Ex-TikTok gaming head to launch blockchain games startup, Meta0
Jason Fung took a big risk to launch his own blockchain games startup, Meta0, with an anonymous co-founder
By Shashank Bhardwaj
Jason Fung, former head of TikTok's gaming unit who left the company to start a blockchain gaming startup called Meta0, poses after an interview with Reuters in Hong Kong, China July 5, 2022. Image: Lam Yik/Reuters
On July 5, Jason Fung, former head of TikTok's gaming unit, announced his departure from TikTok to launch Meta0, a blockchain video game startup. Fung will work as one of two co-founders. The other co-founder remains anonymous. Fung will also be the company's CEO. At the moment, Meta0 reportedly has six employees.
Last month, 34-year-old Fung left his comfortable corporate life at TikTok to take a 'giant risk' to work on Meta0. However, as an enterprise tech executive with extensive experience working for large companies in the gaming industry, he wanted to bring new solutions to video game developers.
Fung said, "Right now if you look at any developer when they implement NFTs or blockchain in their games, they have to choose a single blockchain, be it Polygon or Solana or Binance Smart Chain. But imagine a more interoperable option…So we decided, let's do it. Let's co-found this company. Let's give up my cushy corporate life at TikTok and take a giant risk."
His departure comes as TikTok and its Chinese owner ByteDance aggressively expand into the $300 billion global gaming market to compete with rival Tencent Holdings. So far, this move has shown mixed results. Fung revealed that Meta0 had completed its first round of funding. However, he did not reveal the amount raised. He added that Meta0 is still looking to raise additional capital through token offerings, venture firms, and strategic investors.
Fung is expected to have a wide range of responsibilities. This will include turning Meta0 into a whole ecosystem of game developers, channeling partners, and working on L1/L2 blockchains that run on Meta0 as a Layer-0 protocol. In addition, he will oversee fundraising campaigns, partnerships, and other strategic decisions.
Fung stated that he left TikTok to address one of the most prevalent issues in the NFT gaming industry–the lack of properly accessible blockchain infrastructure for developers. "I left TikTok because I saw a clear opportunity to offer a solution to the current segregated nature of infrastructure options available to developers looking to build blockchain games."
Fung previously worked in Shenzhen and reported to Vanessa Pappas, TikTok's chief operating officer. Before joining TikTok, he led e-sports units at Alibaba Group Holding and Electronic Arts in Asia. TikTok purchased gaming studio Moonton for $4 billion and launched pilots of mini-games on their social media app in select locations under Fung's leadership.
The writer is the founder at yMedia. He ventured into crypto in 2013 and is an ETH maximalist. Twitter: @bhardwajshash