From Shakespeare to the Beatles, and Star Wars to Fortnite, every generation has a set of entertainment properties that define its culture and shared universe of stories. As we look to the coming decade, we believe the next major creative franchise will be built from the bottom up through games and web3 primitives.
As the most interactive and social form of media, games are masterclasses at building universes of shared stories. The best games today are thousand hour experiences where players experience epic adventures spanning years, build lasting friendships, and contribute meaningfully to a shared universe populated by many others. At scale, these games are next-generation social networks and cultural powerhouses–from Fortnite dances to Among Us memes to The Witcher topping Netflix charts year after year.
That’s why we’re thrilled to announce that Andreessen Horowitz is leading the Series A for Metatheory, a technology-first entertainment company leveraging web3 games and interactive media to build community. We’ve known Metatheory CEO/cofounder Kevin Lin for many years, as both a personal friend and advisor to a16z. As cofounder and former COO of Twitch, Kevin helped shape modern games culture and digital communities – Twitch brought us new ways of watching and connecting with others around shared experiences, and has become home to a thriving community of creators. Kevin is also an incredibly generous human being and core gamer with ambitious ideas around the future of web3 games. Over the last year, Kevin and partners Adam Bao, Dave Barthwell, and JT Gleason have assembled an all-star team including many of the early veterans of the Twitch development team. Together, the team epitomizes the fusion of games, consumer social, web3 savvy, and company building experience.
Metatheory’s first project, DuskBreakers, is an interactive sci-fi inspired IP universe built on the blockchain. Holders of DuskBreakers NFTs can directly shape the development of a shared story that will unfold across upcoming games and media experiences.
In building the DuskBreakers community, the Metatheory team has been uniquely focused on delivering value to gamers. To attract and reward gamers, the team built a full 3D, web game for the DuskBreakers mint. Fans were required to play the game to earn mint slots – dubbed Play to Mint – setting a new standard that many other projects now follow. Today, DuskBreakers is a thriving 20k+ person community with a robust roadmap that includes a full multiplayer game, new NFTs, and tokens with a user owned economy.
The Metatheory team has incredibly ambitious plans for the future of games and digital communities, and we couldn’t be more excited to partner with them!
Andrew Chen is a General Partner for A16Z GAMES, focused on the intersection of tech and gaming — this includes AI, studios, infrastructure, and consumer apps.
Jonathan Lai is a general partner and founding investor of A16Z GAMES at Andreessen Horowitz, where he focuses on investing at the intersection of games and consumer, social, web3, infrastructure, and fintech.