Azra Games has secured another $10 million in funding from Andreessen Horowitz (A16z), bringing the total seed funding raised by the company to $25 million.
Azra Games, based in Sacramento, California, is known for creating games that incorporate non-fungible tokens (NFTs). The investment was led by A16z, which utilized its $600 million game investment fund. NFX, Coinbase Ventures, Play Ventures, and Franklin Templeton were among the other investors.
A16z sees huge potential for Web3 Games
In a blog post, Arianna Simpson, a partner at A16z, expressed her belief that the economic and ownership models that Web3 provides have the potential to revolutionize the way people play online games. The investment demonstrates that high-quality game companies can still raise funds for blockchain games, even during an economic downturn. Last year, blockchain games accounted for 50% of all funding for game companies. NFT games have faced a more difficult road since the cryptocurrency downturn and the collapse of FTX.
A Game Developer with a Mission
Mark Otero, the founder of Azra Games, previously led the development of the highly successful mobile game Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes while working at Capital Games, which has generated over $1 billion to date based on EA data in 2021. Otero’s latest project is Legions & Legends, which he hopes will create a deep, immersive game universe with a specialized in-game economy and virtual collectibles powered by Web3 technologies such as NFTs.
Azra Games’ Founders Bring Credibility to Blockchain Gaming
Otero is working with fellow entrepreneurs Sonny Mayugba and Travis Boudreaux, and they have hired veterans from Capital Games. Otero’s philosophy of fun and how to build great games is unique, and he hopes the team’s credibility will help the company succeed with NFT-based games. Azra Games decided to start its funding with credible game VCs rather than an NFT token sale.
The Future of Blockchain Gaming
Despite skepticism about blockchain games, Otero believes that gamers being able to own the game assets they purchased is a game-changer. Normally, players essentially rent the things they buy, and if the publisher ever shuts down, the players lose their whole investment. With NFTs, Otero believes players can authenticate their unique items and truly own them. Otero, who grew up in South Korea playing Dungeons & Dragons, is excited to be a Dungeon Master again.