HyperPlay, a Web3 gaming launcher, is now live via early access. Available for all major platforms but optimized for MetaMask users, the app was co-developed by Web3 gaming DAO Game7 and the pseudonymous JacobC.eth, a former MetaMask operations lead.
Something incredible is launching tomorrow 👀🤯 pic.twitter.com/GTAmdJlNG6
— HyperPlay @ ETH Denver 2023 (@HyperPlayGaming) February 28, 2023
Jacob, who prefers to go by his first name or .eth handle for privacy reasons, told Decrypt that HyperPlay is "solving the distribution problem and freeing game developers from the risk of deplatforming by these monopolies like Apple and Google, or Steam."
“Unlike the Apple Store, we’re not taking a 30% cut of your developer’s in-game economy," he explained. "We’re a super developer-loyal product."
Instead of taking a cut of game sales or transactions, Jacob said that HyperPlay will generate revenue through offering “convenience features” within the app, similar to how MetaMask generates revenue.
HyperPlay will offer numerous games at launch, ranging from Undead Blocks to DeFi Kingdoms, The Sandbox, Voxie Tactics, and The Bornless, to name a few. The launcher will support non-crypto games as well as Web3 titles.
It’s available for Windows, Mac, Steam Deck, and Linux users, but Jacob explained that HyperPlay is most optimized for MetaMask wallets. It also works with WalletConnect, which enables over 40 different crypto wallet providers.
Besides being just a game launcher, HyperPlay is also a game store aggregator, offering the Epic Games and Good Old Games stores within its interface.
Jacob explained that HyperPlay’s launcher “paints” a MetaMask layer in-game on top of the gameplay experience so that users don’t have to minimize their game or otherwise switch windows to complete transactions, similar to Steam’s in-game overlay.
“We’re separating the keys from the game," Jacob said. "If the game is malicious, you don’t want your secret recovery phrase exposed to the game.” HyperPlay’s approach to security protects users even if one of its vetted games is compromised for some reason, he added.
When playing on a desktop, MetaMask mobile users will receive popups for transactions on their phones, while browser extension users will be automatically detected.
“If you have the MetaMask browser extension on your computer, HyperPlay can actually detect that it’s already installed,” Jacob said.
While gamers don’t necessarily need a game launcher to enjoy Web3 games, launchers like HyperPlay’s can offer an additional sense of security. HyperPlay examines and vets each game submitted to its launcher for consideration in a process that takes about a week.
“We have a pretty intense security and malware review process,” Jacob said. “We’re not trying to make attestations that a game’s economy is a good sustainable economy. That’s really for players to decide for themselves. But we’re very opinionated on stopping malware and stopping any kind of malicious bad actors. And these games cannot access the keys of the wallet.”
HyperPlay is also developing its own sandboxes that will allow it to isolate each submitted game and restrict any undesired permissions or elements that could present a potential user security risk.
But Jacob also sees a Web3 game launcher as important for broader crypto mass adoption.
“I think that gaming in many ways is a bridge by which people discover the larger decentralized web,” Jacob told Decrypt of his motivation to create HyperPlay. “In MetaMask’s data, the main markets which were playing games were the Philippines, Vietnam, Nigeria, Colombia, Brazil—these places where people have historically been locked out of the financial system.”
Editor's note: This article was updated after publication to clarify that HyperPlay offers games from the Epic Games and Gold Old Games stores, not Guild of Guardians.