Neon Machine, the Seattle-based Web3 gaming developer, raised $20 million in Series A funding to accelerate the launch of its blockchain-integrated shooter game, “Shrapnel.” Polychain Capital leads this round and includes funding from Griffin Gaming Partners, IOSG Ventures, Franklin Templeton, Brevan Howard Digital, and Tess Ventures.
Neon Machine is promoting Shrapnel as a AAA game – an expression for video games with high production value, budgeting, and marketing. According to the gameplay video on Neon Machine’s YouTube page and information on the official website, Shrapnel is a first-person shooter featuring multiplayer components.
The game – still awaiting pre-alpha testing – will reportedly feature “extraction” mechanics that require the player to escape with any loot they find in-game to keep those items. Moreover, early videos seem to have a gameplay style similar to Call of Duty: Warzone, a famous free-to-play extraction shooter developed by Microsoft’s Activision Blizzard studio.
Shrapnel’s reliance on blockchain and Web3 sets it apart from other AAA games. Unlike other games, such as The Division 2, where players can “extract” valuable items for their profiles and characters, Shrapnel’s assets are tied to the blockchain. This gives players full ownership over the assets, according to the studio.
Web3 Gaming Sector Is Booming
The fundraising comes at a time when support for Web3 startups is dwindling. According to a recent report from DappRadar, Web3 gaming is experiencing significant growth, with $600 million raised in the third quarter of 2023, bringing total funding for the category to $2.3 billion this year. In 2021, Neon secured $10.5 million in a seed round led by Griffin Gaming with participation from Forte and Polychain Capital.
Speaking to GamesBeat, Mark Long, CEO of Shrapnel, expressed his excitement for securing funding during difficult market conditions.
“I’ve had a couple of colleagues who have not been able to raise their next round, or they’ve had to make a significant change in their valuation.”
Although Shrapnel is not out yet, it has already become popular in the gaming world. From December 2023, it will be accessible to paid users, and the company will release the free version of the game in 2024.