DeFiance Capital, Delphi Digital Co-Lead $6M Round for ‘Crypto Raiders’ NFT Game

The makers of the Polygon-based role-playing game prefer the term “play-to-own” over “play-to-earn.”

Mar 30, 2022 at 12:00 p.m. UTC
Updated Mar 30, 2022 at 2:49 p.m. UTC

Brandy covers crypto-related venture capital deals for CoinDesk.

Crypto Raiders, a non-fungible token (NFT) role-playing game (RPG) built on the Polygon blockchain, announced a $6 million funding round on Wednesday co-led by crypto investment firm DeFiance Capital and research firm Delphi Digital. Metaverse ecosystem GuildFi, Merit Circle and Yield Guild Games also participated.

The funding will help the company aggressively scale the team, which currently stands at over 20, and invest in NFTs.

“A lot of NFT companies out there need to continually create and sell more NFTs to generate revenue. But with this funding, for the next two to three years, we can let all of the NFTs in our ecosystem be earned or obtained by players without us having to charge for them,” Nicholas Kneuper, Crypto Raiders CEO and co-founder, told CoinDesk in an interview.

The Crypto Raiders fundraise adds to rising interest in blockchain gaming. Last month, crypto exchange giant FTX launched its own gaming unit and quickly announced its first acquisition.

‘Play-to-own’

Crypto Raiders came to life last year when Knueper and co-founders David Titarenco and Matt Powell saw an RPG-shaped gap in the NFT gaming market.

The art in Crypto Raiders has a retro look and the gameplay is meant to evoke RPG classics like RuneScape and World of Warcraft. Players go into dungeons, fight enemies, search for better loot and work to level up their character. Players can go to battle in player-versus-player (PVP).

Crypto Raiders players can buy, sell and trade in-game assets, a hallmark of play-to-earn games. However, the company prefers the term “play-to-own” since it emphasizes the ownership aspect rather than the potential financial transaction.

“To us, [play-to-earn] really sounds like a job more than a game. We’re trying to build something that true gamers are going to love and enjoy,” Kneuper continued.

Roadmap

“We’re in the process of porting our game engine over to Unity, and that’s going to be a big upgrade, especially in terms of our developing more quickly,” said Kneuper, referring to a game engine owned by Epic Games that’s widely used in the industry.

In the next two weeks, Crypto Raiders will add features to the game so that players can bring different abilities into battles. There will also be an energy system to force players to decide whether or not to use energy-intensive abilities.

The in-game auction house will launch in the coming months for players to sell their gear. Crypto Raiders has plans to expand the farming side of the game, such as collecting herbalism supplies to craft potions or ore to forge weapons.

“Crypto Raiders has taken an innovative path in building a Web3 dungeon crawler and RPG experience that players truly enjoy while also providing avenues for players to ‘play-to-own’,” said Ryan Foo, game economist from Delphi Ventures, in a press release.

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Brandy covers crypto-related venture capital deals for CoinDesk.

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Brandy covers crypto-related venture capital deals for CoinDesk.

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