How cool would it be if you could take ownership of your own content as you’re playing a game? We’re afraid it’s already happening and Gala Games is once again at the leading edge with their latest contribution to the rapid development of Web3 gaming. In this episode, Michael McCarthy hops in on the Edge of NFT to talk about Mirandus, a fantasy MMORPG that allows players to truly own their content. This game us unlike any other you’ve seen in the world of epic fantasy RPGs, and its unique take on the play-to-earn system is something both blockchain enthusiasts and avid gamers will want to learn about. If you’re either of those people or both, tune in!
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The Edge Of Gala: Diving Into The State Of Web3 Gaming With Michael McCarthy From Gala Games
I'm Michael McCarthy from Mirandus, the fantasy MMO Powered by Gala and blockchain technology, allowing players to truly own their own content. I'm here on the Edge of NFT, the show that allows its audience to own the alpha content of blockchain gaming. Keep tuning in.
Stay tuned to this episode to learn what inspired our guest with 30 years of gaming experience under his belt to go all in on Web3 gaming, and why owning your own virtual cemetery Mirandus may be the opportunity of a lifetime you don't want to pass up, and what were some of the surprising and enlightening insights from a highly comprehensive and data-driven report on the state of Web3 gaming.
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Welcome back to our special new recurring segment Edge Of Gala. We're catching up with the team at Gala, given the breadth and depth of this special growing ecosystem. For those that don't already know, Gala Games is where blockchain meets gaming in a revolutionary play-to-earn platform. Imagine playing your favorite games and being rewarded with cryptocurrencies and rare NFTs. Gala games offer a diverse range of gaming experiences all fueled by their native token Gala. This regular segment is sponsored by our friends at Gala, the world-leading Web3 entertainment company that's reshaping the future of entertainment with blockchain technology
Gala's journey began in 2019 when they launched Gala games. Since then, they've expanded their horizons to include music and film. They empower content creators in emerging talent by returning creative licenses and providing a direct connection to their audience, offering genuine involvement in innovation projects.
In this episode, we'll focus on some exciting updates around one of Gala's newest games, Mirandus, with our guest, Michael McCarthy. Michael is an experienced director working in the game industry for 20 years now. He has contributed to many titles in an art design and/or production capacity. He is an execution focus leader with X-Men power of new IP development. He works to understand what the business needs, establish and evangelize the vision, and build great teams to execute against the vision.
He's worked on the social and free-to-play space. He understands the power of objective game development using data to inform vision, features, and roadmap. We have a lot to cover about Mirandus, the fantasy MMO Powered by gala and blockchain technology, allowing players to truly own their content. Mirandus is a game unlike any other epic fantasy RPG set in a massive world ruled by five-player monarchs. Let's get started.
I think you got that comment from LinkedIn about me. I have been making games for almost 30 years. I'm almost 50.
Either we have to get a better fact checker or you have to update your LinkedIn profile a little more often.
I hate going to LinkedIn. It's the worst. Updating my profile is the extra worst, but I will do that. I'll update it.
You've been too busy building games to worry about your LinkedIn profile. We've heard so much about Mirandus and what's going on there. We would love to let our audience know what the world needs to know about this incredible game that you've been building.
If you're new to Mirandus, we're a 3D MMO. It's set in an open world. There are no maps so there are no quest givers. Players all begin at the same place and it's up to them to explore and survive. We're a single shard, so all players from all over the world will be there together in one place. Players control the economy. They place deeds and buildings and they craft goods necessary to survive and push deeper into the world.
We are a simulation. The world itself is a simulation. This is a big part of keeping the game feeling like an adventure, but our creatures are alive. They eat and sleep. You can't camp at a response point. You never know exactly where things will be. A lot of cool emergent gameplay happens when you build systems like this. There's one thing that happened, which was cool. We were playing and there was a buck that the herd followed of deer. The buck was thirsty and started to make its way over to a stream. There was this herd of deer coming through a field. It was beautiful. That was cool.
