Ex-TikTok gaming exec launches Meta0, a blockchain games startup to enable players to trade NFT items
Did you know that there are over five million video games in existence as of June 2022? That’s a staggering number to comprehend. Unfortunately, traditional video games are, for the most part, limited to the Web2 platforms and have not yet made their way to blockchain.
However, the popularity of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) has led to the sudden explosion of blockchain games as more and more players look to cash in from play-to-earn games. According to some estimates, there are currently 398 ‘active’ blockchain games, more than doubled the number a year before. But that’s about to change, thanks to Jason Fung, the former head of short video giant TikTok’s gaming unit.
Today, Jason announced the launch of a blockchain games startup together with his co-founder to enable players to trade NFT items even as tech heavyweights remain wary of the sector. Fung’s new startup is called Meta0.
In an interview, The 34-year-old Fung told Reuters that he left TikTok last month after two years with the firm after seeing an opportunity to “offer a solution to the current segregated nature of infrastructure options available to developers looking to build blockchain games.”
In a statement, Fung told Reuters in Hong Kong, “Right now, if you look at any developer when they implement NFTs or blockchain in their games, they have to choose a single blockchain, be it Polygon or Solana or Binance Smart Chain. But imagine a more interoperable option,” referring to popular existing blockchains.
“So we decided, let’s do it. Let’s co-found this company. Let’s give up my cushy corporate life at TikTok and take a giant risk,” said Fung, who was based in Shenzhen and had reported to TikTok’s chief operating officer Vanessa Pappas.
Meta0’s founding team includes six members in addition to the two co-founders. Fung told Reuters that the startup already closed its first round of funding. The total amount was not disclosed. Neither did Fung disclose the details of the other co-founder and the rest of the team.
Fung added that the Meta0 was still looking to raise funds through issuing tokens, as well as from venture capitalists and strategic investors.
According to investment banking firm Drake Star Partners in April, the blockchain gaming industry had raised a record $1.2 billion in the first quarter before the ongoing crypto market turmoil. In 2021, investors poured a total of $3.6 billion into the blockchain games sector.
Talking about the future prospects of blockchain gaming, Fung said: “We’ve built a protocol for game developers, and we take a flexible, blockchain-agnostic approach to their game development.” He also added: “With a protocol that we’re developing, developers can easily build their game-leveraging strengths of different blockchains, and allow the user the flexibility of transferring their NFTs cross-chain.”