Former PlayStation Boss Shawn Layden Joins NFT Gaming Firm READYgg



Shawn Layden, who served multiple prominent leadership roles in Sony’s PlayStation division during his 32 years with the company, has joined blockchain gaming infrastructure startup READYgg as an advisor. The firm also announced a new $4 million funding round alongside the appointment.

Layden departed Sony in 2019 as the Chairman of Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE) Studios and had simultaneously served as the President and CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment America from 2014 to 2018. Since leaving the gaming giant, he’s served as an advisor for multiple firms, including Chinese tech titan Tencent.

READYgg, which offers developers tools to implement NFTs, crypto wallets, and other technologies within their games, said that Layden will tap his game industry experience to help the startup make connections with publishers and creators.

He will also “advocate for community-centric gaming that empowers players,” per a press release, and help READYgg develop market strategies. Asked by Decrypt’s GG what opportunities he sees in the Web3 gaming space, Layden pointed to the technology being an “enabler” for things like user-generated content (UGC).

“While Web3 means many things, sometimes different things to different folks, I see the tech as an enabler to a creative and commercial on-ramp for gamers,” Layden said, pointing in particular to “transparent tracking of UGC transactions where gamer-to-gamer commerce is safe and beneficial to all parties.”

“I feel that this team has a smart and scalable way to develop this infrastructure,” he added about READYgg, “and to promote and populate it across a collection of games and platforms.”

Blockchain games haven’t been adopted yet by console makers like Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo, and some gamers have been vocally opposed to the use of such technologies.

The upcoming first-person shooter Off the Grid, which is built on an Avalanche subnet and will feature NFTs, is slated to come to Xbox and PlayStation in addition to PC. What’s not clear, however, is how those versions will handle the blockchain elements—or if they will even include those features. A Gunzilla Games representative recently told Decrypt’s GG that the studio was “simply not ready to disclose all the inner workings” of the console versions of Off the Grid.

While the general premise of blockchain functionality on game consoles remains an open question, Layden said that he believes the platform makers will inevitably have to “take notice” eventually—but that there’s work to be done first.

“First movers will likely be in the PC/mobile arenas where experimentation and iteration are more easily advanced,” he told Decrypt’s GG. “Once we get some foundational work in place, I believe the console platforms will have to take notice and take up.”

READYgg’s $4 million funding round included investments from Delphi Digital, NeoTokyo, Merit Circle, Momentum6, Purechain Capital, Alex Becker, and Token Metrics Ventures. No valuation was disclosed.

David Bennahum, CEO of READYgg, told Decrypt’s GG that the new funding will be used to help expand the startup’s business development efforts to reach more parts of the world, bring on more engineers to aid with developing crypto gaming economies, and to help launch a “player-centric community.”

On top of all of that, the company is getting ready to launch its own RDYX crypto token later this year, which will be used to reward early users, provide governance rights to holders, and enable platform-wide transactions and trades across games in the ecosystem.



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