Quick Look at Web3 Gaming Portal HyperPlay: Raises $12 Million in Funding, Aims to Build Game Store Aggregator

With more and more funds pouring into the gaming track in recent years, as hopes for breaking the circle of Web3 and cryptocurrency, the number of Web3 games has been growing, and some 3A-level chain games like Abyss World have also begun to be put on the agenda. In the face of the ubiquitous Web3 games, it is increasingly important for ordinary player users to have a Web3 game platform that can play an aggregating, recommending, and distributing role.

In November 2022, the Web3-native game launcher HyperPlay was launched, with support from self-hosted Web3 wallet MetaMask and game-focused autonomous organization Game7 DAO. On June 8th of this year, HyperPlay announced that it had raised $12 million, with well-known gaming venture capital firms Griffin Gaming Blockingrtners and Bitkraft Ventures leading the investment, and participating investors including MetaMask parent company ConsenSys, Ethereal Ventures, Delphi, Game7 DAO, Mirana Ventures, and Monoceros Ventures.

Behind HyperPlay is a developer team led by Jacob C and Flavio Lima. According to LinkedIn data, Jacob was formerly the head of operations at MetaMask and is currently still its strategic advisor. In addition, he is currently the product manager of the Rollup project MantleNetwork under BitDAO, and also the product manager of Game7 DAO initiated by BitDAO. Flavio Lima is the founder of the open-source application Heroic Games Launcher, which provides support for platforms such as Epic Games for Linux and Mac devices, and shares a lot of the same technology as HyperPlay.

HyperPlay’s alpha version was launched in March of this year, and its HyperPlay store currently has 38 games online. However, it seems more appropriate to call it an aggregator of game stores than a native Web3 game launcher. In addition to its own HyperPlay store, the platform also allows players to install and use games from digital game stores such as Epic Store and GOG. Unlike Steam and Apple, which charge developers a high commission of 30%, HyperPlay does not deduct any fees from game purchases or in-game transactions. However, for developers who release games through Epic or GOG, they still need to pay the corresponding commissions to the stores, but HyperPlay will not charge any additional fees.

Currently, HyperPlay has not released any tokens or related information. It supports all EVM networks, including Ethereum, zkSync, Polygon, Mantle, Avalanche, Arbitrum, Optimism, BSC, and Harmony. In the future, the project side also plans to support non-EVM networks such as Solana and Cosmos through MetaMask’s Snaps plugin system, and users will need to use the MetaMask wallet for compatibility. In terms of operating systems, HyperPlay supports Windows, SteamDeck, MacOS, and Linux.

Due to the current lack of infrastructure development and other issues, it is difficult for game developers to combine excellent game performance with convenient wallet interactions. To make wallet interactions more convenient, many developers must build poorly performing web games. If they pursue excellent performance, they can build native games themselves, but then developers must push all transactions to a separate web application or embed a game wallet separately in their game, making assets between Web3 games isolated.

By working closely with MetaMask, HyperPlay allows players to connect to the same wallet (MetaMask or WalletConnect) containing their NFTs, tokens, and achievements through the launcher, and enter web games or every local game installed and launched from HyperPlay, achieving complete interoperability of Web3 games. This allows players to obtain assets between games, exchange assets, use DeFi for exchanges or loans, and let friends follow each other’s wallets to enhance sociality.

The security of players’ game accounts and assets has always been the top priority of game manufacturers. In order to protect players from scams, malicious software, and other attack media, HyperPlay will launch and implement four security strategies:

1. Store Review: All stores included in the HyperPlay application (HyperPlay, Epic, GOG) will conduct extensive malware testing and due diligence on the development team of any software submitted;

2. Game Sandbox: Because it is impossible to ensure that there are no omissions in the store review process, HyperPlay introduces the game sandbox to prevent malicious games passing through the store review process from running outside its own context. This function is currently under development;

3. Key Isolation: HyperPlay does not expose users’ keys to games, and wallets are located on their desktop applications or external mobile devices. Without the user’s consent, games cannot access the user’s keys or sign on behalf of the user;

4. External Signer: Moving keys away from the device and popping up transactions on an external mobile device is a fundamentally safer model. HyperPlay recommends integrating MetaMask Mobile as the safest connection method. Even if the user’s computer is compromised, this mode should prevent malicious software from accessing the keys.

For the interoperability of Web3 games, the platform and distribution model are very important. Taking the advantages of platforms such as Steam and PlayStation Network in traditional games as a reference, in order to make the Web3 game industry grow, there needs to be some unified game access points, which is exactly what HyperPlay is doing.

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