The year 2021 was a formative journey for Yield Guild Games (YGG). In this article, we reflect on the major milestones achieved so far that have laid a solid foundation for YGG’s year ahead as well as the play-to-earn ecosystem as a whole.
Community and Scholarships
Community is at the core of YGG. We ended 2021 counting over 100,000 members in our Discord community, 18,500 Yield Guild Badge holders, 32 scholarship managers, a growing YGG core team, and over 10,000 Axie Infinity scholars across Southeast Asia, India, Latin America, Brazil and Europe.
Below are some key events and milestones around our community and scholars:
- YGG’s scholarship program officially commenced in April 2021. By May, we had 1,000 scholars, and by November, we had onboarded more than 6,000. In the final week of 2021, YGG ramped up to hit a total of 10,000 Axie scholars in December, representing new players from over 10 countries.
- By mid-year, our scholars had accumulated over 10 million SLP, taking home US$1 million in the month of June alone. Since the program’s beginning, YGG scholars have collectively generated over US$13.6 million in SLP.
- We started the year by rewarding some of the earliest YGG supporters from Discord with the Founders’ Coin NFT. With only 300 Founders’ Coins issued, this was a very limited drop. Since then, some of the Founders’ Coin NFTs have sold on the secondary market for over 17 ETH.
- In mid-2020, YGG launched the Sponsor-A-Scholar program, with pseudonymous benefactor Flying Falcon sponsoring a total of 50 Axie Infinity scholars to start earning an income via play-to-earn games. Later, the Leaping Corgi scholarship sponsored another 87 scholars, and crypto exchange FTX sponsored another 137 scholars.
- Community members were able to mint their YGG Guild Badge as a sign of membership to YGG.
- In October, early and active YGG community contributors received the YGG Community Airdrop in the form of two NFTs — the YGG Sword and Shield — with YGG tokens vesting in them.
- YGG hosted over 21 AMAs to share YGG announcements and news of game partnerships. This included a special appearance from Arianna Simpson, general partner of a16z, talking about the importance of the Metaverse to their strategy and YGG’s role in that plan.
- YGG Pilipinas, together with supporters and partners, raised US$1.4 million as of 2 January 2022 to provide relief and assistance to victims of Typhoon Odette, a catastrophic tropical cyclone that devastated the Philippines in December 2021.
Games and Partnerships
With the goal of onboarding the masses to the Metaverse, YGG has been partnering with games and guilds, as well as creating new subDAOs, to create more tailored opportunities for the YGG community. Beginning with Axie Infinity in late 2020, YGG now has announced over 21 game partners.
Below are some highlights:
- In total, YGG has engaged with 47 games, DAOs and play-to-earn infrastructure partners in 2021 committing over US$8 million to support developing the ecosystem.
- Partner games that have already launched and are actively played by our community are Axie Infinity, League of Kingdoms (YGG has a dedicated YGGLOK subDAO), Splinterlands (YGG has a dedicated YGGSPL subDAO), F1® Delta Time, and Thetan Arena.
- YGG also partnered with gaming guilds BAYZ (focused in Brazil) and Merit Circle.
Along with the main DAO, YGG leverages subDAOs for certain niche communities, representing a particular geographical region or a certain number of assets in a game. Below are some YGG subDAOs that launched this year:
- YGGLOK (League of Kingdoms) was the first YGG subDAO, representing YGG guild members that play LOK. The first YGGLOK subDAO proposal to earn yield in Compound Finance was a success. This was followed by a second subDAO proposal to participate in the LOK public sale.
- The YGGSPL (Splinterlands) subDAO was launched in response to YGG’s Splinterlands community wanting to follow the LOK example.
- YGG Pilipinas was established with Luis Buenaventura as its Country Manager to continue to grow YGG’s presence in the Philippines and better serve the local community.
- YGG regional subDAOs YGG SEA (Southeast Asia) and IndiGG (India) were launched to accelerate play-to-earn in their respective regions.
Our community also launched multiple game-related events and tournaments this year:
- Yield Guild Open, the first-ever tournament hosted by YGG.
- YGG Managers Cup, an Axie Infinity tournament between managers from different guilds. Winnings were donated to the child and youth welfare agency, Gentle Hands.
