Arbitrum and the Future of Web3 Gaming

Sounds like you got some really great feedback at eth Denver; and those two points are precisely the gist of both of my [lengthy] missives above - as you’ve no doubt noticed.

Let me expand on those two points:

Chains don’t need to become something they’re not. They’re just tech stacks. e.g. datacenters host and feature services, they don’t try to be/do anything else. Similarly, service and middleware providers focus exclusively on their strengths. To that end, no chain should strive to do something that they’re not equipped for.

That said, it’s why there’s a separation of things like engineering and foundation in chains. If the job of the foundation is to govern and bring growth to the chain, then how do you define “growth”? Well, as a chain, you define that via adoption. Which means dApps and utility which bring people (needed for growth) to the chain. And do this, you need copious amounts of money and talent. The latter two are why we have a series of zombie chains littering the [blockchain] landscape because you can have the best tech but nobody will use it if 1) they don’t know about it 2) they don’t have an incentive or use case for it.

How is ARB going to support gaming so that it’s sustainable and with upside for the DAO?

Short of giving money out and wishing on a prayer, none of those things are achievable due to all the aforementioned dependencies and insurmountable challenges that come with gaming. Neither the foundation nor the DAO proper can be expected to reasonably perform any of the functions required of a publishing arm. So, what’s left? Treat it as marketing BD and with incentives. Which is basically a “hands off” grants program with minimal entry requirements front-loaded with the usual checks and balances. In other words, no different from how the pre-existing ARB grants already work.

Here’s how I would do it. This is only for mind-mapping and can be revised as-needed.


  1. Foundation sets up a grant program similar to STIPP e.g. Gaming Catalyst Program (GCP)

  2. Fund the aforementioned grant program with a $200M test-run

    $200M (converted to whatever $ARB is trading at) test-run fund is more than sufficient for indie and AA games. Depending on the success or failure of the inaugural run, this can be automatically replenished every 12-18 months or so as-needed.

  3. Issue the grant (in full) to a separate corp entity (off-shore or not, doesn’t matter) with multi-sigs etc. Lets call it GCP Group

    This entity would be completely separate from the foundation and run by people also separate from the foundation. DAOs don’t work for stuff like this. So, don’t even bother with that noise.

    For this, put out a 1099 (work-for-hire) notice, then ask for submissions within a set period (e.g. 14 days).

    You’re basically looking for people with game industry experience in a development/management role. These are the types of people who not only understand games, but who can also understand precisely what a game dev is saying to them. Given all the recent layoffs in the industry, there are dozens - if not hundreds - of qualified people that fit this role; though most have no intentions of coming to Web3.

    After the application term expires, filter through all the applicants and pick 5 people (advisors) from the pool. From that pool, designate 1 person (the most experienced, accomplished etc) as core lead for the group.

    Hire with a salary cap of $10K - $25K (paid monthly in $ARB directly to their wallet) based on experience, expertise etc. and for a 12-month (this is a 1099 gig, renewable as-needed) term. This is likely a part-time gig in which you’re basically a glorified producer type babysitter.

    You absolutely want game devs who have actually worked on and shipped commercial games. No exceptions. And none of that “I worked on WoW; though I was just the water boy”. If your name isn’t on the list of credits for having been in a development (actual design, coding etc) role of a shipped game, you’re not getting in. No exceptions.

    Their monthly fees are paid from the grant - not the foundation. They also setup their own expenses to include legal, admin etc. I would suggest that this group’s budget be set at $2M a year, which would cover any/all operating expenses.

    NOTE: Any applicant already part of the ARB foundation, its partners, publishers etc. are automatically disqualified. No exceptions. The reason for this should be obvious; so I won’t spell it out and risk it being taken out of context.

  4. I won’t go into any of the standard setup for ops which include things like multi-sig, best practices, hiring third-parties as-needed etc. But the group needs a specific multi-sig wallet which is used solely for revenue generation.


Now you have 5 people sitting on a $200M grant. Lets go spend it!

Setup criteria for games which will be reviewed and funded. I like this part of your missive above. So, I will adopt it in some regard.

To be clear, you absolutely want to attract the best of the best, the cream of the crop games which have an inkling of success within. As we note, 90% of them will fail - but we don’t care about that; and you’ll see why that is.