The graphics look incredible. How big is your graphics team?
It's not massive. One of the lessons that I learned early on in my career, and I think everyone in game development, who's had this experience can echo it. If you have the right people, you develop good tools, and you target the right aesthetic, you can move mountains with a very small team. If you start going down the route of a lot of normal maps and specular maps, your team gets massive because you're creating something very complex. Everything has to be very complex.
We're more passionate about a reductive style and trying to distill nature into its simplest and most beautiful forms, colors, and shapes. We're trying to bring that into the world of Mirandus. We like it. It serves some interesting purposes too from a gameplay standpoint. We'll get to how dangerous the world is of Mirandus. When we're talking about Mirandus, it is dangerous. If I were to drill one point home to the community or to people who are new to Mirandus, it would be dangerous. The goal of the game is to truly bring adventure back.
When you die, there's pushback in the system. You can lose XP. Having that world creates a different environment. You walk around afraid. You listen for a snap of a twig in the forest. You don't just run in, die, and respond. You think about how you want to approach enemies. Our community wants that. They've spoken to us about it. They even have a saying called #MakeMirandusHard. They want that experience. What's fun about it is when you're playing a game where you invest time to become more powerful, it's less meaningful. In this game, one of our sayings is and we're hoping it's true, but when a high-level player walks into a tavern, you already know their name. We're endeavoring to make players true heroes and famous.
You're speaking my language. Those are the types of games I like. A big challenge, but there are consequences to dying. Anybody can respond one million times, do some over and over again, and eventually get it right. When there are true consequences, you have to put in a true strategy. I think that pushes your end player to have to be creative, put in strategies, and want to evaluate a lot of different paths in order to progress and move forward through the game. With that, you said you heard back from the community. What is the story behind Mirandus? What inspired your team to pursue this initiative and to listen to the feedback that you're getting to make it hard?
We started in early 2021 trying to envision what the game would be. Usually, it's born of something you are missing. You want to play a game like this. Wouldn't it be cool if we started with that idea and concept and then reached out to our Gala community on Discord? They're awesome, and to see if there's any interest. They absolutely loved the concept. It's the community and their love for Mirandus that fuels us. We've brought them along on the development of the game at every step. That's been awesome. It's not just our game as the developers, but it's a game that we're creating with the community themselves. They get to see everything. We have design ideas and things that we think are good ideas, but we run them by them to see what they think and get their feedback.
It's been a different way to develop it and I love it. Normally, you can't show anyone anything and then you get to the end, and some big $20 million marketing budget tries to put lipstick all over your game and it sucks. One of the things that always happens to us as game developers is when you tell someone you make games, they're like, “What's that like?” We realized, “Maybe the community would love to know.”
We show them everything, little prototypes and process of making the art and the challenges with engineering, not just the bright side of development but also what if you're pursuing something and it ends up stinking, how do you trash it and go back, and the twists and turns of development as well. We love our community. They've been awesome. We try to include them in everything we do. They're the passion behind Mirandus. Without them, it wouldn't be made at all.
There's something apropos about what you're sharing. Mirandus is about facing fear and treading lightly in a lot of ways. Your approach to game development is facing the fear of making mistakes and picking the pieces back up again. That's cool. This is a game that is being developed by Gala. From having Jason on, you guys work with outside studios as well, but this is something that you guys are building in-house. How did you stumble upon Gala games and decide to get in the mix personally?
I was listed probably as a co-founder of the company. I was there in 2019. We were working to try to envision what this network could be and what blockchain was. I was completely new to blockchain. I was being brought into meetings and they were sitting me down and like, “Mike, why don't you watch this video on how Bitcoin works?” I was completely new to it. A lot of people are going through that. They’re new to it and trying to figure it out. It's an okay place to be in the dark about it and learn how cool it is and how neat it is. I've been there pretty close to the beginning and worked hard to try to make Gala as cool as it possibly could be.
