How Mythical Games Hopes to Pioneer Blockchain Gaming

Caitlin Cook
Caitlin Cook is an editorial intern at dot.LA, currently earning her master's degree in mass communication from California State University, Northridge. A devoted multimedia journalist with an interest in both tech and entertainment, Cook also works as a reporter and production assistant for MUSE TV. She got her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Filmmaking from University of North Carolina School of the Arts.
How Mythical Games Hopes to Pioneer Blockchain Gaming

In-game purchases enhance the gaming experience and create profit for game developers. But what if they were also an investment for gamers?

Los Angeles-based game technology studio Mythical Games is trying to make that happen by bringing NFTs into the gaming world. As blockchain technology and the gaming industry both see a surge in interest, their combination may have been inevitable.

Mythical, started three years ago with the explicit purpose of making blockchain a part of gaming, is one of several companies distributing NFTs through video games, along with Chain Games and B-Side Games.

Nicole Yang, the company's VP of marketing, said the company initially struggled to figure out how to even explain blockchain – the underlying technology that verifies crypto transactions – to consumers. Now, there's "an insane amount of energy and awareness" around the technology and NFTs.

On Wednesday, Mythical announced it raised a $75 million Series B round, bringing the total amount raised to $120 million. The round, led by WestCap, will be used to grow "Blankos Block Party" — the company's first game — as well as expand to more gaming platforms and develop future projects.

"Blankos Block Party" is an open-world party game where players can play mini games with friends and create their own levels. The Open Beta version of the game is available to download for PC.

Mythical Games Blankos are designed by Mythical Games in collaboration with artists and can be compared to collectible vinyl toys.

What separates Blankos from similar party games is that each playable character, called a Blanko, is a unique NFT owned by the player, with the potential to appreciate in value. Blankos are designed by Mythical Games in collaboration with artists and can be compared to collectible vinyl toys. Other items owned in the game, such as clothing, are also sold as NFTs. Current Blanko players collectively own more than 100,000 NFTs, and there is no limit to how many a single player can possess.

To make a profit, players can resell their Blankos within the company's "Mythical Marketplace," which recently went into alpha testing. Yang said said certain factors can contribute to the appreciation of a Blanko's value, including when it was created, the scarcity of the model and what the Blanko has done in the game. The NFTs are sold on the EOS.IO blockchain and use the Proof of Authority algorithm to validate each transaction.

Some, including influential blockchain site Cyptopedia, have raised concerns that integrating gaming with blockchain could cause game developers to focus more on the investment opportunity and less on quality of gameplay.

Yang said gameplay is their priority, and that players could come into the game with no intention of touching the blockchain and still have a fulfilling gaming experience.

"I think there's this intersection of people that are gamers that are going to come into it, which we've definitely seen," she added. "[And] we have people that are more on this game entrepreneurship side, who maybe are less engaged with the core gameplay of the product but very interested in the NFT aspect of it. For us, it's a welcome space."

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Greater Good Health Raises $10 Million To Fix America’s Doctor Shortage

Keerthi Vedantam

Keerthi Vedantam is a bioscience reporter at dot.LA. She cut her teeth covering everything from cloud computing to 5G in San Francisco and Seattle. Before she covered tech, Keerthi reported on tribal lands and congressional policy in Washington, D.C. Connect with her on Twitter, Clubhouse (@keerthivedantam) or Signal at 408-470-0776.

Greater Good Health Raises $10 Million To Fix America’s Doctor Shortage
Courtesy of Greater Good Health

The pandemic highlighted what’s been a growing trend for years: Medical students are prioritizing high-paying specialty fields over primary care, leading to a shortage of primary care doctors who take care of a patient’s day-to-day health concerns. These physicians are a cornerstone of preventative health care, which when addressed can lower health care costs for patients, insurers and the government. But there’s a massive shortage of doctors all over the country, and the pipeline for primary care physicians is even weaker.

One local startup is offering a possible answer to this supply squeeze: nurse practitioners.

On Wednesday, Manhattan Beach-based Greater Good Health unveiled a $10 million Series A funding round led by LRVHealth, which adds to the startup’s $3 million seed round last year. The company employs nurse practitioners and pairs them with doctor’s offices and medical clinics; this allows nurse practitioners to take on patients who would otherwise have to wait weeks, or even months, to see a doctor.

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Plus Capital Partner Amanda Groves on Celebrity Equity Investments

Minnie Ingersoll
Minnie Ingersoll is a partner at TenOneTen and host of the LA Venture podcast. Prior to TenOneTen, Minnie was the COO and co-founder of $100M+, an online marketplace for used cars. Minnie started her career as an early product manager at Google. Minnie studied Computer Science at Stanford and has an MBA from HBS. She recently moved back to L.A. after 20+ years in the Bay Area and is excited to be a part of the growing tech ecosystem of Southern California. In her space time, Minnie surfs baby waves and raises baby people.
PLUS Capital​’s Amanda Groves.
Courtesy of Amanda Groves.

On this episode of the L.A. Venture podcast, Amanda Groves talks about how PLUS Capital advises celebrity investors and why more high-profile individuals are choosing to invest instead of endorse.

As a partner at PLUS, Groves works with over 70 artists and athletes, helping to guide their investment strategies. PLUS advises their talent roster to combine their financial capital with their social capital and focus on five investment areas: the future of work, future of education, health and wellness, the conscious consumer and sustainability.

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Rivian Stock Roller Coaster Continues as Amazon Van Delivery Faces Delays

David Shultz

David Shultz is a freelance writer who lives in Santa Barbara, California. His writing has appeared in The Atlantic, Outside and Nautilus, among other publications.

Rivian Stock Roller Coaster Continues as Amazon Van Delivery Faces Delays
Courtesy of Rivian.

Rivian’s stock lost 7% yesterday on the back of news that the company could face delays in fulfilling Amazon’s order for a fleet of electric delivery vans due to legal issues with a supplier. The electric vehicle maker is suing Commercial Vehicle Group (CVG) over a pricing dispute related to the seats that the supplier promised, according to the Wall Street Journal.

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