The investment arm of Solana Labs, Solana Ventures, has partnered with decentralized gaming startup Yield Guild Games (YGG) to boost the adoption of play-to-earn gaming in Southeast Asian countries.
The alliance is part of a $500,000 private investment round co-led by Solana Ventures. It also comes a few days after Yield Guild Games Southeast Asia (YGG SEA) secured $15 million across two different private funding rounds. A regional partner of the Philippines-based blockchain gaming startup, Ola GG, also raised $8 million to grow play-to-earn gaming in Spanish-speaking countries.
The proceeds of this funding, which is denominated in dollars and not in Solana (SOL) tokens, will be utilized to provide the necessary resources to the region’s game developers.
On top of that, Solana Ventures will work closely with YGG SEA’s country managers to accelerate scholar onboarding and develop training programs on building projects on the Solana blockchain. The firm contends that the Solana network’s massive throughput – reportedly 65,000 transactions per second with average per-transaction cost of $0.00025 – makes it an ideal blockchain for gaming applications.
Additionally, the joint initiative plans to connect game development studios with engineering resources to help deploy new titles in the Solana ecosystem. That would help developers deal with the startup costs for the “play-to-earn” game where they could level up their characters and resell them for a profit.
YGG acts as entry points for the region’s gamers
Meanwhile, the new investment bolsters Yield Guild Games’ endeavors to diversify across other games. YGG had already partnered with more than 50 projects in games, gaming guilds, and essential play-to-earn infrastructure. It also spent approximately $10 million in purchasing in-game NFT assets and tokens to enable YGG players to have access to more play-to-earn services.
“Southeast Asia is a major hub of innovation in blockchain games, and we are excited to partner with YGG SEA to build sustainable value in the Southeast Asian communities and developer ecosystem. Game companies should not only focus on monetization. Our plans are to build out learning and development resources to create real, long-term value in Southeast Asia, and ultimately help bring the best games and products to market,” said Matt Beck, Head of Solana Ventures.
According to industry data, there are 225 million active gaming and e-sports fans in the in Southeast Asia market each month. The growth is partly attributable to the global lockdowns during the pandemic as people stayed home and turned to gaming platforms to pass the time.
Popular gaming guilds like YGG act as entry points for the region’s gamers who cannot afford the prerequisite assets to start gaming. The play-to-earn scholarships allow new players to borrow NFTs, and their in-game earnings are then split between the player, the community manager and the YGG decentralized autonomous organization, or DAO.
Other than community development, YGG SEA’s relationship with Yield Guild Games and its team of gaming industry veterans aims to provide a safe space for scholars to enter Web3 through heavy localization and a grassroots level approach in each country.
“The demand for play-to-earn games is higher than ever, especially in Southeast Asia’s countries. YGG SEA’s core team and country managers have a deep understanding of the cultural nuances in this diverse region, and have been building our community of scholars from the ground up since early 2022. The new partnership with Solana Ventures will give YGG SEA an incredible boost and help us offer the best resources to players and developers in Southeast Asia as we continue to serve the needs of the region’s gamer communities,” said Evan Spytma, CEO and Co-Founder of YGG SEA.