Catalyze Gaming Ecosystem Growth on Arbitrum

After carefully considering the Gaming Catalyst Program (GCP) proposal and the insights provided by OG in the gaming industry, such as @thedereksmart (thank you ser for following up on my prev comment), I have decided to vote “Abstain” on this proposal.

While I appreciate the Arbitrum community’s enthusiasm for fostering a thriving gaming ecosystem and recognize the potential value of dedicating significant resources to this effort, I believe there are several important concerns that need to be addressed before moving forward.

Firstly, as highlighted by many detailed comments above, the success of a gaming ecosystem depends on factors beyond just financial investment. Allocating a large budget, such as the proposed $400 million, does not guarantee the creation of games that will be embraced by the community or attract a sustainable player base. The intrinsic quality of the games, the engagement of the community, and the ability to attract players from outside the existing Arbitrum ecosystem are all critical factors that need to be considered.

Secondly, the timeline proposed in the GCP may not align with the realities of game development. As noted in the comment, the program may not be able to move quickly enough to attract games that are already in the pipeline for deployment within the next 12-18 months. This suggests that the impact of the program on the immediate gaming landscape within the Arbitrum ecosystem may be limited.

Furthermore, the comment raises valid concerns about the potential misalignment of incentives between the goals of the Web3 community and the realities of game development. The focus on financial incentives and “filling bags” in the Web3 gaming space may not be conducive to the creation of truly engaging and sustainable games.

Given these concerns, I believe that the Arbitrum community would benefit from further discussion and refinement of the proposal. By abstaining from the current proposal, we can signal our commitment to building a thriving gaming ecosystem while acknowledging the need for a more nuanced approach that takes into account the unique challenges and opportunities presented by the intersection of gaming and Web3.

I encourage the proponents of the GCP to engage more with the ARB community to refine the proposal and sets realistic expectations for the timeline and resources required to achieve these goals.

By taking the time to carefully consider and address these concerns, we can lay the foundation for a gaming ecosystem that is sustainable, rewarding, and truly reflective of the values and aspirations of the Arbitrum community.

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Thank you Djinn for the reply, and expansion on the legal / fund manager costs. I’ll keep an eye out for the others responses.

Other network learnings: We brought in several ex ecosystem folks like Jason Lee from Polygon for qualitative feedback and do have a host of perspectives - general consensus is that the last wave of gaming grants resulted in strong branding but not necessarily successful games YET. The model we are using for the GCP is inspired by some of the commercial share structures of a few gaming focused networks that have longer tail ROI expectations but I don’t think any data is available yet for those models.

Got it, and makes sense. I am glad there has been research done into this pre-proposal. One of the silver linings here is that we can learn from the successes and failures of other projects. Hopefully this will be focused on and help Arbitrum catch up.

For now, I will be voting “Yes” in the snapshot proposal. I am still a little concerned at the size of the grant, but see enough positive things to warrant moving to the next step and see what is tweaked from feedback to the Tally stage. I’ll just echo what I noted above in terms of some of the specifics of the funding tweaked. With understanding that you can never find an allocaiton that makes everyone happy, I think there is some room for improvement.

I’ll also add, I’d personally feel a little more comfortable if there was some type of milestone structure or streamed funding mechanism. Versus just giving out the entire fund up front. That should help with two thing - making sure the ARB spend is spread out over the 2 years and give the DAO a mechanism to stop the project if it isn’t succeeding down the line. Apologies if this was already part of the plan and I missed it (a lot of posts in this thread!)

Thank you to everyone for the dedication and effort invested in the Gaming Catalyst Program (GCP) proposal. It’s impressive to see how the proposal has changed based on insights shared by the community.

We support this proposal, and wanted to underscore the crucial importance of efficiency in its execution. By efficiency, we mean the judicious use of the 200M Arb investment from the DAO, ensuring that every resource allocated to the GCP yields significant value. We are confident that, if executed effectively, this initiative will propel Arbitrum to the forefront of the web 3 gaming industry.

