South Korean game publisher Wemade has launched a $100 million Web3 fund with Singapore-based investment firm Whampoa Digital, Wemade announced Friday.

The two companies have established the Wemade Web3 Fund to invest in blockchain gaming projects, primarily in the Middle East region. The fund was established with the goal of helping to accelerate blockchain adoption, according to the announcement.

Wemade is also building the Wemix Play Center, a blockchain gaming-focused commercial space in Dubai’s DIFC Innovation Hub. Blockchain gaming companies and projects that receive grants from the fund are expected to set up office spaces in the Wemix Play Center, with the goal of cross-collaboration and mentorship, according to the announcement.

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“This partnership will allow us to pioneer new horizons in the digital asset industry beyond our already established sectors, as well as foster innovation in the Middle East, one of the world’s fastest-growing regions in the Web3 space,” said Whampoa Group Senior Partner Aureole Foong, in a statement.

“Through our partnership with Whampoa Digital, a leading investment firm in Singapore, we strive to share valuable insights related to blockchain technology, each party bringing their unique expertise to the partnership,” Wemade CEO Henry Chang said, in a statement.

Despite South Korea’s blockchain gaming ban, numerous studios in the country are actively developing blockchain games for export abroad. A Wemade representative previously told Decrypt at the 2023 Game Developers Conference that its studio was developing multiple blockchain-powered adaptations of its existing games—but wouldn’t release them in Korea.

South Korea’s government has been fighting against blockchain gaming in its country since at least early 2021. In January 2023, a court ruled that a play-to-earn game, Five Stars, could not be released in the country because its NFTs promoted financial speculation.

Wemade’s Wemix Play platform is a site which showcases a token-forward selection of blockchain games and also hosts its own gaming NFT marketplace. Wemade makes both PC and mobile games, but is primarily known for its free-to-play MMORPG PC game Legend of Mir and its two sequels.

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Edited by Andrew Hayward

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