Townstar was where I started. That was a game that was in development. That was the first game on the platform. That's how you have to make a platform. If you're making a platform, we call it eating your own dog food. You have to make the platform. The platform is a lot of work. It's the front-facing thing users see and the eCommerce site behind it. There's the Gala chain itself, which has been years in development and is now live, amazing, and critical to the games that we build because a lot of chains can't support the numbers of transactions that we need to perform inside the game. There's a lot there. There's a lot we've had to build. I'm proud of it. I think we built something cool.
It shows. When you think about building a bridge, a skyscraper, or something, it's not just the raw materials or the engineers. It's all the communication that goes on with all the different stakeholders to get that thing stood up. That becomes part of the DNA of the end product.
There are many hands all sculpting clay at the same time. We made some mistakes. I'd certainly made some mistakes. We over-leverage the Ethereum network early on and didn't understand what transaction volume might look like and what those gas fees would look like for our players. It's also new. Everyone who's in this space is taking shots on goal and trying to figure out how best to utilize this technology to empower players. That's the mission.
That's true consistently in other areas. Eric, one of the founders of Art Blocks, acknowledged that everything he did in the very beginning was a pure experiment. Don't try this at home kids. That makes sense. Let's dive into the game a little bit. Part of the uniqueness here with decentralization blockchain is the concept of ownership shifts. In your case, this is very much a player-owned economy. What are some of the rewards of playing the game and how does that economy work?
There's a fiction and a narrative to the world that lends itself to a player-owned economy. This is an unexplored land. Our players are the first to land in this world and try to establish towns, build buildings, and craft the things they need to survive, weapons, armor, food, clothing, and sails for their ships. Players all have to build and create this to survive in the land. Player-owned economy in a world and a setting like this makes a lot of sense. We're trying to simulate a fantasy world. Part of that is that players have to make it here, and then survive and support each other to push deeper. From a reward standpoint, I don't know if I even think about the word rewards as much.
It's like, “If you play this, you get a reward.” We're just trying to keep everything on the chain. It's what our players want. When you loot a creature, gather resources, and craft stuff that's valuable to other players in the game, it can make you powerful. Game items that we have have value inside the game and everything you craft is what our target is. It has value inside the game then it can be bridged out to Ethereum as an 11.55. You can take it out of the Gala chain network and over to Ethereum if you want.
Having that player economy piece is something that a lot of people from Web2 coming over to Web3 are interested in but don't necessarily know how to tie the two yet. Things like Mirandus and how you're going about this is making that invitation more welcoming and having a community that's helping to teach some of these people how to do some of those first steps helps with understanding how they can be empowered with that type of player economy. You were getting to the core of what makes a lot of that ecosystem thrive and what people need to prosper in the game. It's around Materiom. Can you explain what that is and why that play is a big part of the game?
Materiom is magic. Beyond all the things that you have to craft and build, Materiom is manna or magic in the world. It can be found through Mirandus. You can kill a creature and find it on the creature. You can find it in secret locations. Every single magical act you perform in the game requires Materiom. If you cast a spell, that's magic and it uses Materiom. You can resurrect without penalty. You can come back magically fresh and new, but that's magic and requires Materiom. You can complete a craft. If you don't have all the resources, you can magically will it into existence. It's a magical act. Anything that is using magic is using Materiom. Materiom is the items that are powerful in the game, but you can also be bridged out of the Gala chain as an ERC-20.
You also have these exemplars that folks can purchase. What are those all about?
Exemplars are cool. They are avatars. Players think of them as elite avatars. Each one has a special ability. You can be all the classic fantasy stuff. You can be an Alpha halfling, an ork, a dwarf, or a human, but each one of these has powers. You could get an ever-flow elf and they cast spells more proficiently. You can get a clear-blood ork and they're immune to poison and toxins. What's cool about them is that there are 50,000 of them. This is one of the Web3 things that you can guarantee players that you can't necessarily in the Web2. There are 50,000 exemplars. There will never be more than 50,000 exemplars. It's on chain. You can see it.