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Here are some thoughts on behalf of the UADP (voted against the Snapshot):

Although we are generally in support of initiatives to further strengthen Arbitrum’s gaming ecosystem, we simply believe that the ask of nearly $400M here is exorbitant. One thing we’ve been thinking about is L2s having more of a concrete identity. Naturally, Arbitrum’s identity has become DeFi-biased. And although there are strong gaming initiatives that have sprouted out of Arb, like Treasure, we feel that doubling down on what we’re good at is what we should focus more attention on. That being said, we’re not in favor of eliminating gaming in its entirety. There should still be programs to support game devs and attract publishers–but to a smaller account. Game development is very much an all or nothing task. Either we go all in or keep it light.

Everyone saying these sorts of funding programs will seed the next AAA game are simply incorrect. The entire $400M budget would easily be spent curating a AAA game and would take numerous years. The goal of this proposal is to play catch up, it seems. Hence, the focus should be on a handful of strong indie games. This budget could address that market, but we still feel that a smaller budget can be more prudently allocated to serve that purpose. We would encourage this proposal to go forward with a much smaller ask and collaborate with the grant groups, like the gaming domain allocator, to come up with a way to grow gaming. That way, some data points are present to help guide the funding initiative.

A good idea may be to switch the framing of this program to an incubator/accelerator that is paid out in tranches. A big issue with this proposal is that longevity is not addressed. We need follow-on investments to support the groups who are the most promising, and the best way to do so is track and monitor continual performance relative to given KPIs. As soon as KPIs are met, those teams attain more funding. This would elongate the timeline here from 2 years to many more. It would also reduce the ask of $400M to something smaller due to the tranched setup. This way, we are thinking more long-term and in an organized manner. Currently, it seems things are being rushed, which sounds like a recipe for disaster.

The other aspect that we feel is unclear is how tangibly the reward will circle back to the DAO. There are two aspects this proposal can optimize for: increasing Arbitrum’s gaming presence and returning value to the DAO. Of course, both can theoretically be achieved, but there’s a very real likelihood that only one or none will be accomplished. If we are competing with groups like Immutable, who’ve spent the past several years throwing money at game studios, gaming partnerships, and tooling like their SDKs and custom APIs, it’s hard to justify spending this much capital to potentially see little return when a direct competitor is miles ahead and thinks about nothing else but gaming. What we could focus on instead is a chain agnostic approach, where the DAO truly runs a VC gaming arm for the sake of profit, and of course, has a bias towards developing on Arbitrum. That way, at least we can more reasonably forecast ROI.


You’re welcome. Always happy to share.

Valid concerns there. However, I should point out that even $1B doesn’t guarantee anything. That’s the sad reality of the games dev business, unfortunately.

All the factors that you outline there, are all absolutely critical to the success of any game initiative. However, I should say that those metrics that you point out, are only available after the fact. In other words, you won’t “know” unless you “try”. And this proposal, such as it is, seeks to get to the try part sooner rather than later. To wit, despite their best efforts, there are many Web3 games portals sitting on underperforming games - games which I am all but certain those teams thought would make it. I keep coming back to Treasure because, until Xai came along, they were the gold standard for curating Web3 games on ARB. So, same story there. Go look at other portals such as Kap Games or any of the chains or portals that host Web3 games - they’re ALL down bad. It’s actually depressing tbh. But that’s precisely how trad gaming started.

Take a look at this chart. It’s an insight to why Web3 games - across all genres - are struggling for adoption.

And as I’ve written before, it’s not that they are bad games. It’s mostly that, as I’ve found, the mindset of Web3 gamers isn’t like that of trad gamers. The former care more about bags than about the game. This is a huge insurmountable problem that I don’t see a fix for because the Web3 gaming culture, even with a cross-over with trad gaming, is all about “ownership”, which in turn is about “profit”.