Each project must submit the following (the group above should provide a template)

  1. Game overview (no need for a design doc as that’s too in-depth and patently boring). Go read Ella’s pitch deck notes to help with your submission via the aforementioned template
  2. Game tokenomics doc
  3. Team Info (if it’s an established team, corp etc. then all you need is the lead and nobody else)
  4. Dev schedule (not to exceed +18 months from date of grant submission) /w clear KPI milestones (tranche payments will be based on these)
  5. Use of funds (clear outline). This has to be separate and must be commensurate with the scope of the game and team e.g. nobody is going to give you a $1M grant just so you can go make a $250K game and spend the rest on meme coins or a Lambo.
  6. GTM plan


Phase 1 - Early Stage

You have a game idea that you’ve been toying with, then [foolishly] decided that you were going to make a commercial go of it because you believe your game to be in the 10% that’s totally going to make it. Right! Come on down!

– You have everything required in the grant template, somewhat playable prototype etc.
– Release within 18 months
– Grant Amount: $500K to $2M
– 70/30 rev split w/ GCP group for 12 months
– 2% of [unlocked at TGE] token allocation (if any) goes to GCP group to be airdropped to DAO

Phase 2 - Alpha | Beta

You’re experienced, already ran through the game dev gauntlet, have a game in progress, and need funding for the absolutely insane last mile that never seems to draw near. You have a previously shipped game either solo, in a team, at a corp, whatever. Doesn’t matter if it succeeded or failed - not your problem. You worked on a game. It shipped. Your name is in the credits.

– You have everything required in the grant template, playable alpha | beta etc.
– Release within 18 months
– Grant Amount: $2M to $4M
– 70/30 rev split w/ GCP group for 24 months
– 2% of [unlocked at TGE] token allocation (if any) goes to GCP group to be airdropped to DAO

Phase 3 - Release Candidate / Final Work Product

You’re way past those n00bs up in phase 1&2. You have a game - an actual freaking game - that’s over 90% completed, bugs galore even, but you’re definitely going to make it - this time; big boy pants and everything.

– You have everything required in the grant template, playable game in final Beta or RC state etc.
– Release within 6-8 months
– Grant Amount: $4M to $6M
– 70/30 rev split w/ GCP group for 36 months
– 2% of [unlocked at TGE] token allocation (if any) goes to GCP group to be airdropped to DAO

Phase 4 - Migration

You have a 100% completed game, Web2 or Web3, doesn’t matter. You have front-loaded all the costs of dev, but now you want to come to ARB but need a little help with the expense and expertise of migrating over. The GCP Group would love to see you migrate your game over to the ecosystem and to help you do that. By working with TreasureDAO, Helika etc. you have a dedicated team of experts to help with the transition.

– You have everything required in the grant template, playable game in release state etc.
– Deployment on ARB within 4-6 months
– Grant Amount: Up to $6M
– No rev split with GCP Group
– 2% of [unlocked at TGE] token allocation (if any) goes to GCP group to be airdropped to DAO


GCP Group isn’t a publisher and shouldn’t even pretend to be one. It’s basically a glorified BD team of experienced gaming people.

So, now we have GCP Group of 5 people running through submissions, and figuring out how to spend $200M - fer real (not like those other guys who claim to have these massive funds when in fact it’s just a ploy to get you to go talk to them - and nobody on the planet that you know of, ever got money from them. Yeah, those guys) to the benefit of the ARB ecosystem.

The key here is that, with those amounts and a great GCP Group team, you’re looking at funding a large number of diverse (from all genres) quality games from experienced devs who can actually build and deploy product. Heck, if you come across 25 games of great quality and team, and you give each $5M, well, do the math.

As GCP is going to be getting 30% revenue from deployed (at any stage) games, it can either stake that revenue and make some gains or just recycle it into its annual expenses.

Each game’s approved funding is paid out in achievable milestone based tranches which, from grant approval to release candidate and final deployment release, should span the presented dev schedule and paid out in 4-6 tranches, with the final being the largest - except for an established team which implies less risk. No milestone delivery, no payment. After two missed milestones, it’s game over - and you’re out of the program.

In fact, for established teams with shipped games, track record etc. you can give them the full grant in equal monthly or quarterly tranches. So, for such a team, a $5M grant for a 12 month dev cycle would get paid in equal monthly tranches. These are the guys you absolutely WANT to come to GCP for funding.

This could absolutely work. The community obviously trusts (I expect that they do) the Arb Foundation due to their current track record. I mean, look no further than the treasury, the tech etc. And so, there should be no concern about an initiative like this being taken out of the hands of the emotions and angst that tend to come with DAO voting etc.

