Curio Research, an on-chain gaming lab developing the next generation of crypto Web3 games, announced the completion of its $2.9 million seed funding round today. TCG Crypto, Formless Capital, Smrti Lab, Robot Ventures, and various angel investors participated in the round, which was led by Bain Capital Crypto.
Web3 gaming projects experienced a meteoric rise in 2022, as both gamers and blockchains realized the vast possibilities and profitability of games that incorporate and leverage crypto by tokenizing in-game assets as NFTs and ERC-20s. While these games were undoubtedly revolutionary, many of them have yet to evolve the fundamental game mechanics and gameplay styles of their Web2 counterparts.
Curio’s mission is to completely democratize the gaming space, opening up a new world of possibilities by increasing the dimension of user-generated content within games. Curio, founded in 2022 by veteran engineers and gamers Kevin Zhang and Yijia Chen, creates Web3 games that provide benefits to players that go beyond simple financial incentives.
As with any new generational defining technology, such as real-time databases or the Macintosh, radically new types of games were invented, with brand new in-game mechanics that were not previously possible. Curio’s on-chain games are entirely powered by smart contracts, which enable a new type of multiplayer computation by allowing all participants to contribute to a shared universe of code and data.
The company’s first game, Treaty, which launched in January 2023, exemplifies the platform’s uniqueness. Players in Treaty can write and deploy smart contracts called Treaties, which allow them to create rules for how they interact with other players in the game. Players have the freedom to create any tooling, infrastructure, or application they want, such as custom asset marketplaces, lending primitives, guilds, and more – a level of interaction that is uncommon in traditional games.
Curio’s seed funding will allow the company to create new and exciting games that combine the most innovative web3 capabilities, design and create seamless experiences, onboard players, and expand its development and design team in San Francisco and remotely.
Curio is focused on creating a new paradigm of gaming where the line between players and developers is blurred, and user-generated logic flourishes. The company aims to develop infrastructure and tooling to enable blockchains and smart contracts to become more performant and interoperable, allowing players to dream about and build applications that tie into the game meaningfully.