Web3 games, already facing headwinds, have already hit the “Steam Wall” whereby there are so many games - mostly bad ones - that separating the wheat from the chaff is an exercise in futility.

All of this is me saying that it doesn’t matter how it’s done - and no matter the costs involved - there’s always going to be [research] factors that are bad enough to kill any idea such as this proposal. And throughout history, it’s known that you have no way to win if you don’t try first.

Yup. As you are already aware, I have repeatedly stressed these very same points.

However, the flipside of this is that there are in fact Web3 games currently in dev, and which are the targets of initiatives from various chains. I would know this because, like myself, I have several friends in both indie and AA space who are working on transitioning their in-dev games to Web3 - if they could.
IMX just put together another $100MM initiative to fund games because they, like most of us in the industry, know what’s going on out there. And all the chains remotely interested in games have similar initiatives - even if they’re not announced.

The risk there is not only the Web3 gaming stigma (which I believe is slowly subsiding as more and more good games sans cash grab tokenomics are released) , but also the fact that throwing everything at the [gaming] wall to see what sticks, means spending a lot of money.

In fact, at the on-going GDC, XAI just inked a deal with The MIX to bring some present and upcoming games to Web3. That’s a big deal. However, it doesn’t matter how many of those actually making the transition; what matters is how many are done properly and succeed. To me, that’s the console/pc game port fiasco all over again. Trad gamers will rebel, but bringing those games to Web3 is crucial to growth; and not all of them have to succeed.

An initiative like this - which as anyone who bothers to read my missives knows I was first to highlight all the pitfalls - if handled correctly, has the potential to bring gamers to the ARB ecosystem; regardless of the quality of the games. The issue is, are there enough gamers in the ARB ecosystem to support the games? I mention this because since I came here, I have had several discussions with a few people within the ecosystem about my doubts in that regard. For example, what’s the impetus for coming to ARB, as opposed to IMX, AVAX, WAX etc - all of which have large gaming communities who are all-in on their [gaming] engagement? That’s the sad reality of the situation. It’s the same thing over at my ApeCoin DAO where they’re not remotely serious about games - unless ofc it’s Yuga or Animoca or their partners - and those games fail. I would know that too because I tried - and failed, alongside other experienced teams. So, we all just went elsewhere.

If you don’t have a community that is serious about games, it doesn’t matter how much money you throw at gaming, it will all be for naught. But you still have to try.

I always put my money where my mouth is because I am notorious for not beating around the bush or saying/writing things that people want to hear. So, let me say this. Some in this community know that I have two Web3 games in dev - both currently targeted for a competing chain; and both on track for YE24 and H1/25 deployment, respectively. Now, you tell me, what’s the incentive for deploying on ARB? From the perspective of a smart person, it should be obvious that this GCP proposal presents a blue ocean opportunity for any games team taking the risk of actually deploying on ARB as opposed to the other chains already saturated with games (most of which are underperforming). But that strategy will only succeed if the community believes in and supports the initiative. Yet still, what’s the benefit of leaving a 10K strong gaming community to deploy at one with 2K? This is the battle ahead that eclipses the financial concerns of this proposal. As I’ve said before, throwing money at game devs is neither a sustainable strategy nor does it provide an edge in an industry where all of the chains serious about games are already throwing money around. Some devs will transition because they need the funds, while others will stay or transition depending on the community support at those chains.

I have to mention that, as of this morning when I checked, the proposal has already exceeded 95MM votes (98.92%) - with all the whales and large delegates carrying it. What that shows is that, despite some concerns about this proposal, the voters recognize that something has to be done. But at the same time, my guess is that they trust that the Council and Catalyst teams will self-govern while ensuring that the funds are put to good use, and as per best efforts and practices. Just like any venture.

Yup. Also, something that I have written tomes about. In fact, I just posted on X about a blog which I wrote in Nov 2021 highlighting this specific concern.


