Developing Novel Infrastructure and Applications to Serve the Next Generation of Composable Games
Seed Round Led by Bain Capital Crypto, with Participation from TCG Crypto, Formless Capital, Smrti Lab, and Robot Ventures, Among Others
SAN FRANCISCO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Curio Research (“Curio”), an on-chain gaming lab building the next generation of crypto Web3 games, today announced the close of its $2.9 million seed round. The round was led by Bain Capital Crypto, with participation from TCG Crypto, Formless Capital, Smrti Lab, Robot Ventures, and various angel investors.
In 2022, Web3 gaming projects saw a meteoric rise as both gamers and blockchains alike realized the extensive possibilities and profitability of games that incorporate and leverage crypto through tokening in-game assets as NFTs and ERC-20s. While these games were certainly revolutionary, many have still not evolved the fundamental game mechanics and gameplay styles of their Web2 counterparts. Specifically, players remain unable to contribute content directly into a multiplayer universe and share their creations with others easily. Users are also provided with weak security guarantees.
Curio’s mission is to fully democratize the gaming space, tapping into a new realm of possibilities by expanding the dimension of user-generated content within games. Founded in 2022 by veteran engineers and gamers Kevin Zhang and Yijia Chen, Curio is building Web3 games that create benefits for gamers far beyond simple financial incentives. As with any new generational defining technology, such as the invention of real time databases or the Macintosh, radically new types of games were invented with brand new in-game mechanics that were not feasible prior. Curio’s on-chain games are powered entirely by smart contracts, which create a new way of multiplayer computation that enables all participants to contribute to a shared universe of code and data. This allows for maximum transparency and leads to games built entirely by players’ creativity and content.
The uniqueness of Curio’s platform is demonstrated by the company’s first game, Treaty, which launched in January 2023. In Treaty, players are able to write and deploy smart contracts – called Treaties – which allows them to draft rules around how they interact with other players in the game. Players are free to build any tooling, infrastructure, or application they wish, such as custom asset marketplaces, lending primitives, guilds, and more – freedom of interaction that is rarely seen in traditional games.
In addition to developing games, Curio is building in-house custom infrastructure that will allow on-chain games to be more performant and accessible to non-crypto native users.
“Despite the tremendous growth we have seen in the on-chain gaming space, we have not seen many innovations that would truly differentiate the on-chain gameplay experience from that of traditional games,” said Yijia Chen, Co-Founder of Curio. “We are very excited to continue to build out this new paradigm of gaming, where the line between players and developers is blurred and where user-generated logic flourishes like never before.”
“To achieve our goals, we are doubling down efforts to develop the proper infrastructure and tooling to enable blockchains and smart contracts to become more performant and interoperable so that they can best serve on-chain games,” said Kevin Zhang, Co-Founder of Curio. “Through these efforts, we envision a world where players are free to dream about and build applications that tie into the game meaningfully.”
“Curio is creating novel game mechanisms and social interactions that are simply unparalleled in the gaming space, taking the idea of user-composability to a whole new level,” said Stefan Cohen, Partner at Bain Capital Crypto. “Curio’s games demonstrate the expansive design space for fully on-chain games. We are thrilled to support the Curio team as they continue to create first-of-their-kind, real-time strategy games.”
Curio’s seed funding will enable the company to build new and exciting games that will unite the most innovative web3 capabilities, design and create seamless experiences, onboard players, and expand its development and design team in San Francisco and remotely. Full-stack and blockchain engineers, game designers, and artists who are passionate about revolutionizing the gaming industry and are interested in joining Curio can learn more by visiting www.curio.gg.
About Curio Research
Curio Research is building the next generation of games and underlying infrastructure centered around composability and user-generated content. Curio’s first game is a 4X strategy game that allows players to create arbitrary on-chain social agreements with each other. More information about the company can be found on its Twitter page.
Carissa Felger/Sam Cohen
Gasthalter & Co.
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