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Meet Shibu Mathew - VP Product at Immutable Games Studio





Hey everyone! In our latest "Meet the Team" series, we're excited to introduce you to our Vice President of Product, Shibu Mathew. As the head honcho of our product team, Shibu is the mastermind behind all of our new launches. They're responsible for making sure we're always coming up with new and innovative web3 ideas to make the best games for our community! In this post, we'll give you a glimpse into Shibu's background, their role at our company, and their thoughts on where our industry is headed. So, let's get to know Shibu.

Welcome, Shibu - please give us your background story

My background is in Engineering. I wrote code for over a decade and headed the tech group of a startup that we sold to Orbitz. I joined Electronic Arts to kickstart their mobile freemium practice and have been part of around 13 studios. Other franchises I’ve worked on are Tetris, Monopoly, Risk, Bejewelled Blitz, Plants vs. Zombies, The Sims, SimCity, Simpson TappedOut, StarWars Galaxy of Heroes, and most recently, FIFA, Madden, and Apex Legends, heading their Esports team. So, quite a few!

When did you join web3, and why?

I've been leading product teams at EA for over a decade, and similar to how I saw the dawn of Mobile Freemium, I saw the signals for Game Asset Ownership with Web3. We pitched the idea of web3 at EA, but it didn't go too far, unfortunately. So, I decided I wanted to create something or join a company building a quality web3 game. Among all the companies I evaluated, I decided to join Immutable in May 2022 for two reasons: First, the company focuses on building sustainable, high-quality web3 games and eats its own dog food in many ways (we use our own products). Second, there’s a philosophy of 'people over profits' at Immutable. I am here for the long run and want to build relationships with my colleagues.

What's different about working at a blockchain game?

There are more similarities than differences compared to building a traditional high-quality game. But the top three differences in my mind are: 

1) Creating Sustainable Economies – There are many theories, and I'm excited to see which one will stick, probably a combination of many models.

2) Community is paramount in blockchain games, and never before has more power been given to the community in the history of game-making.

3) Mainstream adoption is just a few months away. We want to be ready when the floodgates open and the industry crosses the chasm.

Shed some light on Immutable Games Studio and its goals?

IGS (Immutable Games Studio) exists to create meaningful games that advance the web3 model and drive adoption. The games industry spends close to 300 billion dollars every year, and none of that goes to the players. We want to change that equation by having players own game assets and be stakeholders. It's as simple as that. We put the power back into the hands of the players!

What are the most critical focus areas for your product teams this year, especially for Gods Unchained?

GU has been around for nearly two years, and we have proven that it is a sustainable game in many ways. There are two significant areas of focus for the teams this year: 

1) Mobile - We have kickstarted the game's mobile version development and look forward to making tangible progress towards releasing it.

2) Live Services - This year, we will focus on making tools to create frequent, relevant, and engaging content for our players.

What's the most exciting feature launch on your roadmap this year?

The most exciting feature has to be the launch of Mobile. I am very excited about this release and the accessibility it will have with our players on the go to play GU.

What are your predictions for the 2023 gamefi industry?

I think that we will thaw our way out of crypto winter in the first half of 2023. The number of crypto wallets continues to grow, with gaming as the primary use case. We will start seeing the beginning of mass adoption toward the last quarter of the year. We will continue to see increased regulation and clarification of ambiguity on jurisdiction. This will, in turn, drive confidence for mainstream players with an option to opt-in to web3.

Share some words of wisdom for the community to help navigate 2023 better...

2022 has been quite tumultuous for many in our industry. We had to figure out what to make of many high-profile collapses. If I could offer one piece of advice, it would be to 'Give it Time.' We are all in here for the long run, and we are going to make it. The future of games is in asset ownership, and 2023 will be a year when we'll see an inflection point where more new game starts will be on web3. If you know anyone affected by the recent collapses, treat them with kindness, as we don't know the entire context and what they are currently going through. Be grateful for what you have and look forward to a future with a long-term horizon.

Any closing comments and where can we reach you?

In closing, I'd like to say thank you. The community drives and defines Gods Unchained. We are fortunate to have a vibrant community. We continue to be inspired by you and the power of community. Let's enjoy the journey together! You can reach me on LinkedIn here and Twitter here.