NFTY #53: RecRoom's crypto opportunity

RecRoom is a tool for creatives disguised as a game for users

The NFTY News tracks the ever-evolving narrative of how the mainstream will enter crypto through user applications. In each edition I explore dApps, games, and the ecosystem affecting consumer crypto applications.

I've been playing a lot of Rec Room recently on the Oculus Quest. I've had my doubts when I first looked at the game, but there's something about this game that kept drawing me back in. I couldn't figure out what it is. After a week or so on the game, I started noticing how much of the game revolves around user-generated content.

Way more than other games.

The Rec Room team doesn't release much new content. Instead, they created a virtual playground for creators to create the content. Most of their own marketing content is spent around educating users on how to create rooms. Check out some of these rooms that have been built recently:

It’s been working out pretty well. They just raised a whopping $24M in funding from Sequoia and other big names.

RecRoom’s crypto opportunity

Against Gravity (The Rec Room team) doesn't plan to monetize aggressively through micropayments similar to Fortnite. Instead, they want creators to monetize their own user-generated content, which would open up some opportunities for Against Gravity. Because VR makes it easy to create virtual environments as opposed to other level creators (ie. Minecraft or Fortnite Game Creator) creatives are already likely to come tinker in RecRoom. Last week we saw Coil get implemented on Imgur, using Interledger Protocol (XRP) for micropayments to creators. Forte started a fund for games to do this earlier this year. It wouldn't surprise me if Against Gravity took a similar route.

By building a tool for creatives disguised as a game for players, platforms like Rec Room unlock an enormous amount of potential. Take Minecraft as an example. The game itself didn't have much content for players, but it was modular enough to have a creative community extend the life of the game infinitely and allow the game to sell even more copies. Communities were built from the creatives & evangelists.

Social networks are becoming games while games are becoming social networks… but both approaches require trust.

There's a clear trend emerging: platforms are giving creators the tools to create content for players. Platforms don't want to be rent-seeking because it saps the trust from the community. Just take a look at why Fortnite acquired Houseparty and started working on a social network app. Everyone jokes around that GenZ understands Vbucks way more than the traditional banking world, and RecRoom has the opportunity to create a Metaverse that ties trust together with creators & players alike.

Disclaimer: I work on helping create a world of infinite possibility at Dapper Labs. All opinions are my own and don’t represent the opinions of Dapper Labs.