Ryan Wyatt

Ryan Wyatt, a prominent executive in the American gaming industry, currently holds the position of President at Polygon Labs, having made significant strides in the gaming...

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Ryan Wyatt

Ryan Wyatt, a prominent executive in the American gaming industry, currently holds the position of President at Polygon Labs, having made significant strides in the gaming sector. Before delving into the blockchain industry, he served as Google's global head of gaming partnerships and was in charge of Youtube Gaming, leading initiatives in the realm of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR).

Pioneering Innovations in the Gaming Industry

Wyatt’s career in the gaming industry began in 2008 with Major League Gaming (MLG) and included roles as a commentator for various events, including the “Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare National Championship” in 2009. Beyond commentary, Wyatt also officiated and managed online tournaments through MLG's online eSports service, GameBattles. In 2011, he joined Machinima as the head of live and eSports, but by April 2014, he returned to MLG as Vice President of Programming. His personal live broadcasts and YouTube channel were exclusively aired on MLG.tv and its YouTube channel. By October 2014, Wyatt departed MLG to take on roles as Google’s global head of gaming partnerships and the head of YouTube Gaming.

During his tenure at YouTube Gaming, Wyatt emphasized the importance of superior creator experiences and potent connections between creators and viewers. Through Stadia, he devised ways to deepen the relationship between creators and viewers by breaking down content creation barriers, stimulating viewer engagement, and fostering growth. Stadia, a cloud gaming platform from Google, allows users to play video games on various devices like smartphones, tablets, computers, and TVs, without needing a gaming console or high-performance hardware. The platform even introduced “Crowd Play,” a feature that enhances content production by allowing viewers to join their favorite YouTube creators in a game with a single button click during live streams.

Based on his extensive experience in the gaming industry, Wyatt was selected as one of the “top young designers, managers, and players” in the gaming division for Forbes' 30 Under 30 list in January 2015. Additionally, in October 2018, he was selected as one of the “top stars leading Google's entertainment empire” by Business Insider. He was also nominated for a Shorty Award in Gaming in 2020 and made it onto Fortune's 40 Under 40 list in the same year. Leaving his distinguished career in the gaming industry behind, he shifted his focus to the blockchain industry for a new challenge.

Dreaming of a Fusion between Blockchain and Gaming

Ryan Wyatt's interest in Web 3.0 and blockchain gaming was initially piqued through discussions with venture capitalists and by observing the capital flowing into the gaming industry. As he dug deeper, he became entranced by the potential of blockchain gaming, and discovered that Polygon is the most compelling platform for developers, which led him to decide to venture into the Web 3.0 space. He also believes that the future lies within a community-owned economy and that blockchain technology can give birth to new business models, not just for finance but also for creators and consumers.

Wyatt began his foray into the blockchain industry as a partner at Bitkraft Ventures, a venture fund that invests in the gaming and interactive media sectors. He provided portfolio advisement, mentoring, and deal flow timing, and still serves as a partner to this day.

Starting in February 2022, Wyatt joined Polygon Studios as CEO. He believed that blockchain could provide an ecosystem that delivered values of openness, transparency, and fairness to consumers and creators. With Polygon Studios, his goal was to enable artists, creators, and developers to easily and effectively create for Web 3.0.

Under his leadership, Polygon Studios built partnerships with traditional game publishers like Electronic Arts and formed its own development studios for game creation. They also established partnerships with major brands entering the Web 3.0 field such as Nike, Starbucks, Reddit, Meta, and Robinhood, thereby propelling Polygon's rapid growth and promoting Web 3.0 mass adoption.

Realizing Mass Adoption through Polygon

Ryan Wyatt's decision to become the President of Polygon Labs in August 2022 was significantly influenced by the opportunity to work with creators and builders from a diverse range of fields beyond gaming. Given that Polygon Labs aims for comprehensive growth and development of the Polygon ecosystem, he has expanded his interests beyond gaming to explore the interconnectedness of various industries within the Web 3.0 space.

In his role as President of Polygon Labs, he has been vigorously promoting activities that allow Polygon to stand out in the gaming and NFT arenas. For instance, he has established a partnership with Mastercard to support an artist incubator program. This program assists artists with the entire process of NFT issuance, content creation and ownership, and monetization in the Web 3.0 environment.

Moreover, Immutable X and Polygon Labs have joined forces to develop a gaming-specific blockchain, Immutable zkEVM, with the goal of accelerating decentralized game development and promoting the mass adoption of Web 3.0. The platform uses Polygon's zkEVM technology to improve transaction speed, reduce fees, and maintain compatibility with Ethereum, thereby helping game developers simplify every step from game concept realization to launch.

Recently, Nexon Korea announced plans to launch a new project, MapleStory Universe, on Polygon, garnering significant attention. Also, through a strategic partnership with Google Cloud, plans were disclosed to provide a node hosting service, making it easier for developers to build and operate Polygon PoS nodes.


Writer: Chris Park, Research Contributor at DeSpread
Reviewed by Do Dive, Research Lead at DeSpread

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