The issue here is that most see Web3 gaming as a money making venture. I mean, what did anyone expect when the whole culture was born on the wings of Play-To-Earn (P2E)? I’ve said over and over that it was going to be the very one thing that will stifle Web3 gaming adoption. And so it came to pass.

However, the flipside here is that if you make good, fun and engaging games - even with tokenomics - they will stand out. I mean, games which are glorious cash-grabs, don’t exactly hide it. And the reasons that they are no longer being played is because the LP has been drained, and so, there are no longer incentives for farmers and the like to play them. They just move on.

This is where the Catalyst group, in funding games, has to know every single detail about the game, the mechanics, tokenomics etc. And as I said in the education thread, this is why this whole proposal is basically a massive $400MM BD venture which is akin to an investor/publisher/distributor setup. And for that, it absolutely requires a team with that level of experience. And even then, that’s not a guarantee of success.

All very good points; particularly about the need for further dialog other than just rushing into this proposal. I pointed out the same things; and Karel’s response was enough to satisfy my concerns.

Whether or not the Council or the Catalyst group adheres to them, is another story. But I am confident that the community will hold those teams accountable as things progress. What I am personally going to pay attention to, isn’t actually the process, but rather the choice of hires as well as the criteria set for the curating games.

From all my experience in the games industry, one thing is certain and has always been the case, all it takes is that one game to make a difference. It’s why publishers, distributors, console manufacturers etc. go to great pains - and at great cost - to pick out games they can make bets on. You win some, you lose some; but in every case, all it takes is that one bet. And so, the GCP has to find that one game, and the community needs to rally around it because if they don’t, you end up in a situation whereby the game dev gets funding for their game, then the community abandons it - for whatever reason. And that’s precisely why I have been calling for the criteria to be one in which the games build and stay on ARB - at least for a term - and, depending on the funding amount, no tokens designed as ICO be allowed.

I have pointed this out as well, and my guess is that this is how grants will be doled out. However, setting dev milestones is rife with challenges; and most game devs are notoriously terrible at it. So, coming up with achievable and sensible milestone based grant payments - again - depends on the Catalyst group having knowledgeable people who understand game dev and all its nuances. And it’s why I will gladly help out in this regard, whether or not I deploy games on ARB.

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Indeed. However, I think the proposal is setting aside $400MM to curate games; not that it’s going to be spent all at once or on a few games with massive budgets. In fact, over in the educational post, I specifically highlighted the proposed budgets as being inadequate if the goal is to attract quality teams and their games.

Agreed. But this is specifically what the proposal is seeking to do. Except, it’s not targeted at just indies, as that’s an even greater risk.

All of this can be done within the GCP as it’s just marketing, metrics, and process. Adding another layer (gaming domain allocator?) - or a glorified focus group - isn’t going to achieve the expected results. I mean, the GCP could very well hire Helika or even Upptic, Windwalk, Naavik etc. and come up with sufficient metrics for guidance and pulse checking in any gaming areas they want.

I believe that’s all part of the GCP process. I don’t believe that just because something isn’t mentioned in the - already detailed proposal - means that it’s not part of the process. For example, I don’t think that the GCP is going to dole out entire grant sums without milestone based tranches. However, at the same time, unless you’re doing something different from what others are doing, and which is more attractive to game devs, there’s little to no incentive to deploy on ARB. And so, adding what some would see as adequate safeguards which work in other industries outside gaming, may only serve to not only hamper the process but to also deter devs who already have a large pool of chains to deploy on.

Very true. And it’s why the key to success has to be orchestrated via a fine balancing act by the GCP in how grant deals are structured.

Most of the chain deals that I have come across are either flat-out grants with no expectations of performance or venture deals with some ROI down the road. The GCP has to determine which route to take; but my guess is that even if it took the latter [ROI] route, structured properly and in a fair win-win manner, it would go a long way because game devs are already aware that in all cases they have to split their winnings.