- Game Hunterz, a community event to help the YGG community discover the latest games around the Metaverse, streamed 18 episodes this year.
- YGG Axie Bootcamp, a bi-weekly program in the YGG Discord in Tagalog and English, wherein experienced players share gameplay tips and answer the questions of the community.
- YGG Community Stream featuring Thetan Arena and other community-led games such as MIR4.
- YGG also participated in other game partner events, collaborating with REVV Racing to launch the REVV Racing YGG Cup.
Funding, YGG Token, Operations, and Treasury
YGG was able to scale, create partnerships and develop the play-to-earn ecosystem with funds generated from earlier funding rounds and the YGG token sale. Along the way, YGG’s Advisory Board consisting of nine industry leaders also helped us to continuously achieve our vision.
- In March, it was announced that blockchain research firm Delphi Digital had led YGG’s US$1.325 million seed raise. In June, gaming and esports fund BITKRAFT led a US$4 million series A for YGG. A further US$4.6 million round was led by world-leading crypto VC, Andreessen Horowitz (a16z).
- The YGG public token sale took place on MISO in July, where YGG secured US$12.5 million in 31 seconds.
- YGG’s advisory board started with four advisors during the first half of 2021, after which another set of advisors was appointed, bringing the advisory board to nine members.
- The YGG token has been listed on major decentralized and centralized exchanges including SushiSwap, Uniswap, Binance, Huobi, KuCoin, Crypto.com, OKEx, UpBit, and Gate.io. To date, YGG holders who have staked their tokens with Sushi’s Onsen have received an additional 575,000 YGG tokens since the 2x rewards were launched.
- Within hours of the token launch, with liquidity pools being created on SushiSwap and Uniswap, the token had risen to US$1.89 upon listing. By December 31, the YGG token was trading at US$5.32 (US$471,260,681 market capitalization). The YGG token reached an all-time high of US$11.17 on November 20 with a trading volume of US$193 million according to CoinGecko.
- By the end of December 2021, YGG had a total of US$824 million in assets in the DAO. Yield Guild Games have substantial holdings of YGG, AXS, USDC, ETH and SAND as well as an array of other tokens (sub US$500K each). In addition to these tokens, the various tokens being farmed by YGG, the gaming, DAO and play-to-earn investments by Yield Guild Games are currently worth over US$54 million.
Media Coverage and Public Recognition
YGG was also honored to have journalists, media, content creators, and other partners retell and spread the story of play-to-earn and our scholars.
- YGG partnered with Emfarsis and Delphi Digital to produce the award-winning short documentary “Play-to-Earn: NFT Gaming in the Philippines’’ which has been viewed over 750,000 times on YouTube and featured on CNBC. The documentary is available with subtitles in 11 languages including Tagalog, Bahasa, Thai and Vietnamese.
- YGG was featured and mentioned in over 900 media articles across 20 languages and countries. Region-specific media coverage was from Latin America, Brazil, the Philippines, and China. This includes top-tier media publications such as CNBC, TechCrunch, Business Insider, Wired, Bloomberg, Fortune, VentureBeat, World Economic Forum and Harvard Business Review, among others.
- YGG co-founder Beryl Li authored an op-ed for Coindesk titled “A Play-to-Earn Account Beats a Bank Account.”
- YGG co-founder Gabby Dizon was featured on Fortune’s NFTy 50 list.
- YGG execs appeared on prominent podcasts including Zima Red with Andrew Steinwold, Future by a16z, Modern Finance with Kevin Rose, Unchained with Laura Shin, and Real Vision, to name just a few. Subscribe to YGG’s Substack to keep track of YGG’s best podcast episodes.
- YGG also participated in a number of panel discussions at events and conferences around the world. Gabby delivered a keynote at Silicon Slopes and Beryl represented YGG at Mainnet 2021. Gabby and Beryl also spoke in New York at a NY Arcade Meetup hosted by Global Coin Research.
- YGG was highlighted in Delphi Digital’s “Dawn Of The Guilds: Settlers Of The Metaverse” report.
YGG would like to sincerely thank its community for the value they have brought to the guild in 2021.
The team is excited for the coming year as we continue to onboard new players, play and discover new games, grow the community further, and reach every corner of the world with play-to-earn.