As we're talking, I see that elves are sold out, halflings are sold out, humans are almost sold out, and the orks are coming up at the end of the pack. Do you have any sense of why the elves and halflings were more popular?
They're scarce. They're rare. One of the things that I love about Lord Of The Rings is there's this moment where they're in the forest and a group of elves walk by and it's like, “Holy crap, there are some elves in the forest.” They're rare and elusive. We wanted to create that here. While there are 50,000 exemplars, there are only 1,000 elves that will ever be in the game. You will never see the elf unless it's 1 of these 1,0000. Seeing a group of them is cool and is a big deal. It's true that about 90% of them have sold out if that's about right or maybe a little bit more. To play Mirandus, you must own or rent one from another player.
You can buy one on the secondary market, like on OpenSea. There are some on OpenSea. The coolest way probably to get one is we're about to launch what is called shipwreck crates. They're a bit of a mystery box. They're fun, but to come to the land of Mirandus, there's only one clear route and you come on the King's Galleon. That's how the game begins, but there are other people who went for it and didn't make it. Their ships have been destroyed and their stuff is washing up on the shores.
This is the players' chance to get it. There's a cool sale coming. We have loaded up with most of the remainder of our exemplars, which is there are about 6,000 or 6,500 exemplars on there. That's a cool way to get it. Along with other prizes, there are deeds and buildings and all sorts of stuff in it. The part of making a game and decentralizing is getting everything in the player's hands. I don't want stuff like this in the store. I want it in their hands. I want them to be able to place these cities and build these buildings and play. It's going to be a pretty low-cost way, we're hoping, to get stuff in people's hands so that when the game comes out, they can go for it.
These crates are like a 0.15 Eth. It's pretty reasonable for all sorts of exciting possibilities. You can get in them relative to the cost. We'll share some of the visuals with our YouTube audience. I encourage you guys to check the show out on YouTube or go to Mirandus.game and see for yourself some of this stuff.
We touched on a couple of them, but I always like to learn about some of the endgame assets that people or players can play with. You mentioned deeds and buildings, but I was curious about what are some of the other types of endgame assets that people can get excited about.
Deeds are where a lot of it begins. Deeds are like a blueprint. There are places in every zone where you can stamp down the skeleton or a blueprint of a town, and other players can come to that town with the buildings that they own. They can place forges, tanneries, and tavern stables. You stamp down your deed players own the buildings and they own and run their own commerce there. You can buy the exemplars. You can own those. You can own mounts. I think those are gone.
Firebrand Steeds, they're called. They're pretty cool. The items you craft you can own. Obviously, the Materiom you collect, you own. We're trying to do everything. We include our community in this. When we ask them, “What do you want on chain?” The answer is everything. As much as possible, there are things that we know and have planned for and have announced. We're trying to think through additional ownership. classes even, and spells. Anything we can put on the chain, we try to.
I like that part of it. The fact that as your players come in and they let's say level up or they go on journeys and they start to get all these things, if they want to create their own endgame commerce, they have that ability. Not just that, I'm sure there's even a barter system that if someone potentially wants to go on some sort of mission but probably needs a certain item that they could potentially trade for or get it for that particular thing, you then have many different systems that you usually have to do like on the black market with Web2. You can do this in real-time.
We think there's going to be an interesting economy of people noticing what the buildings are requesting and offering, and maybe even shuttling things between towns, buying low and selling high. It's a simulation of a physical world. Players need things to survive and we're hoping that's the basis for the economy itself. It's intuitive. You're not trying to get into a game and figure out what the game is. You're there. You need to eat and sleep. You need clothes. You want better armor to be safer out there. It's very intuitive. We're helping the players experience it that way.
A moderated a panel in Dubai with some folks in gaming around, “Where is all this going?” I asked a question that I'm curious what your thoughts are, which is fundamentally, gaming as an industry is not technically broken. Economically, it's going up. More gamers are born every day. What problem do you think blockchain gaming solves? The antithesis of that is, what are the problems with blockchain gaming where it's trying to solve problems that maybe don't exist?
