Shurick Agapitov Interview: Discussing The Metaverse, Web3 Gaming, And More

His recent book "Once Upon Tomorrow" goes into great detail about the potential of Metaverse.

Story Highlights

  • Once Upon Tomorrow is a book by Aleksandr “Shurick” Agapitov, Xsolla Founder and CEO.
  • This book unpacks the vague concept of the metaverse and explores the opportunities it provides.
  • We interviewed Shurick to discuss his recent creation and the potential of Web3 gaming.

Web3 gaming and Metaverse are some of the many topics heavily skepticized in the video game industry. Several companies are actively investing and promoting the integration of such technology, but it still seems to be in its early stages. One such company is Xsolla, which stands at the forefront of Web3 integration within gaming. Aside from offering essential tools, Xsolla strives to normalize Metaverse and educate its audience. 

Aleksandr “Shurick” Agapitov, the Founder and CEO of Xsolla, recently released his book, Once Upon Tomorrow: Harnessing the New Opportunities The Metaverse Creates. The book debunks much of what it considers false information and explores how we can utilize this decentralized world. Keeping in mind the topics discussed in this book and the rising interest in Web3 gaming, we spoke with Shurick Agapitov over an email interview.

Once Upon Tomorrow
Once Upon Tomorrow: Harnessing the New Opportunities The Metaverse Creates – A Book By Aleksandr (Shurick) Agapitov.

Could you introduce yourself and tell us a bit about your career?
Shurick: I’m Aleksandr “Shurick” Agapitov, the Founder of Xsolla, a pivotal company bridging the gaming and financial technology sectors. My journey from a passionate gamer in Siberia to establishing Xsolla is a testament to the transformative power of technology and the internet. Xsolla started simplifying payment solutions for gamers and developers and has evolved into a global platform facilitating the connection between creative ideas and the gaming industry’s commercial sphere.

Explain to us what your recent book, Once Upon Tomorrow: Harnessing the New Opportunities The Metaverse Creates, is about.
Shurick: My book delves into a vision of the Metaverse that starkly contrasts the centralized versions proposed by tech giants. I advocate for a decentralized Metaverse, where creators and users maintain control and ownership over their digital creations and experiences. This vision supports an open digital future, empowering individuals across the globe to innovate and profit from their creations without corporate overreach.

Although Web3 has already seen its applications across different industries, where do you think it currently stands in the video game market? And how do you think it will be in a decade or so?
Shurick: Web3 is growing in the video game industry, experimenting with digital ownership and decentralized economies. I foresee Web3 fully integrating into gaming over the next decade, redefining player engagement, transforming game economies, and enhancing digital interactions. This evolution will likely grant players unprecedented control and ownership over their digital assets and gaming experiences.
Once Upon Tomorrow
Many Consider Web3 The Next Evolutionary Step For The Video Game Industry: Image Credits: Once Upon Tomorrow.

Video game ownership and preservation have been some of the biggest concerns in the gaming industry. How will Web3 gaming address these two issues?
Shurick: Web3’s blockchain foundation addresses digital ownership and preservation by enabling actual ownership of in-game assets and ensuring their permanence beyond the lifespan of any single game or platform. This promises a future where digital legacies are maintained and transferred freely, securing a player’s investments in their digital assets.

If we do not harness the power of Web3, do you really think we will be left behind? Is there no other direction you see the gaming industry going in?
Shurick: Ignoring Web3’s potential could mean missing out on significant advancements in digital interactivity and the economy. While the gaming industry is multifaceted, adopting Web3 technologies represents a critical evolutionary step towards more immersive, secure, and player-centric experiences.

There are numerous companies and startups that are exploring these ideas and offering a platform to game developers integrating Web3. How is Xsolla contributing to all this? And are there more initiatives that we can see from your company in 2024 and beyond?
Shurick: Xsolla is at the forefront of Web3 integration within gaming, offering developers essential tools for embracing blockchain technologies and effectively monetizing their Web3 games. Our future initiatives aim to democratize access to Web3 technologies further, focusing on empowering creators and enhancing gamers’ experiences with genuine digital ownership.

The video game industry has become very volatile, especially with studios investing massively in games and then having to lay off the game devs to mitigate their losses. Do you think a transition to Web3 gaming could help in fixing that?
Shurick: Transitioning to Web3 gaming introduces new revenue models and diminishes reliance on large, singular investments, potentially offering a buffer against the industry’s unpredictability. This democratization could create a more stable economic model for creators and studios.
Once Upon Tomorrow
Notable Companies Like Sony And Square Enix Are Investing In Web3 Gaming – Image Credits: Once Upon Tomorrow.

Considering the skepticism from gamers and developers alike, how long do you think it would take them to accept Web3 gaming more and support Web3 game studios?
Shurick: The transition towards accepting Web3 gaming will be gradual but is expected to accelerate as the technology matures and successful models emerge. Skepticism is likely to diminish as the benefits of Web3, such as true ownership and decentralized control, become increasingly evident.

Is 2024 going to be a breakthrough year for Web3 gaming, or do you think it still needs to gain momentum?
Shurick: While 2024 is poised to mark significant progress for Web3 gaming, it’s part of a broader trajectory towards mainstream acceptance. Momentum is building, yet the full realization of Web3’s potential in gaming will continue to evolve as the ecosystem matures.

AI integration in video games is another aspect that is still in its infancy, similar to Web3 gaming. Do you think these two can work well together? And should artists and other creators be worried about Web3 game studios utilizing AI tools?
Shurick: AI and Web3 can complement each other in gaming, enhancing design, personalization, and interaction within Web3 frameworks. The ethical use of AI by Web3 studios is paramount, ensuring that it supports rather than replaces human creativity and labor.

Is there anything else you would like to share with the readers? Something we haven't touched upon yet.
Shurick: The journey into Web3 and the Metaverse transcends technological adoption; it’s a cultural shift towards valuing collaboration, inclusivity, and ethics. As we embrace this new digital frontier, fostering a community ethos that champions these values will be vital, alongside the exciting technological advancements we adopt.

Once Upon Tomorrow
Web3 Is Still A Very Skepticized Topic In The Gaming Industry – Image Credits: Once Upon Tomorrow.

Aleksandr “Shurick” Agapitov is the Founder and CEO of Xsolla — a global video game commerce company — and the author of Once Upon Tomorrow: Harnessing the New Opportunities The Metaverse Creates, in which he offers his visionary view of the metaverse and content creation. We appreciate Shurick Agapitov for taking part in the interview and Christina Hennessy for assisting us.

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Mudassir is a seasoned journalist with a passion for uncovering the stories behind our favorite virtual worlds. Armed with a trusty notepad and a keen curiosity, he dives headfirst into the gaming industry's most exciting personalities. His knack for insightful questions and his ability to connect with developers and gamers alike makes his interviews a must-read. While on the lookout for the next person to interview, Mudassir keeps himself busy by writing news surrounding the gaming universe. Experience: 4+ Years || Senior Journalist || Education: Bachelor's in Psychology.

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