Solana launches grant fund for Korean web3 startups

Things keep looking up for web3 in S. Korea

The good times keep on going

There has been much news about S.Korea and web3. Recently our sister site MetaFi spoke on how the S.Korean government is building their web3 presence by creating new opportunities for content creators. The initiative is a great boon to building the web3 presence of S. Korea. It would appear the S. Korean government isn’t the only entity that is interested in building upon the Solana community.

Solana has decided to launch a $100 million investment and grant fund for web3 startups in S. Korea. The funds are a joint Solana Ventures and Solana Foundation endeavor. The general manager of games at Solana labs, Johnny Lee, has stated that the funds will focus on GameFi, gaming studios, NFTs, and DeFi. Most of the funds are backed by capital that is already in the Solana treasury according to a statement given by Austin Federa who is Head of Communications at Solana Labs.

South Korea and gaming

S. Korea has a very lively gaming economy with 60% of gamers being PC gamers and the rest on console or mobile. Gaming is a great social activity in S.Korea with most games being competitive or cooperative. The government of Korea built a broadband network in the late 90s that led to the rise in popularity of LAN cafes and games such as League of Legends have been known to breed national heroes.

South Korea has a strong online competitive gaming community. There are many players who definitely take gaming seriously. The gaming infrastructure of Korea is what gives the children of Korea the means to become such great gamers but it is also the structural inequality that is a major part of what drives them to go pro, which promises a better life for some that have not been born into wealth. It’s a dark strong reality but the difficulty and inability to climb higher in society one way provides for another opportunity.

League of Legends has a massive following in all of Asia, especially S.Korea

With such a massive group of people playing games the fact that much of gaming is moving to web3 provides an amazing opportunity for gaming companies to grow within this new space. According to Lee, there is a wide range of project sizes and team sizes and thus Solana wants to be able to be flexible with the types of checks they write.

A future in web3 gaming

A majority of the action that is being seen on Solana in Korea has to do with NFT sales and trades and so it would make sense that a switch to web3 would be down the line as well. Though a lot of naysayers have stated that play 2 earn games are just gimmicks to sell NFTs there are indeed some companies that have been focused more on gameplay to make things more interesting and worthwhile. The potential for more entertaining games is there and a prediction can be made that by the end of 2022 and the beginning of 2023 there will be more entertaining games for players to get invested in.

Lee compared the adoption of web3 gaming to that of free-to-play gaming before. “There was a lot of pushback from gamers and developers, free to play adoption took eight years.” He believes that it may take four years for web3 games to be the dominant revenue model.

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