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[Interview] Animoca Brands Chairman: More Web3 Opportunities Come From Asia

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Additional reporting and interview by Michael Mislos

During a preliminary discussion at the YGG W3GS event, Yat Siu, the co-founder and Executive Chairman of Animoca Brands, explored a range of topics. He delved into how to introduce cryptocurrency concepts to children and examined the beneficial effects of web3 on individuals with disabilities. Additionally, he highlighted the integration of web3 by leading gaming corporations, focusing on the distinct prospects available in the Asian gaming sector in contrast to the United States.

(This is part of our recap series for the YGG Web3 Games Summit.)

Young people can easily understand web3 concepts more than adults do

The interview happened just before Siu’s keynote at the Summit where he answered questions from children around the world about the metaverse and digital ownership. Siu discussed topics such as the use of cryptocurrency in Roblox, simplified explanations of cryptocurrency for a six-year-old, the role of games like Roblox in the metaverse, the positive implications of web3 for people with disabilities, and the financial opportunities in the gaming industry.

“Imagine you own your actual items in your game that you actually play every day whether this is Roblox and Fortnite. Those games have lots of people who play and (with web3) you actually own them and you can actually take an outside of the game and show them off,” he explained when asked how he would explain to a child how digital ownership works.

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In addition, he noted that digital ownership allows owners to sell their assets, but more importantly, it gives owners ownership.

For his panel, he shared that he might use different terms because they are younger, but at heart, children already believe intrinsically, so he thinks it will be “pretty easy” to explain the concepts.

When asked by BitPinas Editor-in-Chief whether young people like kids would actually have a better understanding of what the metaverse is, as opposed to explaining these concepts to adults, the chairman agreed.

“I think kids generally have a more open mind and kids are also generally more trusting right? I mean when you think about it when you tell kids something whether it’s Santa Claus, a fairy tale or story they live with these stories, it shapes them. Whereas with adults, they are more cynical, right? They’ve been around longer and they don’t know who to trust per se.”

Yat Siu, Chairman, Animoca Brands

Web3 adoption by big game companies

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Yat Siu, Chairman of Animoca Brands with BitPinas Editor-in-Chief Michael Mislos

When asked on how are the big gaming studios and their stance to blockchain, Siu touched upon the fact that many traditional publishers have announced blockchain game projects already. But of course, it takes years to develop a game so these announcements would materialize into a game two to three years from now.

According to him, web3 gaming presents two significant aspects. First, it offers a potent economic paradigm, particularly for traditional game companies in Asia. 

Siu also highlighted that recognizable names like Square Enix in Japan and companies like Nexon in Korea are actively exploring opportunities in the web3 space. In addition, he stressed that unlike the United States, where there may be more negative perceptions of web3, the Asian gaming industry sees it as a promising avenue for innovation and growth. 

Siu stated that Asian game developers and publishers are realizing the potential to define themselves in this emerging space, providing a unique and less competitive environment compared to traditional markets.

Additionally, the impact of web3 extends to the creation of entirely new and innovative games, similar to the transformative influence seen in the mobile gaming sector. This shift allows individuals who may not identify as traditional gamers to engage more passively through ownership of in-game assets, unlocking a broader audience beyond the current gaming population.

“For web3 gaming you can now become a gamer but in a much more passive way, you can simply become a gamer-owner, right? It’s like I can participate in the game by owning assets.”

Yat Siu, Chairman, Animoca Brands

However, he pointed out that while major game companies are exploring blockchain and web3, it takes time for them to produce and release games. Siu stated that this transition is seen as a disruption from within the industry, and the success of web3 companies will differ from traditional web2 companies that adapt to web3.

Global opportunities

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Yat Siu with Gabby Dizon of Yield Guild Games

Siu shared that he himself is actively collaborating with governments and regulators, contributing to initiatives such as the web3 task force in Hong Kong. Siu said most of these initiatives and engagements with the government are non-US.

“So there’s many sort of national level countries working with national sort of projects that help educate the space… I think the US is going to come back to it. It’s just for the time being we’re not emphasizing on US as much in the sense that we don’t have to (as) we’re a global business and we think most of the opportunity comes from Asia and actually the Middle East, particularly Saudi, and we encourage everyone to sort of look at those opportunities in through that lens.”

Yat Siu, Chairman, Animoca Brands

Consequently, Animoca Brands is actively encouraging businesses to explore these regions, leveraging the expanded opportunity spectrum enabled by the free movement of capital.

“Investors are also all over the world. They don’t have to be specifically located in the Philippines. I think this sort of free movement and more free movement of capital opportunity as enabled for web3 companies to flourish all over the world. And so even if the US is not available, US investors can still invest in companies that have opportunities outside, which is what’s happening today as well.”

Yat Siu, Chairman, Animoca Brands

Animoca Brands Projects

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Yat Siu with the BitPinas team

Siu said himself and Animoca Brands are focusing on projects related to the multiverse, digital identity solutions, and network governance. They believe that web3 has the potential to reshape traditional economic and educational models, creating more opportunities for creators.

He disclosed that the firm is particularly enthusiastic about two main projects: the Multiverse and Open Campus. 

The Multiverse Artist Defender (MAD) involves a digital identity solution and network, creating a new governance structure and identity layer to govern portfolio companies within the community. This initiative aims to address challenges and enhance discovery in games and web3 applications.

Photo for the Article - [Interview] Animoca Brands Chairman: More Web3 Opportunities Come From Asia

The other major initiative, Open Campus Protocol, focuses on education. Animoca Brands highlights the importance of empowering teachers in the web3 era, enabling them to monetize their intellectual property and generate revenue beyond traditional teaching methods. 

Siu noted that the company views these projects as vital components in shaping the narrative around web3, extending its impact beyond finance and entertainment to generate diverse opportunities for creators worldwide.

This article is published on BitPinas: [Interview] Animoca Brands Chairman on Global Web3 Gaming Initiatives


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