DigiDaigaku developer secures $200M, but ‘Free to Own’ model may just be old wine in new bottle

The blockchain game company Limit Break recently announced the completion of $200 million in financing, making it the crypto project with the highest single financing amount in recent months. The lineup of investors behind this round of financing is also very eye-catching, led by Paradigm, Josh Buckley and Standard Crypto, participating parties include FTX, Coinbase, Positive Sum, Shervinator and Anthos Capital.

After the official announcement of the financing news, the NFT series DigiDaigaku, which was just released by Limit Break on August 10, ranked first in the trading volume within 24 hours on OpenSea. . And DigiDaigaku is still on sale in the form of Stealth Drop (stealth launch) + Free Mint.


From Free Mint to the floor price of 15.8ETH, DigiDaigaku completed an unimaginable contrarian growth under the bear market.

But neither DigiDaigaku nor Limit Break made a sound before the official announcement of this financing. What innovations does this Limit Break, which has been heavily betted by top investors, bring? What’s up with the team?

“Free to Own”, an innovative model?

Limit Break’s new concept, the “Free to Own” model, is one of the most interesting and questionable discussions at the moment.

Limit Breack founder & CEO Gabriel Leydon calls himself “Free to Own” a new way to get rid of “Play to Earn”, but what exactly is “Free to Own”?

Let’s look at Gabriel Leydon’s explanation in the interview: Compared with the need to pre-purchase NFTs in chain games, in the “Free to Own” mode, NFTs are given to the initial players for free, and the NFT assets of Genesis can become “future assets”. Factory”, holders can get more NFTs in the future through this NFT.

What’s the logic behind doing this? Gabriel Leydon believes this approach will avoid the fraudulent practice of companies selling NFTs and then failing to deliver the game. Conversely, giving away NFTs can turn fans into the best advocates of upcoming games, allowing fans to spread the word about the game in a viral fashion. “Because players start from scratch, rather than starting from a deficit, there’s less incentive to make money right away and thus have a longer time to spend on the game.”

Gabriel Leydon believes that the “Free to Own” model will eliminate free-to-play and NFT pre-sale models, and says the simplicity of “Free to Own” is one of the reasons why the company can raise so much money.

If it’s free, how will developers make money? What Gabriel Leydon means is that the team keeps a percentage of NFTs for themselves that can be sold to new players at market prices. It is worth mentioning that, in fact, the developer’s profits are actually up to 10% of the royalties.

But at present, there is only one question left after reading the whole article: What is the difference between the “Free to Own” and “Free Mint” modes?

DigiDaigaku is currently only available in the form of Stealth Drop (stealth launch) + Free Mint. As for the next step, Gabriel Leydon said that because he does not want others to imitate it, it will not be announced to the public for the time being.

It’s hard to see the difference between the two just from Gabriel Leydon’s interview and other public information. “Free to Own” seems to be another high-level term for “Free Mint”, and it is inevitable to have old wine in new bottles.

The game behind the mentioned NFT has not yet been released, and no game dynamics can be found. Gabriel Leydon only revealed that behind it is a team with rich experience in MMO games.

From this point of view, DigiDaigaku seems to be no different from the Piece Of Shit project that once became popular and quickly fell . Quickly attract a group of users with free Mint to form a consensus, raise the price, and earn income from late entrants through some gameplay design intentions. Piece Of Shit also claims to be launching the game, but the game has not been launched yet, and the floor price of Piece Of Shit has dropped to 0.06ETH, which is almost zero.

But Limit Break is still in its early stages, and despite the ambiguity of the so-called “Free to Own” concept of innovation, the project itself doesn’t seem to have much practical highlights. But in the bear market, and can get 200 million US dollars in financing from well-known investors such as Paradigm, FTX, etc., the next action of Limit Break is worth looking forward to.

Alok Vasudev, an investor in Standard Crypto, who led this round, mentioned, “We spend a lot of time in the crypto game, looking for the best ideas and teams. Over the past few years, we have learned a lot and proved a lot about encryption. Knowledge of games. Not just around games, but also the business model, and that’s a part that few can compare to Gabriel Leydon, Halbert, and Limit Break.”

It is not difficult to feel that after the “Play to Earn” model, the capital or the market urgently needs a new model, and the “Free to Own” proposed by Limit Break seems to bring a glimmer of hope.

Alok Vasudev also added his expectations for this mode, which roughly means that the members of the founding team of Limit Break creatively launched a free-to-play game mode and achieved success. They were born in psychology and sociology, and they knew how to attract gamers. And has deep insights into getting players involved.

Obviously, the founding team of Limit Break has brought a strong endorsement to this financing. What is the origin of the founding team of Limit Break?

With its own Web2 game giant halo

To briefly summarize, Limit Break was founded by Gabriel Leydon and Halbert Nakagawa in August 2021. Before the establishment of Limit Break, the two partners founded the once brilliant mobile game company Machine Zone, which once released the “Game of War” and “Mobile Strike” two free MMO strategy mobile games, according to Wikipedia, were among the top ten best-selling mobile games of the year, bringing billions of dollars in revenue for the company.