Lastly - and this important. Having 5 people in GCP means that they all get to pick from a pool of, say, 4 games they like. So, lets assume, 20 games are now in the running. From that pool, each team member gets to vote (Y|N) for each one. The games with the highest (5) votes, get to go first. Then you do it all over again as time moves on. The key here is not to sit on $200M that you’re not spending. So, grants should be awarded literally every freaking week - nonstop - until all the money allocated for the games is gone. Then you sit, wait, and watch it all fall apart - while hoping and praying that at least 10% of the funded games make it - and succeed. But they don’t even have to succeed. They just have to make it to release and be parked on the ARB chain.

One thing that I would like to add involves the teams who have come on this journey and who, like yourself and others, in their own way have brought Arbitrum to where it is today. That would be these guys previously called out in your OP.

They’re mostly sitting on catalogs of underperforming games or games which don’t stand a snowball in hell chance of survival. Don’t take my word for it, go ahead and ask for the engagement and revenue metrics.

So, where do they fit in? Simple. Have them run their games (new or old) through GCP using the above criteria. For one thing, what if there’s a good game that’s not getting traction due to lack of marketing funds, outreach etc? Simple, send them to TreasureDAO or Helika where, via GCP, they can get a grant used to pay TreasureDAO, Helika etc. to build a robust marketing and outreach plan.

In fact, now that I think about it, making these groups a part of the GCP grant process provides a launchpad of experience for on-boarding Web2 devs coming to Web3 and who are literally lost in the narrative.

I would even go one step further and mandate that any team getting GCP grants must plan to allocate a minimum of 10% of their funding to be paid (by GCP) directly to the select groups like Treasure, Helika etc. who then create a plan (submitted to GCP) as required. This “advisory” role could handle things ranging from GTM to tokenomics and community outreach. In fact, I mention this because I have such a group working with me on my Web3 projects - and they do everything. All I do is write code, manage my teams, show my face on calls as-needed etc. I don’t deal with any of the noise.

If you’re wondering why I’m not suggesting that GCP hire them or advisors to do the above, it’s because that won’t work to the benefit of the GCP or those partners. So, it has to be done on a case by case basis. And in doing so, for example, Helika could be managing 5 funded projects and getting paid for 5, instead of being paid a fixed sum to manage 5 projects while not having the resources to do so. More funds means more resources.

Aside from rewarding the loyalty of these groups and their builders, making them a part of this GCP process not only helps with optics, good will etc, but it also helps with filtering games on a “first look” basis. e.g. If someone asked me today which Web3 publisher or group to approach about their game, the first words out of my mouth would be “Why do you need a third-party? You know you can just deploy yourself, right?” And if they say they want funding, I would then direct them to the angels and VC investors that I know and trust. I would never - ever - send them to a chain or a “Web3 pseudo publisher/shop” or a DAO of any kind. Ever. In fact, funny story. A guy (I won’t out him, but he’s welcome to do so himself) who worked on one of my games some years back, reached out to me on TG a few days ago after reading my first post here. Why? He knows me. He’s worked for me. I explained to him why going directly to the Arb Foundation, let alone the DAO, for a grant of the size they were seeking, was a lesson in futility. So, yes, those guys are out there - all looking for a way in. And something like GCP - done properly - will absolutely attract the right game devs.

And if the GCP grant agreement says they have to deploy and stay on ARB, then it creates an ecosystem that just builds and grows. If any grantee wants to leave, ofc they’re free to do so; but they’re still liable for that 30% to GCP, regardless.

It’s going to take time because making games is a long, hard and arduous process. But, for these kinds of money in my suggestions above, chances are there will be so many quality games in phase 2&3 that GCP wouldn’t even be able to go through all submissions in order to determine the best ones to take a risk on.


Right. Lets just ignore everything I just wrote, and instead, you, @karelvuong, @Soby and any one of the super stars at Helika, go ask the Arb Foundation for $200M; and use it to go build a proper Web3 Games Publishing Group - parked on ARB. I can’t be involved in any of that because I have my own teams and commitments to look after. But I would gladly serve in an advisory role as-needed because from what I have seen and heard thus far, you guys absolutely, positively, need an [experienced] game dev and outsider to help this along.

I don’t think separating this any further is a good idea because that means all the work in this thread gets forgotten (I mean, look at the non-existent metrics in this thread itself), only to perhaps be regurgitated anew elsewhere.

Discourse has an edit tracker (the small pencil on the top-right). So, I would recommend just completely wiping (don’t delete it; just select + delete the text) that first post contents, and posting your new thoughts in it. Then, anyone who wants to see how it started compared to where it is now, can use the pencil to view the diffs.

This is your gig, and I don’t make the rules. So, respectfully, this is just a suggestion.

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