Arcade raises $3.2 million in a funding round led by Crypto.com, Kucoin, and Solana. With the seed round money secured, Arcade will continue its effort to open up blockchain gaming to the masses.
“The considerable economic elements of a GameFi project set it apart from ordinary games fundamentally. Not everyone, however, is a skilled player or has the opportunity to play games and make money. This is where Arcade fills the void by allowing those groups to profit from sales of their particular items while avoiding actually playing the games themselves.”Xinly YU, KuCoin Labs Head
In his remarks, Xinly refers to the ability of asset holders in the Arcade ecosystem to profit from their in-game assets by renting them to players.
Solana Ventures’ Josh Finer added that Arcade2Earn bridges the gap between DeFi and GameFi on Solana, hinting at the possibility of future long-term partnerships between the two.
What is Arcade?
Arcade links players to the in-game incentives and rewards that are offered in all Play to Earn games. “Arcadians” have the option of contributing to the community Mission Pool or serving as an operator who possesses the necessary skill set for Play to Earn games across several chains.
Currently supporting Phantom on the Solana blockchain, work is underway to add additional wallet options such as an email web-based wallet, FTX Pay, and many others. This will enable more people to join without crypto knowledge.
At its core, Arcade aims to reduce the financial barriers to entering and making blockchain gaming available to a worldwide audience. These include the need to pay hundreds of dollars, if not thousands of dollars, for native NFTs.
In the Arcade ecosystem, NFT holders (“curators”) can lend their assets to the Arcade common pool. These investors typically don’t have the time to invest in learning a new game and prefer to have experienced players yield results with their assets.
On the other side of the spectrum, NFT players (“MPOs”, or Mission Protocol Operators) engage in the system staking their tokens to participate in missions, which in turn yields a profit if executed successfully.
At launch, Arcade is planning to support major titles (see the entire list on their website) including: Illuvium, Star Atlas, The Sandbox, Undead Blocks, and My Pet Hooligan. The latter has been announced in October 2022.
Arcade employs a two-token system built on Solana. However, the platform has no defined “governance token”, but rather two utility tokens.
$ARCADE can be staked to earn rewards in game-specific missions, aka the aforementioned “Mission Protocol Operations”, turning the staked $ARCADE into $xARCADE, similar to what Fancy Birds did with their staked $sNFC back in February 2022.
Each mission will require a minimum amount of $xARCADE to start. In their whitepaper, the company highlights an example mission to capture Illuvials in the upcoming AAA open-world Illuvium, with a hypothetical minimum threshold of 200,000 $xARCADE.
To further establish their ground as a stable cryptocurrency, Arcade2Earn will institute a “WAGMI Bonus Pool”, consisting of 50 million $ARCADE locked for a total of 50 years. This will be the reserve fund and should avoid massive speculation.
Arcade2Earn will also incentivize burning and holding the token as much as possible. Players will have access to an internal exchange to convert $xARCADE back into $ARCADE. When that happens, a withdrawal fee will be charged to the user. A fee
may also occur during the reward-claiming process.
The platform will also take out a fee each time an MPC (Mission Protocol Contributor), or the investors that actually decide which MPOs go forward, take away their $xARCADE. Staking $xARCADE is how they take their stand on the MPOs.
Wrapping Up with Arcade
Arcade aims to excel where several others have stumbled. Play-to-earn economies are harder than others by default, but they become spectacularly complex when paired up with a large variety of games.
However, the team managed to get backing from the most important players in the market, and a $3.2m seed round in a time of a bear market is a noticeable achievement.
To prove their model works, Arcade will need some of their hit games to be released soon. In particular, they seem to have many ties with Illuvium, set to launch at the end of this year. If that doesn’t happen, the economic model may crumble with just two or three titles currently available.