Words with Friends Co-Founder raises $46M to launch Web3 game franchise

Backed by Paradigm, The Wildcard Alliance will onboard “the next billion gamers” to Web3 with ease, accessibility, and fun at the forefront

Today, Playful Studios, creator of the Lucky’s Tale game series and Creativerse, is proud to announce the formation of a new subsidiary, The Wildcard Alliance, Inc., focused on the development of breakthrough interactive entertainment on the emerging frontier of Web3 technology. The Wildcard Alliance has successfully raised $46M in a Series A led by Paradigm a firm known for backing disruptive crypto and Web3 companies and protocols, with additional support from Griffin Gaming Partners and Sabrina Hahn .

(PRNewsfoto/The Wildcard Alliance, Inc.)

Wildcard is a first-of-its-kind hybrid of multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA), real-time strategy, and collectible card game where players compete surrounded by live, interactive fans and spectators. The game is the brainchild of Paul Bettner , veteran video game developer renowned for developing games including Age of Empires, early VR hit Lucky’s Tale as well as co-creating the wildly popular, “Words with Friends”. With a penchant for exploring and harnessing new technology, Bettner is now entering the world of Web3 gaming, intending to create an engaging game franchise with fun at its core.

“Web3 platforms present a tremendous opportunity to build entertainment that can include, empower, and onboard millions of new players,” said Paul Bettner , Co-Founder and CEO of The Wildcard Alliance. “Despite this opportunity, the current focus of Web3 game development tends to be on finance over fun, economy over engagement, currency over community. With Wildcard , we’re focused on fun first, building a next-generation ‘spectator sport’ to welcome the entire community of competitors, collectors, sponsors, and fans to play together.”

The Wildcard Alliance sees co-founders and married couple, Paul and Katy Drake Bettner joining forces professionally, combining their talents to create a unified ecosystem of IP that spans interactive entertainment and linear media. Together, Paul and Katy have assembled a world-class team of game industry veterans with decades of triple-A development experience, now working alongside highly sought-after storytellers and IP creators from massive media franchises such as Star Wars, DC Comics, and the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Paradigm’s investment in The Wildcard Alliance underscores a shared belief that interactive entertainment will be a primary driver of growth in Web3. Paradigm is known for backing the disruptive Web3 and crypto projects of tomorrow.

“What sets Wildcard apart is an emphasis on quality and fun,” said Dave White , Research Partner at Paradigm. “Paul and the team have a proven track record building fun games at the frontier of what’s possible, and they are using Web3 tech in truly innovative ways to bring openness and accessibility to proven eSports mechanisms.”

To deliver a game that is cutting edge in both creative approach and technical implementation, Wildcard will be powered by Polygon, the world’s leading platform for Ethereum scaling and infrastructure development. Polygon’s focus on improving crypto’s carbon footprint has been a key factor in the Wildcard Alliance’s decision to leverage the Polygon suite of technologies.

Designed to be the ultimate spectator sport, Wildcard is the beginning of a new genre of online games where being a fan is as fundamental to the experience as being a competitor. Wildcard uniquely leverages Web3 technologies to elevate these roles within the community, enabling competitors to connect, interact, and transact directly with their fans and supporters.

Watch the trailer , join the community , and don’t miss a moment of what comes next.

About The Wildcard Alliance

The Wildcard Alliance is a game development studio creating at the cutting edge of Web3 technology. A subsidiary of Playful Studios, the team is composed of industry veterans with decades of development experience on such titles as Age of Empires , Halo Wars , New Super Lucky’s Tale , Orcs Must Die , and Words With Friends .

About Playful Studios

Playful Studios is a premiere independent game studio that creates timeless stories and characters that bring joy to the world, one game at a time. Located in McKinney, TX , Playful is the creator of Lucky’s Tale, Super Lucky’s Tale, New Super Lucky’s Tale and Creativerse, and was founded by the Co-Founder of Words With Friends. Visit Playful online at

About Paradigm

Paradigm is an investment firm focused on supporting the great crypto/Web3 companies and protocols of tomorrow. Their approach is flexible, long-term, multi-stage, and global. They often get involved at the earliest stages of formation and support their portfolio with additional capital over time. The Paradigm team takes a deeply hands-on approach to help projects reach their full potential, from the technical to the operational. For more information, visit

About Griffin Gaming Partners

Griffin Gaming Partners is one of the world’s largest venture capital firms singularly focused on the global gaming market with over $1B AUM. The firm was founded by Peter Levin , Phil Sanderson , and Nick Tuosto , with LionTree as a strategic partner to the Fund. Griffin invests globally in seed through growth stages in both content and infrastructure companies such as SuperTeam Games, Forte, WinZO, Overwolf, Discord, AppLovin, Tactile, Spyke Games , and Neon.

Sabrina Hahn

Sabrina Hahn manages a $50m+ VC fund investing in Web3 and other technologies. Previously, Sabrina was an angel investor in tech companies as well as a Director at Pace Gallery in New York , where she joined as the youngest Director in the gallery’s history. As a Core Team Member of ConstitutionDAO, Sabrina championed the historic DAO in its endeavor to bid on the US Constitution at Sotheby’s. Sabrina is also the author of award-winning children’s books ABCs of Art, 123s of Art, Animals in Art, and Bedtime with Art from Sky Pony Press and Simon & Schuster.

About Polygon

Polygon is the leading platform for Ethereum scaling and infrastructure development. Their growing suite of products offers developers easy access to all major scaling and infrastructure solutions: L2 solutions (ZK Rollups and Optimistic Rollups), sidechains, hybrid solutions, stand-alone and enterprise chains, data availability solutions, and more. Polygon’s scaling solutions have seen widespread adoption with 19,000+ decentralized applications hosted, 1.6B+ total transactions processed, ~142M+ unique user addresses, and $5B+ in assets secured.

David Calkins The Wildcard Alliance

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SOURCE The Wildcard Alliance, Inc.

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