1Kin Labs unveils Web3 modular gaming network Gr1d


1Kin Labs has unveiled its Web3 modular gaming network GR1D to simplify access and asset management for blockchain games.

It’s late to be unveiling such an ecosystem, but 1Kin Labs is bidding to unify the fragmented blockchain networks. And for players, 1Kin promises to help them discover Web3 games from a catalog of top-tier titles, access in-development games, claim rewards, and take their digital assets wherever they go — all with a single sign-on, said 1Kin Labs founder Jack O’Neil, in an interview with GamesBeat.

“What we’re trying to build with the Gr1d network is truly a future proof network. What we want to do is create an open network that any games can plug into to help their game grow, that allows them to tap into different communities, and also actually decentralized,” O’Neil said. “The games themselves actually are the key stakeholders of the ecosystem. A lot of our investors actually have been our game partners. What we’re trying to do resonates with them.”

The company said it has more than 100 gaming partners for the modular Layer-2 solution, which works across 14 major blockchain platforms in an effort to create a consolidated ecosystem free of fragmentation and complexity.


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“There is a an initial level of friction that basically causes a lot of a lot of people that are used to just turning on their console and turning on a game and starting to play — they just don’t want to deal with the barriers,” O’Neil said.

1Kin Labs, a company engineered to facilitate the distribution and discovery of Web3 gaming content, today announces Gr1d, a modular Layer-2 blockchain designed to connect and unify all decentralized gaming ecosystems.

“There’s an ecosystem we are trying to build out. The Gr1d network basically will be the umbrella for everything that falls underneath of it,” O’Neil said. “The 1Pass is inside the network. It’s a first of its kind decentralized gaming subscription model.

Titles using it include Aavegotchi, Blocklords and Aurory. And 1Kin has formed partnerships with ecosystems like Polygon, Solana, Avalanche, and others, 1Kin is poised to create a unified gaming hub for Web3 through Gr1d.

The fundamental goal of Gr1d is to enable players to discover new games and seamlessly access all their features via a single platform without swapping chains and wallets.

The platform will be powered by node operators whose under-the-hood services ensure a frictionless experience across all of Web3. The intention is to create a unified experience rather than forcing users to hop between disparate ecosystems and juggle multiple wallets.

In turn, Web3 game developers will benefit from Gr1d’s interconnectivity and tap into a vast user base without migrating off the chain they opted to integrate — allowing them to focus on providing gameplay experiences without worrying about onboarding. Similarly, various chains and protocols can increase network activity and retain their hard-earned communities while capitalizing on Gr1d’s network effects.

Stakeholders, such as users, games, studios, and foundations, will also be encouraged to participate in Gr1d’s governance, helping the network remain decentralized while acting as a singular access point to the entire Web3 gaming industry. These features aim to put blockchain gaming on a level playing field with the traditional gaming industry.

Gr1d is the network of networks.

“Our journey began with a vision to unify the way Web3 games are discovered and provide unified tooling to allow full interoperability across chains and titles,” said O’Neil. “Gr1d is our answer to these challenges, giving users a no-nonsense sign-in experience like Amazon Prime Gaming or Xbox Game Pass while also bringing the efficiencies of blockchain and distributing value back to shareholders.”

To achieve these objectives, Gr1d comprises a suite of innovative products and services aimed at providing a unified user experience. One of them is 1Pass, a subscription service akin to a “decentralized Xbox Game Pass.” 1Pass offers players access to exclusive Web3 content for partnered games, opportunities for early access, discounts on other services, and more. During the closed beta in 2023, the service already saw demand from gamers, with 25,000 participants.

Additionally, the software development kit (SDK), dubbed 1Kit, enables games and studios to supplement their existing Web3 features with access to Gr1d, and even build games and dapps that fully live on the network itself if they so choose. The SDK would also come complete with interoperable wallet tools.

Gr1d will leverage industry-leading interoperability protocols that simplify the user experience and establish a universal foundation for blockchain compatibility. Interoperability and liquidity of gaming assets will be key focal points for the modular gaming network.

O’Neil wants to be able to offer the same kind of help to Web3 game companies that mobile platforms offered to mobile game companies in earlier days when there wasn’t as much friction between the platforms and developers.

I noted that there were user acquisition and ad tech companies that tried to unify the disparate mobile platforms. I asked if this was similar in Web3.

“We pivoted away from being a studio ourselves to creating these different tools. And I think that’s a really good parallel that you are drawing to that whole era,” O’Neil said. “Last year, it was not unusual to see [acquisition costs] above $10 per user. There’s obviously serious user friction if you can’t convert users without these massive spend campaigns. And there needs to be new channels that are tapped to help drive that awareness and conversion of users into the games.”

To streamline and simplify the login process, the network also leverages Gr1d Tag, a global ID system that allows gamers to take a single digital avatar identity wherever they go within the Web3 gaming industry.

Finally, central to the network’s economic structure is Gr1d Credits ($GRID), a universal gaming token that would grant holders access to the entire Web3 gaming industry through seamless under-the-hood interoperability. This token is crucial for facilitating seamless transactions and interactions across different chains, ensuring that asset purchases and transfers are efficient and immediate, and solving a significant pain point in how Web3 games are played, experienced, and managed. The token generation event for $GRID will be announced in the near future.

The 1Pass program is set to go live in early August, with the Gr1d Testnet scheduled to launch later in 2024 and the Mainnet expected in 2025.

Origins

O’Neil said the company started as a game studio in the Web3 space. The team build a game on the Solana blockchain, and they learned what it was like to develop in the new ecosystem.

“The walled gardens that Web3 was supposed to break down were really being rebuilt with new types of rails, on the protocol level, and inside of the games. There was way too much friction for users navigating the gaming space when it came to Web3,” he said.

About two years ago, the company decided to fully focus on solving those problems. It has been building solutions that allow gamers to access games in a very seamless, familiar way, across all major gaming chains, allowing for access to the entire Web3 gaming ecosystem, O’Neil said.

“We facilitate discovery, access and onboarding for users across all major gaming chains,” he said.

Last year, the company raised $3.3 million from a variety of the platforms and other investors. Now it has a team of 15.

Roadmap

The company will launch 1Pass and a new wallet. Then it will move to launch its mainnet blockchain, which will likely launch early next year. Then it expects to have the largest number of blockchain games on its platform.

The tech has a few main pillars. The Gr1d network is powered by partners. The network will have an interoperable software development kit (SDK) stack that allows any game to be plugged into the network. It’s a modular frame work that allows game devs to choose which aspects they want to integrate. Game companies will be able to share interoperable game assets — something O’Neil says he’s passionate about.