I have concerns about blockchain gaming. It's awesome to empower players to own their own content. As a game developer, you're watching people spend $1 billion on a game and they don't get to own anything. If you play Web2 games, to say that isn't something that people don't resonate with. They don't understand what you're talking about. They're like, “What do you mean?” It's a new world that people need to discover and explore.
Most people have not experienced it yet. You are conditioned these days to own nothing. In the old days, you'd own a game cartridge. You'd buy a game. That's yours. You own it. What you did with that is your business. It's no one else's. I'd give it to my neighbor or I'd say, “Mow my lawn and then I'll give you Zelda.” It's my business. I own it. Why shouldn't I? I paid for it.
The way that you bring that up makes me think about renting versus owning real estate. There's no technical problem with renting. You could live your whole life and never buy a piece of land. However, someone has bought a property, and seeing the benefits of it unlocks new possibilities where you can hang something up, make your fence taller, or install a satellite dish, and you don't have to get someone's permission. It gives you this freedom. With that freedom comes a sense of empowerment.
You start games by signing terms of service. That's how games begin. The terms of service say, “We can cancel you and your account at any time for any reason, especially for these things.” They can take it all away from you like that. When you get an item and it's colored gold, “That must be rare. They made it gold. Is there 30,000 of them on a server? Can they spin up more of these?” There's a guarantee that blockchain can provide to people. It's inevitable to me. I don't have concerns about it. If you can play a cool game and you can own your own content, why would you play a game that doesn't let you? To me, it's the future. Everyone is going to be doing it. I don't have concerns about it necessarily. It's more just, “It's coming. Here it comes.”
Another way to phrase the question, and I'm definitely keen to get your take on it, you got into space in 2019, it's drinking through a fire hose of information and then building at the same time. The blockchain gaming ecosystem has evolved a lot in that short timeframe. My question is, do you feel like the industry is swimming in the wrong direction or do you feel like it's starting to go in the right direction? Are there things that the industry could benefit from the fine-tuning that you've been doing at Mirandus?
Everyone is experimenting right now. You have to think of everyone in Web3 as a startup. There's an energy to the space that is different than being somewhere else because if you are starting with the premise that you can empower players, you're already coming from a different place in your spirit and in your heart. Web2 players are not your enemy, but it's like, “How do I convince them to give me money?” It's a little bit different space. In this space, you're trying to make them win. How do we let them win? How do we empower them to win? It gives the games back to players. It does what's right in your heart.
I don't think anyone is swimming in the wrong direction. I think everyone in this space who is trying to empower players is trying to do the right thing. How can anyone know exactly what to do when the technology is this new, but you have irons in the fire and you're going for it? People who are into Web3 love that you're going for it and we are all there together at the same time. I don't know if it's swimming in the wrong direction at all. I think it's different irons in the fire. Everyone is shooting arrows in different directions and trying to see what sticks.
How long will that process take in your opinion? You've been in gaming for a long time and there's been different phases of the gaming evolution where new things are tried and then things settle down. What period of experimentation are we in or what phase of that?
I have a lot of thoughts on this one. I'll say this is going to be contentious. I'm going to have to talk about this later. I can smell it coming, but I think blockchain and the people don't get it. It’s a little bit newer and I think it's a little bit of like those kids and their rock and roll. There's something about people that want to judge it and want to break it down and figure out why it doesn't work and why it sucked. The people that are coming up and playing these games, the youth especially, are not tripping on the technology. They're seeing it as cool. Think of autotune like, “That's not real singing.” Who uses autotune now? Everybody.
Why? Because it's not the end of the world. It's just a different way to create sound. What you're going to find is that everyone who is young and coming up into this world where there's this new possibility, all they're going to see is possibilities like making games. In the ‘90s, everything was about possibilities. Everything was exciting. The fact that you could connect with someone over a modem, it’s like, “That was a multiplayer game with someone else,” but people may say, “Tying up phone lines.” Multiplayer is everything now.
