Former Tron Exec Launches Play-to-Earn ‘Mafia’ Game With Twitch Co-Founder’s Backing

The free-to-play “Syn City” is backed by some of the Web 3 gaming industry’s biggest investors.

AccessTimeIconNov 22, 2021 at 4:30 p.m. UTC
Updated Nov 22, 2021 at 5:17 p.m. UTC

Eli is a news reporter for CoinDesk. He holds ETH, SOL and AVAX.

Syn City,” a play-to-earn mafia game founded by Tron Foundation’s former head of business, Roy Liu, announced an $8 million funding round on Monday.

The round was led by Twitch co-founder Justin Kan and Goat Capital, with additional backing from A&T Capital, Hack VC, Animoca Brands and Spartan Group.

The game joins the growing list of free-to-play titles entering the play-to-earn space, prioritizing accessibility as Web 3 gaming makes a push for mainstream adoption.

Syn City will center its planned “Mafia Metaverse” around a surfeit of blockchain-based integrations, including a governance system, decentralized finance (DeFi) staking and its own non-fungible token (NFT) marketplace.

The game’s governance system, called “Mafia-as-a-DAO,” or MaaD, incentivizes players to form “mafia syndicates,” playing in groups that can face off against each other and enter tournaments.

The game’s development team includes veterans from Disney, Ubisoft, Roblox, EA and Gameloft, according to a press release.

“We think the metaverse that Syn City is building is super exciting,” Goat Capital General Partner Robin Chan said in a press release. “When I was GM of Asia at Zynga, we witnessed the global phenomenon of Mafia Wars which influenced the whole generation. Syn City is here to lead the paradigm shift of the mafia metaverse.”

Angel investors including Terra’s Do Kwon and CoinList’s Paul Menchov also participated in the funding round.


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Eli is a news reporter for CoinDesk. He holds ETH, SOL and AVAX.

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Eli is a news reporter for CoinDesk. He holds ETH, SOL and AVAX.

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