From Decentraland to Openloot: How Ari Meilich is leaving his mark in crypto

From Decentraland to Openloot: How Ari Meilich is leaving his mark in crypto

Many builders have appeared in the crypto space since its inception. As it expands, so does the innovation surrounding it. Today we meet Ari Meilich, co-founder of Decentraland, who tells us about his start in crypto, as well as the interesting projects he continues to build.

QUESTION: Can you tell us a little about yourself and how you got started in crypto?

Ari Meilich: I started learning about crypto around 2013 but didn’t use it until 2015 when crypto-based e-commerce had its moment. Then, in 2016, I met a group of friends who were blockchain engineers and started learning more and more. Due to a penchant for VR, I joined this group of friends to build Decentraland, the first decentralized “metaverse.”

QUESTION: You are one of the founders of Decentraland, one of the most popular metaverses in the crypto space. How did it happen?

Ari Meilich: Decentraland was the weekend project of a group of friends. It remained a hobby for about two years until we turned it into a venture. Around then, VR headsets came into use, and the appearance of a user-owned virtual world seemed inevitable.

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QUESTION: Your latest venture is called Big Time, which gave birth to Open Loot, which is basically a blockchain game startup platform. Can you tell us how it started?

Ari Meilich: When we started Big Time Studios in early 2020, we recognized the friction between players and web3 games and tried to fix it. We started by recruiting a team of gaming veterans and built a platform tailored to our first game, Big Time. We knew that players should be able to participate in the game economy without going through so many hoops (wallet management, self-storage, signing transactions, etc.). The goal of building a platform was always on the horizon; However, we needed a game alongside it as a showcase to inspire players and developers alike. Having used Open Loot technology to generate over $100 million in sales across 100,000 unique buyers, we are confident that Open Loot is ready to launch as the product for external studios.

QUESTION: Is there any overlap between Open Loot and Decentraland?

Ari Meilich: No. Decentraland and Open Loot are built very differently. Decentraland relies on a distributed network of nodes to serve the content of the virtual world, while the communication between users takes place in a p2p manner. DCL Marketplace exists exclusively in the chain. At open loot and the partner games we support, we rely on a more traditional game server infrastructure to achieve greater performance for games at scale; similarly, the open loot market targets end users who may never hear of crypto, allowing credit card payments and bank deposits.

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That said, we may announce a collaboration in the near future. Watch.

Related reading: Ethereum TVL drops by more than $1 billion after merger

QUESTION: As the founder of Open Loot, what would you say the biggest challenge with blockchain gaming is?

Ari Meilich: One of the biggest challenges for blockchain games is introducing the traditional web2 demographic to the idea of ​​player-owned economies. Unfortunately, many players have been exposed to scams and low-quality titles early on, leaving a bad taste in their mouths. Many blockchain games are just financial applications with graphics layered on top, making for a boring experience for most players.

The challenge is to create something that seamlessly integrates web3 aspects and at the same time maintains an exciting gaming experience.

QUESTION: Are there any recent ventures you are working on?

Ari Meilich: Open Loot has recently signed three gaming partners: Hit Factor (HF), Motor Meta (M2) and Gacha Monsters.

HF is a game developer founded by industry veterans, and they are working on a game called War Park – a tank-based brawler. It features realistic, tactical vehicle battles that require skill, teamwork and quick thinking to win.

The other partner, M2, is a gaming platform for vehicle-based games. They are working on a game called Blitz-GT. It’s a fast-paced arcade racer with two teams of four against each other. The game is like an electrified “Mario Kart meets Overwatch” match.

Our third partner is Gacha Monsters by GC Turbo. GC Turbo is a SF and Beijing based veteran studio. They have recently developed Pokemon Medallion as well as titles for Facebook, Line and GREE.

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QUESTION: Where do you see the metaverse and blockchain playing in the next five years?

Ari Meilich: In the next five years, I believe the complicated aspects of the blockchain will be moved towards the backend, and players will be able to experience web3 games as if they were traditional games. But of course this will require more quality game developers to join the space and fun games to launch to allow players to get past their prejudices.

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