We're thrilled to announce the return of GamesBeat Next, hosted in San Francisco this October, where we will explore the theme of "Playing the Edge." Apply to speak here and learn more about sponsorship opportunities here. At the event, we will also announce 25 top game startups as the 2024 Game Changers. Apply or nominate today!

TikTok star Michael Le has raised $8 million for the gaming and esports platform Joystick.

Le, who has more than 10 billion views on TikTok, started the Los Angeles web 3 company with tech entrepreneur Robin DeFay to empower users to become business owners, esports pros, or content creators in the world of blockchain, the transparent and secure digital ledger technology.

Under Joystick’s rules, the creators and gamers pay a fixed fee and then keep 100% of their revenue. Joystick leverages metaverse assets in ways that benefit ecosystem users and guilds by giving them the opportunity to keep the revenue they generate playing games on the blockchain.

Joystick is focused on connecting the largest games globally to their players. The platform provides players a path to web 3 financial freedom, flipping the current play-to-earn revenue sharing model by giving players 100% of the revenue. Joystick is also removing global accessibility limitations and making it easy for anyone to play anytime, anywhere.


GamesBeat Next 2023

Join the GamesBeat community in San Francisco this October 24-25. You’ll hear from the brightest minds within the gaming industry on latest developments and their take on the future of gaming.

Learn More

Michael Le (aka @JustMaiko), cofounder of Joystick and outspoken supporter of web 3, said in a statement, “Play-to-earn gaming has the potential to change so many lives and Joystick is creating a culture around this revolution. Joystick’s goal is to create an environment where owning gaming assets and other tokens is accessible and beneficial to anyone in the world. The industry is craving a new model where players are more empowered to get paid for their time, and Joystick offers a valuable solution”.

By creating and sharing educational content, Le’s goal is to educate traditional gamers about the opportunities in play-to-earn gaming. Joystick has already raised a $8 million seed round and is currently raising a $110 million funding round.

“The rise of play-to-earn gaming and Web3 has created new earning potential for gamers,” said DeFay, CEO and cofounder of Joystick, in a statement. ” We are revolutionizing this model by allowing players to pay a fixed fee and earn 100% of the revenue they generate – a major improvement over the traditional revenue-sharing model used by everyone else. This means the more players play, out hustle and outsmart, the more money they earn – not us.”

The business model

NFT assets will generate the primary platform revenue, both directly and indirectly from a rental program where users utilize the assets in exchange for in-game rewards.

Joystick takes a small monthly fee instead of the industry-standard 50%+ of revenue generated by the player. This model allows the player to earn 100% of the revenue they generate, empowering them to build their own business in the web 3 world.

In addition to a suite of educational resources, with cameo appearances from leading industry creators and influencers, Joystick will host regular esports tournaments for players to have fun, compete, test their skills and earn rewards like JOY tokens, NFTs, and sponsorships.

JOY tokens

JOY tokens will be ERC-20 tokens issued on the Ethereum network. The JOY token is designed to capture all value generated through Joystick activities as the platform acquires gaming assets, gaming guilds, early-round token allocation, and access to the best liquidity pools, games and gaming studios.

JOY token holders will have access to reward distribution, discounted priority access to gaming assets, access to the Joystick private community, educational materials, and limited-edition merchandise.

Advisers include Jeff Zirlin, AxieLima, Trey Smith, Neil Patel, Matt Morgan, Dan Fleyshman, Stefan Georgi, Ketrina “Taz” Askew, Brandon Frick, Bradley Townsend, and Zak Folkman.

GamesBeat's creed when covering the game industry is "where passion meets business." What does this mean? We want to tell you how the news matters to you -- not just as a decision-maker at a game studio, but also as a fan of games. Whether you read our articles, listen to our podcasts, or watch our videos, GamesBeat will help you learn about the industry and enjoy engaging with it. Discover our Briefings.