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Animoca Brands may return to F1 but sees blockchain interoperability as priority

Robby Yung says asset freedom between blockchain platforms will benefit entire sports industry.

17 Aug 2022 Steve McCaskill
F1 Delta Time blockchain game shuts down

Animoca Brands

  • F1 Delta Time closed earlier this year after licence expired
  • Animoca CEO Robby Yung believes concept of ownership with transform gaming

Animoca Brands says creating a wider Web 3.0 ecosystem in which assets are transferable between multiple platforms is more important than securing licences for its blockchain-based sports games, but warns the industry is at least three years from that vision becoming a reality.

The company currently operates an officially licensed MotoGP game and has plans to create something similar for Formula E, both of which will exist alongside its wider ‘REVV’ sandbox platform.

However, its first foray into Blockchain-based gaming, F1 Delta Time, shut down earlier this year after Animoca was unable to renew its licence with Formula One. Players still owned the non-fungible token (NFTs) they had bought in game, but there were some concerns that the values of these items would be significantly lower because they had lost a significant part of their utility.

Speaking at Blackbook Motorsport Forum in London, Animoca Brands chief executive Robby Yung argued that the fact players retained ownership of the assets despite the closure was evidence of the benefits of Web 3.0 at work.

“All of these assets are still owned by the players and can be used in other platforms like our REVV games,” he said. “We urge others to create games that support those assets as players paid an average of US$2,000 in F1 Delta Time.

“The average revenue per user in blockchain games is quite high and the kneejerk reaction is that this must be some sort of Ponzi scheme but it’s not. People spend money very differently when they own assets rather than rent them and can sell them when they’ve had enough – it’s just like renting versus buying a house.”

Yung said greater interoperability would give all NFTs greater value, increasing prices and ensuring the whole ecosystem could benefit. However, he said it would take time for this ecosystem, the technology and demand from consumers to develop.

“We’re where the mobile gaming industry was before Angry Birds,” he continued, likening it to when mobile apps that simulated drinking beer were still a novelty. “We’re only two years into mainstream developer adoption of these tools – it’s early days.

“[But] look at the traditional gaming industry and it’s the biggest entertainment industry in the world with US$200 million in revenues. I’m bullish and biased but I see all of that going into blockchain. If we were having this conversation 15 years ago then I’d be talking about ‘online’ games as though they were a new feature – now they’re just part of the plumbing. In ten years or so, blockchain will just be part of games and you won’t need to know what it is.”

For now, Animoca’s focus is on its REVV ecosystem and its ongoing licensed properties. However, he did not discount returning to Formula One in the future.

“Perhaps [we’ll return to Formula One],” he said. “With branded experiences it’s always a case of licensing terms and the revenue potential.”

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