Hot off the news that the FarmVille and Words With Friends developer Zynga will release the first NFT game this year, Zynga’s blockchain gaming aspirations are taking shape.
Matt Wolf, the marketing veteran with experience at EA and SEGA, is the new vice president of blockchain gaming for Zynga. He’s setting up the new team, bringing a wealth of “traditional gaming” experience to play-to-earn (P2E).
In an interview with us, he said the talent pool in P2E gaming is:
“Off the charts in terms of economics and traditional finance firepower; incredible people. Also, on the innovation side and on the technology side it’s off the charts.”
However, he surmised many gamers’ thoughts when commenting on the gamification elements of NFT and P2E games. He conceded that the level of talent with regards to gaming is “thin;” which is undoubtedly where Zynga’s credentials come in.
Famous for FarmVille, CSR Racing and Words With Friends, Zynga builds addictive “social” games that work well on mobile and while on the go. They regularly register over 100 million regular users per quarter, featuring on social media platforms and enticing users with multiplayer gaming types.
The P2E gaming space by comparison, has been a space that prioritizes speculation over gamification.
Ultimately, Zynga’s entry into P2E and NFTs could breathe life into a space dominated by entry-level graphics combined with excellent tokenomics.
Wolf comments that Zynga has a “strong game muscle and we’re developing our DeFi muscle.” They’re recruiting more specialists that “have that piece of the equation.” In all, Zynga’s focus is “on the intersection of creating fun, value and purpose-built games with stability and trust at the core.”
When put on the spot about whether the anti-blockchain and anti-P2E sentiment could pose a challenge to a “traditional” game developer, Wolf was balanced.
“As you look at the historical nature of the gaming community, you’ve witnessed folks standing on the sidelines and are resistant to change. They had the same sentiment when free-to-play was launched and you’re seeing much of that now.”
Ultimately, Wolf reckons the “overall anti-blockchain sentiment will fizzle out.”