What game do you want to play knowing that no one is there? It's there. The internet, “End of the world.” Social games, “End of the world.” Free to play, “End of the world.” Is it the end of the world or is it just a shocking moment in time for some people? Everyone is coming up, especially the younger people. They're going to get it. They're going to do things with it that we can't even dream of right now, but they don't reject the technology. They love it and embrace it and see it as a new cool thing they can play with.
I'm a gamer myself and I love how everything is evolving. As imagination, creation, and empowerment are driving the next wave of technology and innovation, what's to come is going to continue to be absolutely incredible. The people who are getting on this early and have those first insights are going to be the ones to key to drive it forward, but also to be the disruptors and the innovators to help with the next wave of people that are coming in this. On that line of thought and preaching, you've been doing this for a while. You're with Mirandus. A lot of cool things that are out on the horizon. What's on that final roadmap? What's coming up that people should be excited about?
Eric, our CEO, leaked this. The cool thing coming up on the Mirandus’s horizon is we release tech tests. We call them tech tests. It's a technology test. As we make this game, we need these moments where we'll have something in the game that needs thousands of people to jump in and pound on it. We offer those up to the community to play. We have another test coming up and targeting the end of Q1. What's cool about that one is we're not going to take it down. We're going to leave it up.
What we want to do is switch the development. We're far enough along where we want to switch the development to releasing it, leaving it live, and then trying to do quarterly releases, running features for a couple of months that extend the game, then we need about one month to do QA and release management, transition that into the new build that's live, and try to do that every quarter for our players. That's exciting for us. The next technology test is coming towards the end of Q1. There are a couple of other pretty cool secrets in there, but I cannot reveal them at this time.
I'm excited, and I'm sure our audience will be too, to dive deeper into Mirandus. It was great to know you and what you're building. Before we adjourn, we have another segment called Hot Topic that we'd like to do and it seemed particularly relevant to this conversation. We got some fresh news that Game7 issued a report on the state of Web3 gaming. I wanted to talk about that a little bit with you and Richard. To give you guys some background, Game7 is a community that's dedicated to accelerating the adoption of blockchain technology in gaming.
This report was conducted independently, which is always important to provide an objective in-depth analysis of this new sector with the goal of revealing data, trends, and insights for industry professionals. I was pretty impressed to learn how comprehensive of a report they put together and also how rigorous. They captured, examined, and fingerprinted data from more than 1,900 games, 1,000 funding rounds, and 170 blockchain ecosystems. They worked hard on this report. Did you have a chance to check it out by chance?
I peeked at it quickly. I skimmed over it.
You're building. We're covering the news. We'll talk about it together.
I get it. we're going to help you zoom out here. One of the first interesting parts of this report, and I encourage people to check out the whole report as well, is that APAC is leading development of Web3 gaming with USA, also with some momentum. I found that interesting. We've known for a while that the Asia Pacific region is doing a lot of gaming with about 40%, but the USA is continuing to lead as the largest market for the Web3, accounting for 30% of the gaming sector for the 6th straight year. Other markets include South Korea at 12%, the UK at 6%, Singapore at 6%, and so on.
That slices from a revenue perspective about what all games when you release them typically see that the United States still is typically one of the largest revenue plays for your products. It wouldn't shock me if Web3 adoption is more similar there, but that sounds about right. I know in South Korea, there are huge and big blockchain fans. We have a lot of supporters there on Mirandus.
For me, it was fairly intuitive. Nothing shocking in those statistics, but still interesting. There are so many thoughts on this. I had the opportunity to go to Korea Blockchain Week in Seoul, Korea 2023, and in Toyko and Singapore. Being able to go firsthand and see all the people building over there the excitement around blockchain and everything else, you wouldn't think we're in a bear market. It was almost a stark difference from what we are seeing over here in the West and North America.