The intrinsic issue here is that there are several factors that play into a win-win type ROI deal. For example, deploying on Steam means 30% of revenue, while deploying on EGS means 12% revenue.
Right there, you’ve given up a sizeable portion of your revenue to be on a platform.

And you don’t even have to deploy a game on either platform, although even with the saturation and discovery challenges on both, it’s still better to deploy on either than to not. And so, when taking ROI splits into account, one should be mindful of the fact that a dev isn’t likely to agree to any deal which doesn’t have a win-win concept. By nature, a vast majority of VC and publishing deals are highly exploitative. As a lifetime member of the IGDA, and a one-time president of a local chapter for many years, I have come across a vast number of deals which game devs ask my advisory (always free) on. You wouldn’t believe some of the deals that I have seen. In fact, I was once in that boat myself back when I first started out. And after my last deal concluded, I opted to self-publish. That was over two decades ago.

So, lets assume that games getting funding from the GCP plan to deploy on EGS (which, unlike Steam, allows Web3 games) . Right off the bat, that’s 12% of rev. When you factor in the game costs as well as the on-going (little known fact: most, if not all, Web3 games have on-going costs) operating costs, it’s easy to see that the financial pool shrinks - usually by a lot. So, a game seeking $250K funding, isn’t going to have the same expenses and constraints as one that seeks $1.5M. And this is why I outlined some grant budget thresholds and guidance over in this post because those are some of the things that a competent and experienced games BD team would be looking on a per deal basis.


What would a VC arm at a chain do differently from actual VC firms, BD teams at chains - or the Catalyst venture team that would be hired by the Council for this proposal? I would say, nothing different. Other than to adhere to less restrictive rules which guide profitability.

It should be noted that, the $400MM aside, this is also a marketing spend of sorts because if/when this passes Tally, at best, it will spark inquiries. Prior to that, my guess is that serious devs haven’t exactly been pounding on the Arb Foundation doors for gaming grants - substantial or otherwise. Also, take a look at quest book. The dearth of games on ARB is due to the fact that game devs already know that, outside of Treasure - and now XAI, gaming isn’t happening on ARB to any meaningful extent. This proposal, as I see it, is key to changing that.


Savvy DAO votes FOR the “Catalyze Gaming Ecosystem Growth on Arbitrum”.

  • Arbitrum is the home of DeFi but has an opportunity to become the home for gaming.
  • A diversity of economies are paramount to creating a vibrant economy, DeFi and Gaming can build off each other and set the stage for other verticals.
  • Shoutout to the individuals who worked tirelessly to push this through: especially @Djinn @karelvuong @Soby and @Helika.

Can’t wait for a game night!

See Savvy DAO delegate thread

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I’m the founder of BattleFly, one of the first games to launch on Arbitrum in the Treasure ecosystem (we started building in November 2021 and launched in March 2022). We are regularly in the top ten games on Arbitrum with 1,500+ DAUs. We support this proposal (and also are very grateful to the folks who have brought this proposal to life).

BattleFly wasn’t created with the intention of being a AAA game; our ambition was to explore whether a game that was more data-driven, strategic and financialized would be interesting to players. We have done a lot of experimentation over the past 2+ years across multiple game modes, and only with the release of Colosseum do we now feel like we have a version of the game that is fun, sustainable and “built for a web3 audience”.

Games take time, and game developers need the space to “learn new things” as they go. The traditional model for funding games is largely broken imho, because it has over-rotated towards investing in “sure bets” rather than “good teams and interesting ideas”. I don’t think we want to replicate the same problems that have led to large publishers becoming stale and predictable.

With all the layoffs that have happened in gaming over the past 18 months, there are some really talented people looking for their next move. I think if part of the grant program could be geared towards giving small (but experienced) teams with interesting ideas the space to build their first playable prototype, we could create a lot of buzz.

Yes, we want some big names to join Arbitrum and make big waves. But I hope we also attract a bunch of builders who want to use Arbitrum to reinvent gaming, not just copy existing ideas.

