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. At present, Wyatt introduced that he will probably be leaving YouTube after nearly eight years to affix the group at Polygon, a blockchain scaling community constructed on Ethereum. His position on the crypto group will probably be main Polygon Studios, an effort to carry video games and different media entities onto the platform.
“I’ll miss YouTube dearly, nevertheless it’s time for me to pursue different endeavors in life and the place my passions are taking me,” Wyatt wrote in a word posted on Twitter. “I’m fascinated by blockchain app growth and am past thrilled to enter the web3 house.”
His transfer comes at an attention-grabbing time for YouTube, which continues to be figuring whether or not crypto applied sciences needs to be a part of its future. The Google-owned video platform is flirting with the idea of NFTs, based on a letter printed in the present day by YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki.
“The previous yr on the earth 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 targeted 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 in regards to 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 present tech giants, generally taking related positions at a lot youthful firms or organizations. A couple of weeks in the past, the CFO of Lyft stepped down from his place to affix NFT public sale home OpenSea in the identical position.
Extra tech firms and online game studios are confronting the query of implement blockchain expertise. Final month, as an example, Ubisoft launched the beta check of its Ubisoft Quartz platform, which can enable gamers to purchase NFT belongings to make use of in gameplay.
“The principle motive why blockchain has been efficiently utilized to gaming is due to the concept of digital possession, which was by no means doable 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 may change their taking part in 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 $1000 (nonetheless, it’s not as if you possibly can’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.Okay.E.R. franchise by means of DMarket as a consequence of fan backlash.
Together with Wyatt, a number of YouTube executives have additionally 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.