Ubisoft and Take-Two invest $40 million in Ethereum NFT game maker Horizon

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Last Updated on October 5, 2022 by Bitfinsider

With today’s announcement of a $40 million Series A round raised by Horizon, the developer behind the NFT-driven competitive card game Skyweaver, major video game publishers Ubisoft and Take-Two Interactive are delving deeper into the NFT gaming space.

The two companies were among those who took part in the round of funding, which was led by Brevan Howard Digital and Morgan Creek Digital. Polygon, gaming-focused venture capital firm Bitkraft, metaverse investor Everyrealm, payments firm Xsolla, and Initialized Capital are among the other backers.

With the round, Horizon also attracted some notable individual investors, including Shopify CEO Tobias L├╝tke, Lolli co-founder and CEO Alex Adelman, and two co-creators from notable NFT games: The Sandbox co-founder and COO Sebastien Borget and Axie Infinity co-founder and Sky Mavis COO Aleksander Larsen.

Skyweaver is a digital trading card game similar to Blizzard’s popular Hearthstone, but the cards are represented as Ethereum NFT assets that can be sold and traded, much like rival NFT game Gods Unchained. An NFT is a blockchain token that represents ownership of a one-of-a-kind item, such as artwork, collectibles, or video game items.

Horizon’s title was first released in closed alpha testing in 2018, but it was only recently that it was made available in open beta for anyone to play. Horizon has also turned the game’s technology into Sequence, an Ethereum-based development platform and wallet that other creators can use to create their own Web3 games and apps.

Horizon stated in a blog post today that the $40 million will be used to further push Sequence while also improving and expanding Skyweaver. It will also launch Niftyswap, a decentralized marketplace focusing on Ethereum and Polygon ERC-1155 NFTs, also known as semi-fungible tokens (SFTs) and used for games and collectibles, in the near future.

Horizon previously received $13.3 million in seed funding, including a $5 million tranche led by Initialized and its now-departed co-founder, Alexis Ohanian, in 2020. The Reddit co-founder has been a vocal supporter of Skyweaver and NFT gaming in general, tweeting today that it was a “non-obvious investment” at the time.

Ubisoft and Take-Two Interactive are two of the most prominent video game publishers. Ubisoft is responsible for massive franchises such as Assassin’s Creed, Just Dance, and Far Cry, whereas Take-popular Two’s brands such as Rockstar Games and 2K Games have produced smashes such as Grand Theft Auto, Red Dead Redemption, and NBA 2K.

Both have previously made moves into the Web3 space. Ubisoft has been experimenting with NFTs and blockchain technology for years and recently increased its efforts by releasing Tezos-based in-game NFTs for the PC game Ghost Recon Breakpoint in December 2021. In addition, the company has invested in and supported a number of other Web3 startups.

Meanwhile, Take-Two recently acquired mobile and casual game maker Zynga, which is currently developing NFT-driven games. Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick specifically mentioned “Web3 opportunities” on the horizon in January, which he said the combined company would be better positioned to address.

Many gamers have resisted NFTs, citing scams, rampant speculation, and the now-reduced environmental impact of leading platform Ethereum. Many in the Web3 space, from developers to marketplace builders, believe that NFTs will eventually gain traction in the video game industry due to potential benefits for both players and creators.


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