Jamie King, one of the original founders of Grand Theft Auto maker Rockstar Games, has joined the Cayman Islands-based Portal Foundation as an advisor to help oversee the project’s crypto gaming efforts, Portal Chief Business Officer and founding team member Dan Keene shared exclusively with Decrypt.

“This is an exciting moment for Portal, as well as me personally,” King told Decrypt via email. “Portal is uniquely positioned in many ways to lead the future of web-based gaming functionality and to truly change the face of this emerging industry.”

Earlier this month, King also joined crypto gaming project The Wanderers and became an advisor to blockchain sports app startup Leap last year.  

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“We’ve been working very closely with Jamie over the last few months to really kind of evangelize and put together the go-to-market strategy on Portal, especially from a Web2 IP standpoint,” Keene told Decrypt in an interview on King’s involvement with the Portal Foundation.

Keene is also Chief Business Officer at SuperDuper, the startup behind the Creepz NFT project on Ethereum and the upcoming Overlord game being created in collaboration with Immutable. King’s Twitter profile also lists him as an advisor for SuperDuper.

As a Portal Foundation advisor, King will work roughly four days per month on the project, said Keene. Portal is a planned “universal” gaming token designed with the hopes of reducing user blockchain interactions by using the LayerZero interoperability protocol to create a more seamless cross-chain crypto gaming experience.

Keene explained that LayerZero’s tech does away with blockchain bridging and liquidity problems on the frontend by solving it on the backend, so that users don’t have to do it themselves. 

There will also be a single sign-on (SSO) Portal Passport crypto wallet to facilitate the experience, similar to what Immutable has developed with its Immutable Passport—but with more promised interoperability.

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King further described the project as "a significant leap forward in bridging the Web2 and Web3 gaming gap."

Besides Keene and King, Sama Therapeutics Chief Innovation Officer Russell Hanson and former Electronic Arts employee Matt Dixon are also on Portal Foundations advisory board, according to posts from PortalCoins Twitter account. Like King, Hanson and Dixon are also both advisors for SuperDuper, according to their Linkedin profiles.

The Portal token has not yet been released, but Keene told Decrypt that over 200 blockchain games have already agreed to accept the token as a game currency when Portal launches. Games like Crypto Unicorns, Space Nation Online, Nine Chronicles, and NFT marketplaces like Magic Eden are a few of the projects and firms that have already agreed to accept the Portal token when it goes live, said Keene. All of the above projects have shared word of the Portal alliances via their respective social media channels.

The Portal team recently launched a gamified social token-farming experience called Crystal Dash for those looking to get in on the upcoming Portal token airdrop. To farm Portal, players have to connect their Twitter accounts and post about Portal to earn “points” which will later count toward the airdrop allocation, according to the project.

“Solutions like Portal are exciting because they improve the user experience in Web3, which is currently the greatest growth pain point,” Laguna Games Head of Marketing and Partnerships Mitchell Vella, who works on Crypto Unicorns, told Decrypt in a message.

“Both Space Nation and Portal, though occupying different niches within the industry, share a profound focus on user experience,” Space Nation co-founder and CEO Jerome Wu told Decrypt in a message of his game’s reasons for agreeing to accept Portal when it launches. “We aspire to deliver the ultimate Web3 gaming experience for users, welcoming the arrival of mass adoption.”

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Edited by Andrew Hayward

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