Brycent/nft now

NFT100 Spotlight: How Brycent is Supporting a New Gaming Economy with NFTs

BY Greg Larson

April 11, 2023

Bryce Johnson, better known as Brycent, is a leading voice in Web3 gaming. A longtime gamer, he first stumbled on to NFTs when he heard Axie Infinity — dubbed Pokémon on the blockchain — mentioned on a podcast in early 2021. It was a perfect match for Brycent, who grew up playing Pokémon and worked as a software engineer.

The timing was also right. A recent startup venture had failed, and Brycent decided to return to a nine-to-five job, intending to play games in his free time. Little did he know that his passion for gaming would soon lead him on an incredible journey, making him a key figure in the emerging Web3 gaming landscape.

As a 2023 NFT100 honoree, nft now recently sat down with Brycent to discuss his journey to gaming prominence and his thoughts on the future of the space.

Discovering Axie Infinity

Curious to see if anyone was streaming this blockchain-based Pokémon game, Brycent turned to Twitch. To his surprise, no one was broadcasting Axie Infinity in April 2021. He tells nft now, “This was supposed to be the future of gaming, but nobody on the biggest gaming streaming platform was streaming it.”

Seizing the opportunity, Brycent began streaming Axie Infinity on the side. His consistent efforts gradually made him a household name in the game’s community and eventually in the wider NFT space. However, by the end of 2021, his brand had grown, and he became frustrated with Axie Infinity due to how they handled tokenomics, among other issues.

Brycent recognized that developers couldn’t create a sustainable reward token and, in his words, “print money out of nowhere.” Instead, in his eyes, success in Web3 gaming requires two crucial elements: entertaining content and education on the value of blockchain technology. “I saw that play-to-earn tokenomics wasn’t sustainable, and I got a lot of backlash for that,” he admits.

Brycent continued to forge his own path after signing with Gary Vaynerchuk’s VaynerSports in 2021.

Building a Web3 gaming brand

With his daily streams and sharp industry commentary, Brycent quickly became a knowledge base for newcomers in Web3 gaming. Throughout 2022, he focused on building his community across Twitter, YouTube, and Twitch, where he now boasts over 300,000 combined followers. He has amassed his following thanks to his commitment to iteration, soliciting feedback, creating with consistency, and embracing the possibility of failure.

Brycent’s dedication to his craft led him to win the Gam3r’s Choice Content Creator of the Year Award. He also co-founded Loot Squad, an NFT Gaming Guild specializing in building blockchain consumer products and yield farming in NFT Games, further cementing his position in the industry.

Behind the scenes, Brycent now works with a team of editors, community managers, and more, many of whom he met during his Axie Infinity days as part of the game’s scholar program. Through this program, players such as Brycent, who possess complete sets of Axie NFTs but had limited availability, were able to support gamers who had sufficient time but lacked the financial means to partake in the game.

Although Brycent has reached considerable success, he is far from complacent. He states, “I want to be a leader. Not just in gaming and not just in Web3. But across web2, Web3, and entertainment at large.”

Brycent on TikTok, YouTube, and what’s next

As he reflects on the current state of content creation, Brycent says, “I think we’ve gotten to a place where we overvalue 15-second videos. Yeah, the metrics on that content might be good, but what’s memorable about it?”

A successful YouTube channel, according to Brycent, has the potential to drive followers to other platforms, something he doesn’t see happening with TikTok and other short-form channels. He notes, “I know plenty of creators who have millions of TikTok followers and only a few thousand across other channels. What good does that do anyone?”

Even TikTok seems to be shifting towards long-form content, recognizing, as Brycent does, that short-form content may boost superficial metrics but fails to make a genuine impact.

With this in mind, Brycent plans to invest more time in long-form YouTube content —”old reliable,” as he calls it — to build a sustainable ecosystem in Web3. In terms of what those videos will look like, he wants to focus on educational content and broader gaming commentary as he moves forward.

His Twitch channel, where he streams four hours a day from Monday to Friday, remains his lifeline. But he plans to expand his streaming hours to YouTube, concentrating on creating fewer high-quality, impactful videos.

Embracing the future of Web3 gaming

Brycent believes there’s a significant opportunity for other creators to enter Web3 gaming and welcomes the competition.

He’s convinced that challengers will push him and everyone else to improve. “There’s a lack of people who want to be tastemakers in the right way in Web3[…]my content isn’t predicated on whether or not I make a dollar off it. I want to entertain and educate.” True to his word, Brycent doesn’t take himself too seriously. He’s known to do impersonations during his streams and freestyle for extended periods.

Despite his playful attitude, Brycent is realistic about the challenges facing Web3 gaming. He envisions the space grappling with mainstream adoption for some time due to its niche nature. However, he anticipates a few games, such as Dr DisRespect’s Deadrop, might gain mass adoption this year despite the broader market being flooded with “pixelated garbage” and Ponzi schemes.

Brycent is determined to not be the guy hyping up games that don’t make it. Instead, he wants to be the voice that gaming studios turn to when the market takes off: someone with an audience of open-minded gamers eager to explore and push boundaries in something new.

He positions himself as “that guy” by creating meaningful, educational, and entertaining content. “Good content is like good music,” Brycent says. “You can listen to Stevie Wonder today, and it still hits. I want to create content like that. The kind I can look back on in 10 years and see it’s still impactful and still relevant.”

Want more NFT100 honoree interviews? Get the full list of everyone we spoke with here.

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