I was listening to an interview with Yat Siu. He brought up something that resonated with me strongly, which is the American Dream has been alive in the States for a long time with people being able to come here and be able to have rights. As far as owning property and being able to own assets and all this other kind of stuff in Asia, that's more of a new thing. That hasn't been an option for decades. Web3 has been the first introduction to doing that. Being able to go and get a game and own those assets or being able to get on blockchain and own digital assets that you think and own, that in a lot of ways can translate over into the American Dream over in Asia. I was like, “That made a lot of sense to me.” I wanted to share that sentiment.
I always tell the naysayers about owning something in a game going, “Why?” It's like, “Why not?” What's the downside? You just played for two weeks trying to get this magic sword at the bottom of this dungeon? Do you not want to own it and be able to give it to your friend at a restaurant? “QR code, Here, have it.” Now it's his. You should be able to own it and do whatever you want anytime. the game should not be able to stop you.
It’s the translation from real game assets into physical products. There are games in South Korea that you can play that you can go and redeem a physical item at a local convenience store for winning a thing. I’m seeing how that translation is happening over there. It'll eventually come out here to the West, but to see that in real time over there, which wasn't even on my radar, is cool.
The secondary market is interesting. You make games. You make them for yourself and you make them for your team and everyone stays inside the ecosystem, but it's fascinating to watch what people do outside of your control or your power at all. Who knows what they're going to do with it? One of the things that we've always seen in games that's a reality is that a lot of times, and especially in the free-to-play space, there are whales out there that have unlimited funds to come into your game and spend.
What happens outside your ecosystem if you go to sleep at night and somebody out there is connected up with somebody in a developing nation where $500 or $1,000 changes their life completely? That to me is probably the most exciting connection of decentralization. Web3 is like, “What do people do outside of your games and your ecosystem that you don't control? How can that empower people?”
Let's cover a few more highlights of this report and people can always dig in. It's worth checking out if you're interested in this sector. The gaming ecosystem today is composed of indie-level and midsize projects, which make up 94% of the market while AA and AAA are about 6%.
One of the things that makes Gala special is that there's a belief that this is the future period. There was no hesitation to fund larger-scale games that deeply utilize blockchain technology. Especially, if you're at a larger company, you're walking into a room of execs and you're saying, “Give me $10 million or $20 million.” Some of these games cost $500 million.
“Give me tons of millions of dollars to make a game. It's going to be Web3 based.” It's like, “Show me the data and prove to me why before I give you.” It's hard to prove why when it hasn't been done or built. You have to operate on belief. That's what you're seeing in this market. The indie studios can fund themselves. They don't need a ton of money and they can go for it. Those little experiments are going to be where some of the coolest thinking comes from. Gala believes deeply that there is no problem finding the highest quality games that you can make.
Still the exception to the norm hopefully leaders like Gala will give folks the conviction to double down on the industry in games like Mirandus leading that charge.
You'll see it even in social games. For a while, they are saying, “They stole their lunch and ate it.” There are opportunities in this space to be there first to believe in it and go for it. Find that recipe and everyone else is going to have to play catch-up.
On the flip side, people ask us a lot why are we bullish on Web3 gaming and whatnot. It doesn't come from bias necessarily as much as the knowledge that we get all this inside information on what everyone is building and was excited about. This report validates that from an investment perspective, even with this slowdown.
In 2023, blockchain gaming investments reached $1.5 billion with $800 million exclusively dedicated to Web3 gaming. That's a lot of games, a lot of developers, and a lot of cool graphics, but that's still a dip from $2 billion per quarter in 2021 and 2022. It is a pretty meaningful decrease in investment, but still, a lot of those investments earlier, I don't think we've seen come to fruition yet because good games take 2, 3, 4, or 5 years to build.