Recently, Gabriel Leydon, founder & CEO of Limit Breack, was interviewed by the Silicon Valley technology website venturebeat. From the interview, his entrepreneurial experience can be divided into two important parts: first, he entered the mobile game around 2009; second It’s 2018 or so to get into crypto.

Gabriel Leydon was a senior game designer before starting his business. Around 2008, Gabriel Leydon co-founded the social app Addmired with Halbert Nakagawa and Mike Sherrill. When the iPhone became popular in 2009, the Addmired team quickly transformed into a mobile game company after seeing the market opportunity for games to shift from PC to mobile, and changed its name to Machine Zone.

Around 2010, Gabriel Leydon led the team to develop several free MMO strategy mobile games “Game of War”, “Mobile Strike” and “Final Fantasy”, which were successful. Based on the success of these games, which generated more than $4.5 billion in revenue from 2014 to 2018, the market valued Machine Zone as high as $5 billion in a funding round in 2016, according to Sensor Tower.

Machine Zone’s relatively successful entrepreneurial experience in mobile game companies has brought a strong endorsement to Gabriel Leydon’s establishment of a new blockchain game company.

Josh Buckley, one of the lead investors in this round, commented on Gabriel Leydon, “Gabe is one of the best game designers and marketers in the world. He and Halbert Nakagawa have contributed to shaping the mobile game industry, pioneering new Design and marketing technology, influencing an entire generation of developers, and now more than 2.5 billion mobile gamers.”

In conclusion, in addition to being good at tapping new market signals, another characteristic of the Machine Zone core team is that they are very daring and even aggressive in marketing. According to Wikipedia, in February 2016, Machine Zone spent an estimated three times as much on TV commercials as any other mobile gaming company, including a Super Bowl 50 show featuring Arnold Schwarz 3,265 times. Singh-themed Mobile Strike ad, spending an estimated $10.7 million.

So how did Gabriel Leydon get into encryption? Around 2018, Gabriel Leydon hatched Satori, an independently operating blockchain data platform, in Machine Zone. Venturebeat mentioned in the interview that he chose to leave after disagreements with the board of directors possibly because of this business and the focus of Machine Zone business development. .

But this point is still in doubt. The earliest date of Gabriel Leydon’s departure from Machine Zone can be traced back to 2015. A previous press release cited by Wikipedia stated that Gabriel Leydon actually ceased to be the CEO of Machine Zone as early as 2015. After being taken over by the board of directors in 2018, he is only responsible for the Satori project.

In 2020 after Gabriel Leydon came out, Wikipedia showed that the final outcome of Machine Zone was to be acquired by AppLovin for about $500 million. (The real purchase price is difficult to determine. In a recent interview with venturebeat, the author mentioned twice about the purchase price of 300 million US dollars and 600 million US dollars, which are inconsistent)

But Satori doesn’t seem to have had the same success as Machine Zone, and there isn’t a lot of information on the project’s follow-up. Judging from his Twitter, Gabriel Leydon has made personal investments in the blockchain field since 2021, investing in two blockchain games Parallel and Branch, and crunchbase data shows that so far, he has invested in Pogo and Yield. Guild Games and other 4 companies.


At the same time, Gabriel Leydon also saw new opportunities in the hot market of Axie and NFT. Gabriel Leydon mentioned in an interview that when the Axie Infinity “Play to Earn” model became popular, he saw the flaws of the unsustainable economic model of this model.

With the background of game entrepreneurship and blockchain research, Gabriel Leydon decided to quit playing blockchain games again. In August 2021, he founded the blockchain company Limit Break with Halbert Nakagawa, who co-founded Machine Zone. With the new concept of “Free to Own” mentioned above.

The Limit Break team now has more than 50 people, about 80% of whom are former Machine Zone employees. Halbert Nakagawa, who has been starting a business together, still continues his role as CTO in charge of technology, and Chief Creative Officer Thomas also worked as a creative designer in Machine Zone, and was one of the main strategies of the popular game “Game of War” at that time. Judging from the investor’s speech, a team with continuous entrepreneurial experience and a proven track record is indeed one of the reasons why investors bet heavily.

At present, as an early project, Limit Break has brought a number of eye-catching labels, 200 million financing, luxury investors, successful entrepreneurial experience in Web2 games, NFT skyrocketing against the trend, “Free to Own” innovative concept… But the market has never There is no shortage of new stories. After the story is told, there is a big question mark on whether Limit Break can open up a new round of innovation and growth for a sluggish market.

Posted by:CoinYuppie,Reprinted with attribution to:https://coinyuppie.com/digidaigaku-developer-secures-200m-but-free-to-own-model-may-just-be-old-wine-in-new-bottle/
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