YouTube’s head of Gaming leaves to hitch blockchain group Polygon • TechCrunch


Ryan Wyatt describes himself on Twitter as YouTube’s head of Gaming by day, and a “web3 & crypto advisor/investor by evening.” Now, he’ll be working in crypto in the course of the day, too. As we speak, Wyatt introduced that he might be leaving YouTube after virtually eight years to hitch the group at Polygon, a blockchain scaling community constructed on Ethereum. His function on the crypto group might be main Polygon Studios, an effort to carry video games and different media entities onto the platform.

“I’ll miss YouTube dearly, however it’s time for me to pursue different endeavors in life and the place my passions are taking me,” Wyatt wrote in a be aware posted on Twitter. “I’m fascinated by blockchain app improvement and am past thrilled to enter the web3 house.”

His transfer comes at an attention-grabbing time for YouTube, which remains to be figuring whether or not crypto applied sciences ought to be a part of its future. The Google-owned video platform is flirting with the idea of NFTs, in line with a letter revealed in the present day by YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki.

“The previous 12 months on this planet of crypto, nonfungible tokens (NFTs), and even decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) has highlighted a beforehand unimaginable alternative to develop the connection between creators and their followers,” she wrote. “We’re at all times centered on increasing the YouTube ecosystem to assist creators capitalize on rising applied sciences, together with issues like NFTs, whereas persevering with to strengthen and improve the experiences creators and followers have on YouTube.”

When reached for remark, a YouTube spokesperson didn’t elaborate additional concerning the platform’s potential plans for NFTs.

Wyatt’s exit showcases a sustained pattern of executives embracing web3 applied sciences and leaving their high-profile roles for current tech giants, generally taking comparable positions at a lot youthful firms or organizations. A number of weeks in the past, the CFO of Lyft stepped down from his place to hitch NFT public sale home OpenSea in the identical function.

Extra tech firms and online game studios are confronting the query of find out how to implement blockchain know-how. Final month, as an example, Ubisoft launched the beta take a look at of its Ubisoft Quartz platform, which can permit gamers to purchase NFT property to make use of in gameplay.

“The principle purpose why blockchain has been efficiently utilized to gaming is due to the thought of digital possession, which was by no means potential with conventional centralized video games,” Beryl Li, co-founder of Yield Guild Video games, told TechCrunch.

However many online game followers are skeptical of how crypto would possibly change their enjoying expertise. In October, the online game distributor Steam introduced that it will no longer host video games that allow NFT and crypto buying and selling. There’s concern amongst some gamers that crypto developments in gaming are simply predatory cash grabs — many NFT gadgets on DMarket, a digital gadgets market, promote for upwards of $1,000 (nonetheless, it’s not as if you may’t purchase costly uncommon Pokémon on eBay). Final month, only a day after it was introduced, GSC Recreation World walked back its decision to implement NFTs within the S.T.A.L.Ok.E.R. franchise via DMarket as a result of fan backlash.

Together with Wyatt, a number of YouTube executives have left the corporate not too long ago. Susanne Daniels, the founding world head of YouTube Originals, introduced her departure, adopted quickly after by YouTube’s personal announcement that it will close its original content studio after six years. YouTube’s senior director of creator partnerships Jamie Byrne and VP and world head of product partnerships Heather Rivera are also leaving.





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