Investing in Lava Labs

Simone Conti, Dean Eigenmann

Investing in Lava Labs

Play-To-Earn has been the most important trend in the crypto industry over the last 2 years with Axie Infinity reshaping the way we look at playing games to earn income, and other games quickly popping up in its wake.

Axie's volume

Axie Infinity Cumulative Volume (USD)

Play-to-Earn gave millions of people the opportunity to survive the pandemic especially in countries such as the Philippines. Entire families that lost their jobs had the opportunity to earn a compelling income and find financial freedom. This is one of the most inspiring stories we have ever come across in the history of crypto.

Analyzing and investing in projects involved in play-to-earn for a number of years now has helped us identify a few key points:

  • earning money, players are sticky to the game itself
  • there is more focus on the token design to the detriment of the game design
  • at the same time most of the token designs are not focused on the long term sustainability
  • game delivery is the hardest part

Furthermore we noticed that this trend mainly attracted two kind of teams:

  • games developers that understood the power of this business model shift but with a lack of experience on the crypto economic side
  • crypto teams more deep on the token design interested to jump into this trend with no idea on how complex is to realize a proper game

Within this ocean of P2E games what we’re looking for is teams with a solid and proven experience in game development who have achieved the awareness of the power of this new model who are open to experiment new economic mechanisms within the game dynamics and at the same time inclined to accept suggestions and advices from those who have seen, studied and accumulated a very strong experience over time in the crypto design.

And when we met Kaya from Lava Labs we immediately understood he was the right one.

We were introduced to a completely different understanding of game design. His team was truly focused on building a game that was sticky beyond the economic incentives and secondly committed to design sustainable economics that offer durable incentives.

The secret sauce is a seamless experience which attracts players with a game and graphics that are purely addictive and takes them hand in hand from a free-to-play experience towards the P2E aspect capable of rewarding the most active and deserving ones while keeping the gamer experience extremely clean.

Concept art of AFAR

When we make a choice on whether or not to invest into a game, the veteran gamers on our team ask themselves whether the game in question is one they would actually play. What Lava Labs is building, AFAR, is a game our entire team got excited about almost immediately. From the concept art, to the game play demo, we were impressed by just how advanced this team is.

AFAR is a competitive multiplayer game for PC/browser where 25 players compete against each other in 4-minute battles of 4 rounds. Each round has different challenges and is a mix of obstacle courses and shooting. Players collect points, buffs and weapons during their race to the finish line: the next spaceship leaving the planet.

Lands, Planets, Ships, Pets and many other key element are gonna be NFTs elegantly linked with a model designed by the Lava Team that combines a unique mathematical background with a consolidated experience to design and create games that have scaled to 200M users.

“Lava Labs is on a path to become the Pixar of Web3. It’s led by an extraordinarily creative and talented team and executing at a mind-blowing pace. When you see the gameplay in AFAR the immediate reaction is ‘this game and this team are fully next level”

  • Ryan Zurrer

"With more families and friends playing modern social games together, A Far Away Realm is well-timed to be a winner with our growing audience of digital natives.”

  • Trip Hawkins, EA Founder and Lava Labs Strategic Advisor

Based on all these elements we are excited to announce our investment in Lava Labs, the game development studio behind AFAR that we believe will pave the way for the next generation of play-to-earn games.

Dialectic led a 10M round which saw the participation of the most solid investors in the P2E space such as Dragonfly, Merit Circle, Dragonfly, Defiance, Animoca Brands, Razer Computer, Weak Simp Cap, Dapper Labs, Maven11 and angels such as Santiago R Santos, Roham Gharegozlou (Co-Founder of Dapper Labs), Gabby Dizon (Founder of YGG), Nick Chong and others.

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