GuildFi Rebrands to Zentry, Launching a 'Game of Games' to Reward Players

Guilds that emerged during the play-to-earn boom are evolving with the crypto gaming industry. Now GuildFi has announced plans to rebrand itself to Zentry, with plans to create a unified “superlayer” that rewards players across all types of games—those across multiple blockchains, but also Web2 games and even real-world social experiences.

The firm began life back in the Axie Infinity days, running a scholarship program that lent players in-game NFTs in exchange for a cut of their play-to-earn income. Even then, GuildFi aspired to broader aims, describing plans for a cross-game ID that would accumulate points across various games and reward players for engagement.

Now under the Zentry banner, the upcoming blockchain-powered superlayer is like a more ambitious take on the idea—a “game of games,” as founder and CEO Jarindr Thitadilaka said in a press release, spanning not only crypto and NFT games but also pulling in data from games that users play on Web2 platforms.

Gaming remains at the core of that experience, but Zentry is aiming bigger, seeking to reward users for all sorts of social and entertainment activities. For example, social media interactions and real-world actions tracked via an upcoming app will also play into this goal.

According to Thitadilaka, Zentry’s flagship Radiant app will act as the interface for users, letting players progress and accrue rewards based on their activities across blockchain applications, traditional gaming platforms, social media, and the physical world. Imagine earning benefits for hitting your fitness goals, or for going on a streak of daily coffee runs.

“Our Play Economy is the next iteration of play-to-earn, growing its scope beyond just Web3 or games,” Thitadilaka told Decrypt. “Within it, every play, every victory, and every moment not only enriches your gaming legacy but also benefits your real-world self, empowering gamers like never before.” 

As part of the rebranding effort, Zentry will launch a new ZENT token. Holders of the existing GuildFi (GF) token on Ethereum can swap for ZENT at a 1-for-10 exchange rate via a web portal.

GuildFi raised more than $140 million in funding back in 2021, primarily through a community token sale but also via investment from prominent firms like Binance Labs, Coinbase Ventures, and Animoca Brands. The firm says its treasury is still valued above $100 million as of the start of 2024, spanning crypto assets, tokens and equity via investments, and owned NFTs.

Artwork from Zentry’s “superlayer” experience. Image: Zentry

Zentry’s transformation comes soon after one of its biggest contemporaries from the Axie Infinity era, Yield Guild Games, revealed its own shift—from a guild itself into a protocol to power other guilds. Yield Guild is working with the makers of various games to integrate its guild tech to let players seamlessly team up and collaborate within blockchain games.

In Zentry’s case, the goal is to pull together all of the gaming, social, and entertainment actions of users and merge them via shared interface that offers rewards. It will have the feeling of a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG), Thitadilaka explained, complete with story elements to draw players further into the experience.

Community members, he said, will be able to vote on governance, initiatives, and rewards, but  Thitadilaka said the gaming universe he envisions is not a DAO. A decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) is a community structure where control is spread out rather than being hierarchical, and aims to be fully decentralized and governed by community consensus. 

Thitadilaka expressed skepticism about the practicality of a fully decentralized ecosystem at present, citing potential negative consequences when “everyone does whatever they want,” instead suggesting a more controlled yet participatory model as Zentry takes flight.

“Our gaming universe extends beyond a typical DAO,” he said. “It features a one-of-a-kind ecosystem stack of four vertically integrated cores, including blockchain infrastructure bridging Web2 and Web3 data, a suite of apps for players, and a multiversal IP world that deepens engagement through compelling narratives and collaborative IP partnerships.”

The blockchain industry, Thitadilaka believes, is packed with infrastructure and games that can’t attract sizable audiences due to technical complexities, along with other high barriers to entry. They focus solely on Web3 gamers and leave out the much, much larger universe of Web2 players. Zentry is designed to bridge that gap.

“We are here to solve that and capitalize on these underutilized systems and communities,” he said, “to not just evolve with the crypto gaming industry but be responsible for its evolution.”

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