Backed by some powerhouse names in sports including basketball legend Michael Jordan and president of New England Patriots Jonathan Kraft, Sherman Oaks-based Mythical Games raised $150 million bringing the company’s valuation to $1.25 billion.
The injection of cash announced on Thursday will give the company, which has yet to release a game, the funds it needs to develop its “Mythical Platform,” where game players can trade NFTs.
Mythical is banking on the rise of players looking to actually own assets in-game that can be traded in the real world. The idea of tokenizing parts of video games into NFTs is relatively new, but it’s a trend that could soon become commonplace in gaming, Jam City chief operating officer and dot.LA investor Josh Yguado said at last week’s dot.LA summit. But Electronic Arts CEO Andrew Wilson said during the company’s earnings call this week that gaming NFTs still have a while to go before they’re a standard in the industry.
Mythical announced earlier this week three game development studios will begin working on games for the upcoming platform, including a racing game from Creative Mobile, an action strategy game from Abstraction Games and a digital trading card game from CCG Lab. All three of these games will be part of Mythical’s “play-to-earn” model, which links player’s achievements and collections inside the game to real-world crypto wallets using Mythical’s blockchain technology.
Mythical didn’t immediately return dot.LA’s requests for comment.
CEO John Linden said in the announcement that Mythical aims to turn in-game collectibles that players often spend hours grinding to get into real-world assets that can be sold to other players.
“Players spend billions of dollars on digital assets each year, but the value of their collections has been locked away from them. Utilizing NFTs in gaming creates a whole new set of game design principles built around scarcity vs. inflationary free-to-play economies,” Linden said. “Soon it will seem crazy we as players ever spent time or money on games without getting real value in return.”
Following this Series C round, Mythical has raised roughly $270 million to date — $225 million of that was raised in this year alone, as the company aggressively pushed for funding to build out its upcoming platform and new games. It raised a $75 million Series B round in June.
Other investors included Andreessen Horowitz, Boston Red Sox director Michael Gordon, OneRepublic lead vocalist Ryan Tedder and sports agent Curtis Polk. Crypto exchange operators Binance and FTX also invested, alongside RedBird Capital, the Raine Group and the Kraft Group (owners of the New England Patriots and soccer team New England Revolution).
Founded in 2018 by Linden, chief creative officer Jamie Jackson and business development lead Rudy Koch, Mythical Games has scooped up talent from big names in gaming since 2019, including hiring Jeff Poffenbarger as chief operating officer. Poffenbarger was studio head at Facebook (ahem, Meta)’s Oculus VR studio and before that was a senior executive producer at Activision Blizzard. Mythical has also courted Pete Hawley to be chief product officer – Hawley was previously the CEO of Telltale Games and led product development at Electronic Arts and Zynga.
Existing investors Struck Capital, Alumni Ventures, Signum Growth Investments, Galaxy Interactive, WestCap, 01 Advisors and Javelin Partners also joined the round.