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South Korean gaming giant NCSoft has invested $15 million in Mysten Labs as part of a previously announced $300 million funding round.
The money will go toward fueling Mysten Labs’ ambitious plan to develop the Sui Layer 1 blockchain to serve as infrastructure for Web3 games and other projects.
Palo Alto, California-based Mysten Labs raised $300 million at a valuation of more than $2 billion in a round announced in September. NCSoft will become a strategic partner with Mysten Labs and they will explore “future collaborations to create digital entertainment experiences that are more engaging and player-centric leveraging Sui.”
Founded in 1997 and headquartered in South Korea, with subsidiaries around the world, NCSoft has published online and mobile games for millions of fans. It’s best known for critically acclaimed franchises including Lineage, Aion, Guild Wars, and Blade & Soul. It’s also one of many big game companies in South Korea — like Com2Us, Netmarble, Nexon, Wemade and others — that have moved aggressively into the blockchain gaming space.
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That has led some thinkers like Yat Siu, executive chairman of Asian blockchain game company Animoca Brands, to expect that Asian companies (outside of China, which has banned blockchain games) to lead the way into Web3 gaming.
Songyee Yoon, president and chief strategy officer of NCSoft, said in a statement, “Blockchain technology has the potential to create novel and innovative player experiences. We are excited to partner with Mysten, who shares our vision for the technology as a platform for truly distributed player centric economy, passion for community building, and trustworthy technology which is crucial for those who desire to build a platform of desired scale and reach.”
Mysten was launched in 2021 by former executives of Meta’s Novi Research and lead architects of the Diem blockchain and Move programming language. The company’s inaugural product, Sui, is a decentralized, proof-of-stake blockchain that builds on important innovations in consensus algorithms and leverages novel data structures to deliver a high-performance, low-cost Layer 1, the company said.
“NCSoft is a storied name in gaming with a rich legacy of building fun, innovative experiences that have attracted millions of loyal players worldwide,” said Evan Cheng, CEO of Mysten, in a statement. “We are grateful for NCSoft’s financial support and partnership, which is a strong testament to the power of Sui as the definitive blockchain for gaming applications.”
Sam Blackshear, CTO of Mysten and the creator of the Move programming language, said in a statement, “Bringing gaming to web3 requires infrastructure that can support millions of players while enabling these players to own and interact with fully on-chain, dynamic and composable digital assets. The scalability and object-oriented architecture of Sui render it the destination of choice for developers seeking to build densely populated games that realize the benefits of on-chain elements, monetize well, and, most importantly, result in high-quality user experiences.”
Mysten’s $300 million round was led by FTX Ventures, and included participation from new and existing investors, including a16z crypto, Jump Crypto, Apollo, Binance Labs, Franklin Templeton, Coinbase Ventures, Circle Ventures, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Sino Global, Dentsu Ventures, GreenoaksCapital, and O’Leary Ventures, among other investment funds.
Mysten has also entered into several strategic partnerships with entities across gaming, social media, and finance to build experiences that cater to the next billion users in Web3. Mysten Labs has around 100 people.
Developed by Mysten Labs, Sui is horizontally scalable to support a wide range of dApp development with high speeds at low cost. The first-of-its-kind platform brings users a general-purpose blockchain with high throughput, instant settlement speeds, rich on-chain assets, and user-friendly Web3 experiences. Sui is a step-function advancement in blockchain, designed from bottom up to meet the needs of the next billion users in crypto.
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