Thanks again to everyone who has helped stand up this proposal.

The Princeton Blockchain Club is (cautiously) voting FOR the Gaming Catalyst Program at the Snapshot stage.

The Arbitrum DAO should be concerned about how many other chains are deploying upwards of 9 figures towards gaming. Starknet’s Gaming Committee was just given 50m STRK (~$110m USD), and Immutable, King River Capital, and Polygon Labs formed a $100m USD gaming fund. There’s also a $3m USD gaming accelerator program for Optimism chains. Clearly other teams recognize that Web3 gaming could be a goldmine for adoption and revenue.

200m ARB is a pretty large ask. It’s interesting to think back to the STIP Backfund a while ago, which passed with significantly more friction over 1/10th of the current ask. We do acknowledge that the process of making a quality AAA title can get quite massive though - the speculated budget for the upcoming GTA VI is multiples higher than this whole proposal for example.

If we can launch a few games that appeal to the non-crypto crowd during this 2-year program, the increase in Arbitrum adoption will be more than worth it. Based on the way the Snapshot votes are going, it seems that other delegates think similiarly.

(I must admit, I am quite skeptical of crypto gaming. The gaming crowd is extremely hostile of crypto, and for good reason. If all I was exposed to was Logan Paul’s CryptoZoo and BAYC’s Dookey Dash, I’d write off the sector entirely. We also face pushback from marketplaces, such as Steam, which outright ban blockchain games. I don’t think it’s impossible to change this though, so I do have some hope. Having the next CS:GO or Genshin Impact on Arbitrum would be incredible.)

We will be doing further review before the onchain vote. Big thanks to everyone that contributed to this proposal though, as we’re glad to see something like this!

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Temp check through Snapshot almost done with 98%+ voted FOR.
When is the next action (on-chain vote through Tally)? Right after temp check or you wait for weeks to do that?

The below response reflects the views of L2BEAT’s governance team, composed of @krst and @Sinkas, and it’s based on the combined research, fact-checking, and ideation of the two.

We’re supportive of the proposal and as such we’ll be voting for it during the temp-check. We believe the Gaming Catalyst Program (GCP) is a strong signal to bringing more games to Arbitrum, which in turn help with mainstream adoption both of Arbitrum, but also of the broader Ethereum ecosystem.

Although we think the details on how the program should be executed are still being defined, we’re active in the discussion around the proposal and we’re offering our feedback in order to figure out the best way to execute it.

With our vote, which is a vote of confidence, we want to also invite every stakeholder to actively engage in the discussion surrounding the GCP as different perspectives can offer unique and valuable input.

To that end, we’re inviting people to our office hours (every Thursday at 4 pm UTC) so we can discuss the GCP and any points of concern that we can raise on your behalf. We’ll also be reaching out to some other delegates directly to get their opinion and feedback while the proposal moves through the governance process and toward an on-chain vote.


And so it came to pass. The temp check proposal has now passed. Next up, Tally. Congrats to @Djinn and the crew for putting this together, and for taking all suggestions and concerns into account.

Next up, Tally! No pressure though!


The timeline is up to Dan and the other authors. But my guess is that it shouldn’t take long to go up; especially since we already saw evidence that the temp check would pass with overwhelming support.

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The enthusiasm for web3 gaming is misplaced — the proposal is devoid of examples of commercially successful web3 games, because none exist. Every web3 game requires subsidization to function. This proposal aims to hand over hundreds of millions of dollars to an enterprise that will be fully centralized behind the whims of game developers, that will be easily drained by bots, and for which the use of funds will be extremely difficult to audit.

For those who support this proposal, I would strongly urge you to examine the financial performance of web3 games that have risen and dramatically fallen over the years, and how much money has already been wasted chasing something that is fundamentally incompatible with web3. These games are not decentralized, they are not fun, and most of all, they will not generate a return on investment.

gm all, I have voted in favor of this proposal at temperature check.

