Earlier this month, I had an opportunity to interview Marieke Flament, the CEO of the NEAR Foundation. This opportunity gave me an opportunity to learn about many of the great things NEAR is involved in, including a multiplatform entertainment franchise called Armored Kingdom.
I was intrigued to learn more about this new web3 platform. It was a project that would begin with a comic book NFT but will expand to much more, including trading card games, animation, and film. Actress Mila Kunis backs this project. She says she spent a significant amount of her youth playing games like World of WarCraft to Settlers of Catan.
At Consensus, I had an opportunity to chat with one of the Co-Founders of this project, Lindsey McInerney. This interview was a great opportunity to learn about how to get involved in web3 and be a part of an exciting project like Armored Kingdom. Thus, I started my interview by asking Lindsey about her background and how she got involved in this project.
“Armored Kingdom is a sci-fi meets fantasy universe that is being built from the ground up as a web3 entertainment franchise.”
“So, rewinding a little bit. In 2020 I wrote a thesis on crypto, metaverse, web3 and NFTs for brands when I was Global Head of Tech and Innovation of Anheuser-Busch InBev, the world’s largest brewer.
“And in 2021, I launched Stella Artois into the metaverse with a partnership ZED RUN, a crypto horse racing platform. Fast forwarding a bit, I started thinking about all the different ways this space would expand and where it was going and wanting to figure out ways to move really quickly.”
“So, I ended up speaking with Mila Kunis, Lisa Sterbakov, and Morgan Beller and we decided to form a business looking at number of different IPs that come across Mila’s desk, who has a company called Orchard Farm productions, a traditional film and entertainment business.”
“One of the most interesting IPs that they were working on was Armored Kingdom. This universe that’s been built out an amazing narrative and amazing story arc. We were with looking at things and trying to explore different ways we can do things with web3 on all the different IPs Mila’s got!
“So, when we started digging in we realized that it could be a multi platform entertainment franchise, connecting into web3, metaverse, and blockchain in lots of different ways. And so that’s kind of where it all began.
It is interesting to see how Lindsey transitioned from working at Anheuser-Busch InBev to the web3 space. For individuals looking to transition from traditional jobs to web3 and blockchain, this story will serve as an inspiration.
Nevertheless, building long-term sustainable projects in this space is essential to survive. So I proceeded to ask Lindsey what the long-term objective of a project like Armored Kingdom is.
“We launched a digi-physical comic book on June 10th at Consensus. It’ll be the first. So we’re launching issue zero in in the series. And that will be a way for people to sort of discover and unpack the lore of Armored Kingdom as the universe in a world where they’ll get to learn about all the different pieces, and characters and story of Armored Kingdom.”
“That will set everybody up to be able to understand a crypto based card game that will be launched later this year. That that will sort of lean into some of the lore and storytelling from our kingdom and allow people to allow people to battle each other on the blockchain.”
It was interesting to learn about a project like Armored Kingdom. With a project like this and the involvement of a big Hollywood celebrity, I am sure the founding team had options to choose from when picking a blockchain. Thus, I asked Lindsey what made her choose NEAR.
“We wanted to build an entertainment franchise that leans into technology and story. We looked at a number of different blockchains that we could use to do exactly that. And one of the most important things to us was to be able to bring as many normal people who have not experienced digital collectibles or NFTs or crypto.”
“We want to be able to bring as many folks to the table as we could because that’s one of the great gifts of entertainment is its ability to connect everyone.”
“There’s always a piece of story for everybody. We’re storytellers as humans. We’re story consumers. We love stories. So we wanted this to be approachable for anybody, whether you had a crypto background or not.”
“We were looking at blockchains that could support us in that and NEAR without question was the most simple experience that we that we saw for people and was a chain that we imagined anybody in our friend group and anybody in our communities, whether they were familiar with technology or not, could you know easily use and access. So it was that access point that became really important, and we just wanted to make sure that we didn’t leave anybody out.”
With any project in the web3 space, the key to adoption is a friendly user experience. It was great to learn that it was something the team of Armored Kingdom considered as they picked NEAR.
Lastly, I ended my interview with Lindsey by asking about her opinion on the bear market. And how her experience was to launch such a massive project in such market conditions.
“I think we’re focused on building collectibles and less on speculative assets. We’re bringing people together to have fun, to immerse themselves in a universe. For us we’re not not totally concerned about a crypto bear market, we’re looking at a new target audience and folks that are outside of the crypto space today.”
“I’m optimistic that this bear market actually helps us to transition to a world of digital ownership and help to move away from some of the more speculative behavior that we see. I think we’re still seeing things like speculative asset trading and what not. But I hope that what really sticks and resonates is the actual core technology and its ability to allow people to own things digitally.”
It was good to hear that Lindsey focused on the user experience rather than building speculative assets. She expanded upon what the Armored Kingdom team is trying to develop.
“We’re not looking to create a store of value. We’re looking to allow people to own things, to participate in the ownership of things, bring them into a world that they feel like they can own a piece of gaming to a place where people can operate.”
Metaverse Insider would like to thank Lindsey McInerney for her time. We would like to wish her and the rest of her team the best of luck with Armored Kingdom!