Start-up aiming to bridge gap between gaming and cryptocurrency on hunt for funding

A gaming start-up founded by two Nuneaton friends is looking to bridge the gap between gaming experiences and the cryptocurrency and blockchain market.

Mammoth Mythics, founded by Jake O’Connor and Jack Colclough, is now pitching for external investment.

Jake and Jack first met while studying at King Edward VI College in Nuneaton. Following college, they both began to take an interest in cryptocurrency and blockchain technology. This led to them both consulting for large companies within the industry.

The pair were also big fans of video gaming, and felt there was a way to combine their two passions into a successful enterprise.

They developed Agartha – a massively-multiplayer online role-playing game in the vein of World of Warcraft, which sees players enter a persistent world and work together with fellow players to complete quests, as well as competing against each other through a range of ‘battle’ modes.

Doing so will allow players to earn cryptocurrency or non-fungible tokens, known as NFTs, that can be sold, rented, and traded in the real world.

To attract as many players as possible, Agartha has a free-to-play option, but Mammoth Mythics earns its money by giving players the opportunity to upgrade their characters through in-game purchases.

In order to secure long-term economic sustainability, there is also a taxation system built into the game when a player withdraws or deposits traditional currency or cryptocurrency to use within or outside the game.

After working with business advice service Business Ready, Mammoth Mythics is confident it can secure the investment it needs.

Business Ready delivers support to expanding businesses managed by the business support team at the University of Warwick Science Park and is funded by the European Regional Development Fund and Warwickshire County Council as part of the CW Business: Start, Grow & Scale Programme.

Jake said: “The market in video gaming is massive, with over 3 billion players at the moment.

“Much of that market is for games like World of Warcraft and Fortnite, where players part with their cash each month purely to play but receive nothing of real-world value back.

“Furthermore, if they decide that they no longer wish to play the game any longer, all that time, money and effort is lost. By using blockchain technology within gaming, players can realize and utilize their digital assets, even if they are no longer playing the game. This is true digital ownership.

“There are ‘play-to-earn’ cryptocurrency games on the market where players have the opportunity to earn crypto, but those games are typically dull and unimaginative. As a consequence, they attract a niche audience who play for the financial gains rather than the enjoyment of gaming.

“We came up with the idea of Agartha to create a truly enjoyable gaming experience that will attract mainstream players, but that can also earn them in-game currency which has real world value, and most importantly, gives them complete ownership of their digital assets.

“And digital assets are becoming more and more popular – a Deloitte survey found 76% of financial executives believe that digital assets will be a strong alternative or replacement for traditional currencies in the next five to ten years.

“As we are prioritising the quality of the game over anything else, our players will stick around unlike the current play-to-earn games on the market.

“It also features a companion app called Mammoth Mythics Academy, which teaches players the basics of blockchain technology like crypto and NFTs so players unfamiliar with these concepts can understand them. As this is new technology, we want to educate people and really show them the benefits of digital ownership through the medium of gaming.”

To prove the game’s viability, Jake and Jack need to launch a demo version of the game, and need external investment to make it happen.

Ian McFarlane-Toms, Business Ready programme manager, knew Jake through his previous role at electric scooter firm Eskuta, which Business Ready had helped before.

After an initial chat, Ian worked with the company to help make investors sit up and take notice.

He said: “Blockchain technology is a relatively new market and has a small but very dedicated following. It’s fair to say it hasn’t quite broken through into the mainstream yet.

“After speaking to Jake and Jack, I thought their ideas were highly ambitious and encouraged them to seek investment. However, they needed a bit of help in demonstrating that the business was viable, so I advised them on creating a high-quality pitch deck, and a range of sources for external investment.

“It’s early days but I’m hopeful they will get the funding they need and bring Agartha to life.”

Jake added: “Ian’s advice on how to make Mammoth Mythics a more investable product has been really useful. We really believe in our ideas, but you need to present them in the right way to impress investors.

“Business Ready has helped us fine-tune our concepts and our pitch deck to make Mammoth Mythics as attractive to investors as possible. It’s a really exciting time for us and we’re hopeful of securing external investment very soon.”