I think it’s worth trying to push the Arbitrum ecosystem into a vertical that will be important for Web3, and further boost the effort that Treasure, XAI, and other ecosystems have put in the last months and years.

I love that we are adopting a mindset of a venture studio, this can go a long way. However the chances of succeeding here are low, and we should expect a vast majority of the projects funded to actually not perform well. Genuine thanks to @thedereksmart for bringing some sound skepticism and counterpoints to the proposal.

This is a vote of confidence. Electing the right council will be key as they will have much greater power than other committees we created.

More details that would help to facilitate the final onchain vote:

Great to see some KPIs - I would encourage further details around them and expected milestones for the program.

I’d like to highlight to the DAO, that while other programs like the LTIP distribute incentives to users/partners who may not necessarily sell their tokens, this is a huge program that will apply considerable sell pressure to $ARB - All parties will sell tokens to pay for salaries and progress.

I want to hope that 2 years will be enough to demonstrate any ROI so we can then assess the overall impact of the program.

Let the Games begin!

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Difficult to argue with these sentiments because they highlight the fallacies of Web3 gaming - such as it is.

That said, I would argue that there are quite a few commercially successful Web3 games currently in operation. However, in my experience, the definition of gaming success depends a lot on the value proposition. For e.g. a game that cost $1M to make, and which recoups its costs, but subsequently fails down the road, doesn’t make it a failure. Yes - as I have repeatedly pointed out, a vast majority of games will fail. This problem isn’t restricted to Web3, though it’s a lot more pronounced given the added challenges of gaming.

If the GCP forks out $400MM to secure games, the reality is that it is unlikely to see an ROI of any kind, let alone even 30%. But once again, I have to point out that taking such a view is shortsighted because this proposal is more about getting more game devs to adopt the chain and for gamers to play those games. You have to ask how then does ARB benefit in that equation? It does in many ways but only - and only - if you look at it as a marketing expense and a growth vector. Does anyone here, and who is actually paying attention, see any DeFi growth in ARB, even without comparing to others? What is the purpose of the treasury. And please don’t say anything about staking because that’s as tangential as leaving money in a savings account without once being concerned about pesky things like yield, inflation etc.

Since the very beginning, gaming has always been the best way to gain adoption of any enterprise related to social engagement. If Blockchain was merely for DefI and similar, who do you think would be attracted to all these chains? You can only have so many banks - and most of them going on to fail or be bought out.

I would agree that gaming is “fundamentally incompatible with Web3” because I have said this for many years now. In fact, these past 48hrs, I’ve writing similarly in my X feed. But the flipside to this argument is that it’s more about the games themselves than it is about trying to shoehorn gaming into Web3. As an engineer, I admit that there’s no innovation in Web3 that warrants gaming of any kind being parked on it. All that talk about “owning” stuff is just a way to justify one thing over another; while P2E is precisely how we got to this very moment in time. Gamers, real gamers, don’t actually care about such things. But the promise of Web3 games as an alternate revenue source for everyone involved, can’t be understated. It’s a new frontier that’s basically a case of the emperor’s new clothes.

In my estimation, if good controls are put into place, experienced people hired, decent games curated, and the GCP doesn’t end up being a piggy bank for besties to loot via backdoor (these are more prevalent in Web3 than most think) deals, it can and will make an impact to the ARB ecosystem as a whole because growth is not just about gaming. And all this starts with who the voters put into Council positions, which then flows into who those people end up hiring. As I’ve said before, this initiative is basically a publishing/distribution/venture BD team. And that should be handled in much the same way that you would expect it to be handled if a VC gave $400MM to a startup. And that - all of that - is what everyone needs to pay attention to if/when this proposal passes Tally as most now expect that it will.

