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Ex-Thought Machine studio Cauldron brews up $1.4m for Web3 game

An incredible transition, from cloud banking to Web3 gaming in under a year.

a space shuttle flying over a planet


Video game studio Cauldron, formerly part of cloud banking provider Thought Machine before its spin-off last year, has raised $1.4m to create its debut game as an independent studio.

Seedcamp and existing investors IQ Capital and Playfair Capital are backing the project, codenamed ‘Nightshade’.

It’s a Web3 game, based in a Sci-Fi setting somewhere in our solar system—although the studio is not revealing more at this stage.

What is a Web3 game you ask? According to Cauldron CEO Mark Warrick, it’s a type of game that includes “ownership of things on the internet”.

Indeed Seedcamp has previously backed Sorare, a blockchain-based football trading card game, and Warrick points to Axie Infinity as the largest Web3 game in the sector.

“At Seedcamp, we backed Sorare early and boldly stated it would become one of the first mass crypto games,” said Seedcamp partner Sia Houchangnia.

“We know gaming will be one of the main drivers behind mainstream crypto adoption and are delighted to have found yet another world-class team in Cauldron who have a strong market vision for a Web3 gaming niche that we have not seen to date and we are delighted to be supporting them at the start of their journey.’

Warrick told AltFi that he views Web3 as a third way for gaming, beyond the premium (AAA £50 console games) segment and freemium mobile games like Candy Crush.

“We call it ‘Play to Own’, so an immersive gaming experience, but within the Web3 framework.”

That means that there is a secondary market where the developer makes its cut, in this case, Warrick says the marketplace would be used “when you get to a certain point, you might start selling to other gamers who really want your character.”

Although the CEO is clear that players paying hundreds or thousands of dollars just to get started, as has become the norm with Axie Infinity as prices have spiralled, is not the plan for Nightshade.

“What for us isn't acceptable is limiting the number of players who can play our game, just to drive up value. We are taking the gamers view, saying, I want to play a game, I want it to be fun, and I want to enjoy the immersive experience for escapism.”

Cauldron is aiming for a Summer 2022 launch for Nightshade, with more announcements coming soon.

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