Our 16th Investment: Genopets
Democratizing active lifestyles through immersive gameplay.
The high prevalence of gaming amongst emerging generations is catalyzing more and more companies to pursue the use of video games as a chassis to drive Web3 adoption, spur healthier lifestyles or deliver novel care.
While this embedded approach sounds good in theory, execution has proven quite difficult in practice, requiring a game-first approach in order to leverage the immersive experience of video games as a trojan horse.
Over the past year, there has been an explosion of “X-to-earn” blockchain games designed to incentivize players to engage in beneficial activities (e.g., move-to-earn, learn-to-earn, etc.). However, most of these projects fail to truly be game-first, functioning more as securities disguised as games and placing doubt around their ability to generate sustainable tokenomics.
We are thrilled to partner with Albert, Ben and Jay, who collectively boast 14 years of experience in blockchain and crypto-asset platforms, as they set out to build the first game-first, GameFi-second project aimed at incentivizing active lifestyles.
As a fund focused on whole person health, the cross-section of health & wellness and a large, proven adjacent market such as gaming couldn’t be more exciting, representing a novel approach to upstream care.
Genopets incorporates physical activity and monetization into a core gameplay loop that involves the nurturing and evolution elements of beloved games like Neopets and Pokémon. The game experience makes it fun and rewarding to live an active lifestyle by using data tracked by one’s smartphone or fitness wearables to advance their Genopet in game.
A player’s Genopet is procedurally generated by infusing their personality traits and psychological profile into a Genopet that best matches their likeness (as determined through a series of Myers-Briggs-esque questions).
Completing activity challenges will speed up a player’s Genopet evolution process and unlock a variety of unique battle abilities and cosmetic attributes, increasing its rarity, and thus, value.
As value accrues, players have full ownership and selling rights (via an in-game marketplace) over the NFT-based assets they earn and cultivate through physical activity, whether that be the Genopets themselves or other in-game assets.
Equally as important as Genopet’s game loop is the game’s accessibility. Genopets is unique in that it offers players the ability to get started for free, while also having the option to pay-to-play for players who desire expedited progress. This dual-economy approach is a first for blockchain games that have historically suffered from high barriers to entry for undecided gamers - the antithesis of what draws so many gamers to free-to-play (F2P) experiences.
The game is off to a great start, garnering over 250,000 players on the waitlist for its public beta that went live last month. For those interested in getting early access, you can sign up on the company’s landing page (invites sent weekly).
We fundamentally believe that Genopets presents a novel approach to upstream care by creating a parallel universe in which movement progress IRL can be linked to immersive game progression in the digital world.
As emerging generations deeply rooted in gaming and passionate about wellness age up, Genopets has the potential to be a gateway to a healthier future globally by pioneering the first move-to-earn RPG in which players are financially incentivized to stay fit while having fun doing so.
We are joined by Pantera Capital, Konvoy Ventures, Alameda Research, Solana Capital, Samsung NEXT and other strong partners who share the vision of leveraging a game-first experience to democratize active lifestyles.
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