As I’ve said before, though I am unable to put my Web3 games through GCP because 1) I am already embedded in a chain, and as an indie studio, unexpected costs such as migration and associated expenses are a clear burden 2) it’s going to take a lot longer to get GCP up and running than most realize; I still maintain that this is a blue ocean opportunity for everyone involved, and so, experienced and aspiring devs can seize on this opportunity to not only try something new, but also to reach a whole new audience which would otherwise not know about their game. But rest assured, if I could, I would most certainly deploy on ARB - if only to prove the points that I have made thus far in terms of this being a blue ocean growth vector - if you have a good game and an experienced gaming team attached to it.

Even if I say so myself (do freel free to ask my peers), I have an exceptionally good track record when it comes to gaming insights and trends; and so, despite the greater than zero chances of GCP being an unmitigated disaster and a waste of $400MM, I believe that this is a remarkable opportunity to kickstart growth on ARB. The alternative is to just ride the wave to 0 because, and this is coming from a numbers guy btw, that’s precisely where every single Web3 platform is eventually headed. Grow or die. That’s how that usually works.

At the risk of ruffling feathers, I will say this again. ARB giving ApeCoin DAO $3MM to build ApeChain is the type of thing to raise concerns about; not GCP. But the thing is - and rightfully so - the AF doesn’t see $3MM grant as a risk or waste of funds - even when you consider the fact that the ApeCoin DAO, Yuga, and all their partners can very well afford to have built ApeChain if they wanted to. Why didn’t they? It’s not as if they didn’t have the funds to do it. I would guess that AF decided to do it because they saw it as a growth vector and/or a marketing play. The latter failed spectacularly btw - if you actually looked up the trending metrics surrounding that. It landed with a resounding thud. And we won’t know the results of the former (growth) unless and until ApeChain becomes a reality in the coming months. That’s when devs will start asking wtf they should build on ApeChain instead of, oh I dunno, rolling an Orbit chain, or even going to Treasure or XAI, neither of which would guide them toward ApeChain. My guess is that Horizen (responsible for growth on ApeChain) is likely to throw funds (out of the meager $1M per year the grant accounts for) at such devs. And that brings us right back here; except the GCP has $400MM to do the same with, and also, with funding of that magnitude, a much better shot at attracting worthy devs and games.

Yes - it’s quite literally a vote of confidence and a massive leap of faith, both of which rely on the performance of the Council and the Catalyst team. As I’ve said before, it only takes 1-3 games to set a course for how this plays out. Though sadly, unless there are games currently in the pipeline and from devs who aren’t already committed to other chains or who don’t need funding, it could take up to 12 months or more from GCP taking applications for us to see any games on ARB as a result of GCP funding.

I remain optimistic and confident that this is a good move for ARB.

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This is some of what I’ve been going on about. PlayStation crypto game dev Gunzilla Games raises $30 million in round led by Avalanche fund and CoinFund

Those are the types of moves the chains are making.

I appreciate your optimism and share your confidence in ARB’s direction. It’s encouraging to note that several small gaming teams are already exploring development on Arbitrum.

While their success and player base may currently seem modest, especially when compared to traditional mobile gaming benchmarks, it’s important to remember that these efforts preceded the establishment of the Gaming Catalyst Program. The potential for growth and traction once the GCP is fully operational is significant.

The frequent mention of AAA games, while ambitious, shouldn’t overshadow the program’s immediate goals. Our focus should be on attracting, guiding, and nurturing builders and game developers. This approach will not only enhance the gaming ecosystem on Arbitrum, but also introduce more players to our platform. While AAA titles may emerge in time, our initial aim should be to foster “fun games to play” that resonate with a broad audience.

Ultimately, the goal is to seamlessly integrate web2 players into the Arbitrum gaming experience, making the technology transparent to the user. Achieving this will truly mark a milestone in attracting a wider audience and inspiring the next generation of builders.

Truth be told, Web3 isn’t exactly getting standing ovations in the core gaming space right now. So, instead of trying to win over the skeptics, our game plan is to reel in those builders who already see the vision, the ones who just get it.

The sooner Arbitrum can get started, the better.