web3 Incubator Project

The gaming hardware and peripherals giant will fund Web3 games through their venture arm’s new Web3 incubator program.

Leading video gaming hardware company Razer announced Tuesday that it is now funding Web3 projects through its new zVentures Web3 Incubator (ZW3I).

The ZW3I incubator project aims to drive Web3-enabled games to the mainstream. According to a statement, Razer is seeking developers with “a strong track record in creating successful games,” to be selected as part of the incubator program.

Razer’s Director of Blockchain Lawrence Lin says that the incubator project will primarily focus on providing marketing support, and will incubate up to 36 projects. The incubator project will not exclude mobile game developers, although Razer is known for being a PC gaming-focused company.

In setting up the new incubator project, Razer argues that there is more work to be done before moving the Web3 gaming industry forward. Citing a lack of mainstream users in first-generation Web3 games, Razer wants to be part of an initiative to explore and understand gamers, what they want, and what they’re motivated by, to usher in a new generation of Web3 games.

“Presently, numerous blockchain games prioritise the use of blockchain technology over creating an engaging and entertaining gameplay experience, leading to a dearth of player attraction and retention,” says Lin. 

Lin continues: “We believe that the foundation of any successful game (be it Web2 or Web3) is immersive and engaging gameplay.” 

Lin isn’t alone in how he perceives blockchain gaming – with other game developers also arguing that blockchain games are too focused on the financial aspect, rather than graphics and the gameplay experience itself. 

As a result, terms like “play-to-earn” and “GameFi”, which describe games that emphasise that financial gain can be done by gameplay, are being rejected by upstarts in the Web3 gaming industry. To them, the next generation of Web3 games will get wider adoption by both the mainstream and traditional gamers if compelling gameplay, and satisfying social experiences were a greater part of the experience, rather than just token rewards.

As Razer has significant brand recognition amongst mainstream gamers through their range of products – laptops, gaming mice, and headsets included – they hope to change the way things are, by incubating Web3 games that will bring the space greater recognition.

Razer’s outreach includes over 200 million gamers, which leaves huge hope for project exposure and highlighting developers who are part of the incubator program.

“The gaming experience is the most important aspect of any successful game launch. With blockchain technologies and support from companies with strong gaming knowledge, we are certain that Web3 will revolutionise this experience for all,” Lin said in a statement.

While Razer is not able to disclose any financial information as it is a private company, the question of how much ZW3I is backed remains a looming question. However, ZW3I is operating under zVentures – a $30 million fund when it launched in 2016. Amongst its strategic partners include 1UP Ventures, Animoca Brands, Amazon Web Services, Griffin, and Play Ventures.

Razer’s venture capital arm has been active in involving itself in the crypto and Web3 space – with zVentures investing in Animoca Brands, known for being the publisher of The Sandbox. Beyond gaming, zVentures invests in many other Web3 startups like crypto platform Finblox and DeFi firm Coinomo.

To submit an application to have your gaming company be part of ZW3I, beyond basic information, a brief pitch of at least 500 words, and a deck is required.

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