That makes sense. You want to see what happens now with all that money, but the funding rate currently still exceeds $300 million per quarter and it's still a 1,200% increase over figures prior to 2021. There's this major rush of investment into the space. We're still waiting to see what happens from that. That's not too surprising to me, but I think it's quite optimistic and impressive.
You're going to see a bit of a dot-com moment where investors are being asked, “How are you positioned in Web3?” Everyone is raising their hands saying, “I'm making a Web3 game.” They are going to get showered with gold. There's that moment in time, and I think that was towards the end of 2021. There are a lot of people that do that like VR companies, “VR is the future.” They spin up VR companies. Nothing is going to come, but they get showered with funding. What you have to look at is not the quarter-over-quarter. Look at year-over-year. How much investment was in Web3 four years ago for games?
Significantly less. It didn't exist.
Zero. There might have been a spike in 2021, but if you plot that trend line, it's insane where it's going and where it's come from in the past 3 or 4 years. I mean little things like the consciousness of it all. I tell people, “Imagine if you walked into a restaurant in 2019 and said, ‘Raise your hand if you've heard of Bitcoin.’ No one in the restaurant would raise their hand. Maybe one person would if you were in a fancy place like Silicon Valley maybe.” Generally speaking, no one would raise their hand. They'd never heard of it before in their life. Now, if you were to do that same thing today, I live in Oregon if I were to walk into the Olive Garden in Oregon, “Everyone, raise your hand if you've heard of Bitcoin,” everyone would raise their hand.
Everyone heard of it. It's out there. It's on people's minds. They know about it. It's coming. It's not a fad. It's an elegant piece of code. That's all it is. It's an elegant distributed ledger. It's a way to decentralize things. I think for people that are in the Web2 space that are maybe new to Web3, if you give it to the people, interesting, wonderful, and cool things happen. How much can you give to the people? For instance, in our games, we have to host almost everything on these centralized servers, maybe on Amazon or someone else.
What if everyone could run their own nodes? If you look at Gala music and film, we have nodes. What if game transactions are being processed by the people on their computers at home and they can be compensated for it in the same way that we compensate Amazon for helping support the network, helping process transactions, and helping run game code? That's the power of it. Can you give it over to the people? When you do great things, great things happen. It's coming.
The last stat that I’ll mention briefly, $700 million was invested in RPG games like Mirandus. Sports games and MMOs, $1 billion. Needless to say, a lot of money is going in, and a lot of excitement to come. Michael, this has been incredible. Where do folks go to learn about all the good things they can do with Mirandus?
You can go to Mirandus.game to learn more about Mirandus. There's some information there. Search Mirandus on YouTube. There are lots of videos. Go to Gala.games. That's our central hub for a lot of stuff that we're building and things in production. Search for Gala Games and on Discord. That's where our community meets. I don't even know how many people we have there now. It could be 100,000. Every game that's in production, we're there. We're on Discord. We engage heavily with the community. We show them, “Here's what we're doing. Here's what we're building.” Discord is a wonderful central hub for us.
I'm getting the latest number, 203,390 members at this moment. A lot of folks are excited about what you guys have been building. We were talking a little bit before the show, speaking of fear and facing your fears, you guys have quite a cool giveaway for our audience who get a chance to check out this show. I'll let you do the honors of sharing the fearful news.
There are some items that we have in our games that are quite valuable and super cool. We're committed to giving away a grand cemetery. Those who follow Mirandus will know how cool that is. A grand cemetery is a very large cemetery. What happens is is players when they resurrect, resurrect at your cemeteries. Players are able to respond without penalty with Materiom. You get a cut of that Materiom in the game. Cemeteries are some of the most powerful buildings we have, and we are committed to giving away a grand cemetery to people who have tuned in to this.
This is about $6,000 in value. It's an incredibly generous gift. Check that box for all of you at home who have always wanted to own a cemetery. Now you can.
It'll be great. It's a cool item to own. I hope everyone loved the video and the cemetery. Get on Discord. Talk about the cemetery. They'll tell you how cool it is. It's pretty popular and fun.
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