Can Twitch Co-Founder Justin Kan Dominate Web3 Gaming Too?
Justin’s latest venture, Fractal, combines a Web3 game launcher with an NFT marketplace – but will it enjoy the same success as his wildly popular streaming platform?
Can the Co-Founder of Twitch replicate his success in Web3?
Securing a $35 million seed round earlier this year from investors including Animoca Brands, Solana Labs and Coinbase, Fractal aims to create a one-stop shop for NFT games, allowing users to both buy, sell and trade NFTs, and explore the latest titles.
Within ten days of its announcement last year, Fractal’s Discord server grew to over 100,000 members, making it one of the fastest-growing communities in Web3 at the time.
It hasn’t all been plain-sailing however. Case in point, in late December 2021, Fractal suffered a major security breach when a scammer was able to hack the announcement bot in the Fractal Discord, using it to send a fraudulent link to more than 100,000 users, urging them to pay up for an NFT commemorating their launch.
According to a blog post on Fractal’s Medium page, 373 of its community members fell victim to the exploit. The hacker made out with ~800 SOL (~$150,000 at the time) – which was personally reimbursed by Justin himself.
At present, the marketplace solely supports Solana NFTs, and has acquired a catalogue of over 85 games thus far. Since their very first NFT release, Fractal have sold out of every NFT collection they’ve dropped – raising over $2 million from the launch of Tiny Colony alone. At peak traffic, they’ve seen over 33,000 buyers for a single NFT release.
In an interview with Bloomberg Technology, Justin shared that he chose Solana over Ethereum due to the former’s low-cost transaction fees which made much more sense for gaming. Justin clarified however that Fractal wants to be wherever games studios want to be, and the long-term goal is to support multiple blockchains.
In another interview, Justin shared how blockchain gaming reminds him of the early days of the free-to-play (F2P) era, when there had been similar pushback from gamers. Once more and more studios began to adopt it, the F2P model grew into a multi-billion dollar segment of the games industry.
Justin considers blockchain technology and NFTs to be the next big business model for gaming – but rather than a transformation of gaming as we know it, he believes player-owned assets will be an evolution of and addition to the systems that we’re all familiar with.