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YouTube’s Head of Gaming Leaves to Join Polygon Studios as CEO

Ryan Wyatt has been a vocal proponent of blockchain and NFTs while at YouTube.

3 min read
YouTube Gaming is a competitor to Twitch. Image: Shutterstock

The head of YouTube Gaming, Ryan Wyatt, will soon be leaving his post at the Google-owned tech company. Starting in March, Wyatt will become the CEO of Polygon Studios, a new venture dedicated to building on the Ethereum sidechain Polygon

Despite YouTube’s own growing interest in blockchain and NFTs, Wyatt says it’s time for a new venture. “I came to YouTube almost eight years ago to help give gamers a voice and represent the gamer’s needs every day,” Wyatt wrote on Twitter

“In my role at Polygon Studios, I will be focused on growing the developer ecosystem through investment, marketing, and developer support and bridging the gap between Web2 and Web3. I’ll be leading the Polygon Studios organization across Gaming, Entertainment, Fashion, News, Sports, and more.”

As a YouTube executive, Wyatt has garnered respect from YouTube Gaming creators, with the likes of “Call of Duty” streamer Dr. Disrespect and esports organization 100 Thieves’ Nadeshot, CouRage, and Valkyrae congratulating him today on the upcoming move. 

Wyatt spearheaded YouTube Gaming’s live streaming initiatives, securing exclusive deals with huge creators such as TimTheTatman, Ludwig, and Dr. Lupo. As a result, YouTube Gaming now has a foothold in the video game live-streaming space, rivaling Twitch with its high streaming quality and roster of A-list creators.

Now, Wyatt is positioned to bring some of that same entertainment to the Web3 space. But many gamers have decried NFTs and blockchain networks, citing blockchains’ energy use and purported environmental impact as points of concern. Some in the gaming community also blame cryptocurrency miners for their inability to get ahold of graphics cards for their gaming PCs.

Wyatt believes that angry gamers will eventually come around to blockchain gaming. “Gamers will see the value of NFT blockchain-based gaming when there are more polished native blockchain experiences built from the ground up,” he tweeted earlier this month.

The YouTube exec’s belief in the blockchain gaming space is unwavering. In a nine-part Twitter thread back in September, Wyatt stated, “We’re going through a tectonic shift in the [gaming] industry over the next five years.” 

In the future, he believes the next generation of gamers will “challenge conventional formats and want their time spent in game to mean something & the value of their items to have an actual monetary value. Most in-game assets are illiquid; NFTs & the blockchain change this by providing an open transparent market.”

In December, Polygon Studios announced its funding of gaming firm GameOn as part of a $100 million fund aimed at future Web3-related projects. Gaming studios Atari and Animoca Brands are listed as partners on Polygon Studios’ official site, as well as NFT marketplace OpenSea and metaverse project Decentraland.

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