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Mythical Games, a publisher and developer of blockchain games, said it has acquired DMarket, a marketplace for digital skins and non-fungible tokens for gamers.
And today, Los Angeles-based Mythical is launching its Mythical Marketplace 2.0, based on the tech built by Mythical and DMarket for its own marketplace, said John Linden, CEO Mythical Games, in an interview with GamesBeat. The price of the deal wasn’t disclosed.
The new marketplace is built on Mythical’s new Layer 1 Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) blockchain and powered by the Mythos native ecosystem token, MYTH.
The acquisition is a significant milestone for Mythical Games, with DMarket’s tech facilitating the most advanced trading platform for digital assets. It makes Mythical the world’s second-largest processor of digital assets on a distributed ledger after the Ethereum mainnet, as of December, Linden said.
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Mythical’s Marketplace 2.0 has fully integrated DMarket’s technology to feature its [principles of] blended payment gateway, featuring a powerful anti-money-laundering (AML) and anti-fraud protection system built on more than a decade of industry experience.
Marketplace 2.0 provides a frictionless user experience that enables peer-to-peer transactions and empowerment for gamers looking to participate in the play-and-own gaming economies of the future, the companies said. The Mythical chain has been live for six weeks, processing over two million transactions.
“We founded Mythical Games in 2018 with the idea of ushering in both the next generation of gaming and the next generation of gamers. Half a decade later, we’re continuing to do just that. Mythical’s Marketplace 2.0 was designed to not only enhance our platform but, more importantly, improve the player experience and set the standard for the future of gaming,” said Linden. “All too often, developers tout features as ‘seamless’ and ‘integrated’ when discussing gaming or metaverse projects. In reality, these solutions are still very complicated and not made for gamers. But with these monumental steps forward, Mythical will provide users with an experience that delivers on both.”
How the deal started
Vlad Panchenko, CEO of DMarket, started the company along with Tamara Slanova in 2017. They created a market for trading gaming and esports digital assets. DMarket’s partners and customers include Darewise, GSC Game World, the Na’Vi esports team, Unity, Xsolla, and others. It has grown to one of the top three digital asset markets in the world. In June 2020, DMarket raised $6.5 million and added gaming pioneer Trip Hawkins to its board.
Panchenko and Linden met last year at the Dice Summit in Las Vegas. They started talking about the challenges for Web3 games and they saw how each company complemented the other between Mythical’s strength in games and DMarket’s strength in its marketplace.
“We started just talking and the synergies between these two companies are amazing,” Linden said. “They have a decade of operational experience around digital transactions, and how to really work together to deliver liquidity and great marketplace activity. So we actually decided to kind of put the companies together. And we actually did that back in August. And then we’ve been working heads down.”
Marketplace 2.0 will support NFL Rivals and Nitro Nation World Tour assets, with plans to expand to all Mythical titles on the Mythical Chain. Assets on the Mythical Chain will be entirely governed by smart contracts with both ownership and commerce logic enforced on a secure distributed digital ledger.
“The new horizons of the gaming space have always been the main focus for DMarket. We’re excited to become a part of Mythical Games’ work to reduce barriers to entry for innovative game developers and thriving new economies,” said Panchenko. “We share a vision of how the industry will evolve and how we all can contribute and bring more fun to the gaming community worldwide.”
DMarket’s office in Kyiv, Ukraine, has become part of Mythical East, with its headquarters in Lisbon, Portugal. Its cofounders Panchenko and Slanova, will become part of Mythical’s executive leadership team, with a particular focus on building the best and easiest marketplace technology for the gaming industry.
DMarket has also adopted the Mythical Chain for its existing marketplace, which will continue to operate outside of the Mythical Marketplace. DMarket.com will retain the familiar experience with purchases in U.S. dollars in the web experience; however, all trades are recorded on the Mythical Chain to provide full transparency to the community.
Panchenko said the war in Ukraine was a huge hardship. He looked at the risks of war and had the foresight to move all of the team and their families from Ukraine to Montenegro. That helped DMarket save jobs and the company’s product. Now the team is spread out and anchored by an Eastern office in Lisbon, Portugal. Some team members stayed in Ukraine on their own decisions, and some are serving in the army.
“We’ve now moved everybody more permanently to Lisbon,” Linden said. He said the team members will be able to work from whatever place they feel most comfortable with.
“We’ve been very grateful to work with Vlad and his team,” Linden said. “The resilience of the Ukrainian people is just remarkable. The team has been through a lot these year. We’ve tried to be as empathetic as possible because they have really had their lives turned upside down. And they’re still just an amazing team. They’re working so hard and building with us.”
Overall, Mythical has more than 300 people, and roughly 94 of them are part of DMarket.
“We’re going to continue expanding,” Linden said.
Much of Mythical’s focus is on building its first-party and second-party games. And the company is doing a lot of work to commercialize its platform product, which other developers can use to make blockchain games. This month, the company expects to handle as much as $10 million in transactions through the Mythical Chain.
I asked about the fraud lawsuit that Mythical filed against Fenix Games last month against a team of former Mythical executives for allegedly raising money for themselves instead of for Mythical as they were assigned to do.
“I think for us, obviously, it was an unfortunate event,” Linden said. “Our board felt we had to take action to protect shareholder and investor or employee interests. So we won’t really comment too much on that. But we’re, you know, we’re focused on moving forward at a rapid basis.”
The road ahead
The company will be doing some drops on the new marketplace for its NFL Rivals and Nitro Nation World Tour games soon.
“It’s been a pretty fast integration,” Linden said. “That’s one of the reasons we didn’t announce the [acquisition]. We were just so heads down.”
DMarket continues to sell its gaming skins and other non-NFT digital goods on the DMarket.com site, where the goal is to create a premier trading platform for gamers.