Simon Davis is the co-founder and CEO of Mighty Bear Games, a multiplatform game developer in Southeast Asia creating accessible multiplayer experiences in Web3.
Davis has spent almost two decades working in the gaming industry, but he never planned to actually work in this field.
Before crypto, he was a professional guitarist who made ends meet by playing in metal bands and cover bands and by teaching guitar. But after his money dried up one summer, he scored a six-week gig as a professional game tester — and he’s never looked back.
Davis’ ever-growing guitar collection. (Simon Davis)
During his time in the gaming industry, Davis has held management and product lead positions at gaming companies including King Digital Entertainment, Ubisoft, Bigpoint, AKQA, Empire Interactive, and Laughing Jackal.
In 2017, Davis teamed up with some friends and fellow industry veterans to launch Mighty Bear Games in Singapore, where they intended to focus on creating traditional games — before pivoting to blockchain in 2022. And in 2023, the firm launched an open beta for Mighty Action Heroes, its first Web3 gaming title.
Davis, who also goes by “Papa Bear,” said every Mighty Bear employee receives a “bear title.” Some of Papa Bear’s employees include “Arty Bear,” “Bear-Abel,” “Excel Bear,” and “Bear McNumbers.”
Why the pivot to blockchain gaming?
I was lucky enough to kind of get into Bitcoin by accident in 2015, so I’ve been in the space for a few years. In 2021, I started playing with NFTs, and I’m lucky enough to be also based in Southeast Asia, so I could see firsthand what was happening with Axie [Infinity]. I think, for me, as someone who lived through the transition to free-to-play, it felt very much like a moment, kind of like when Farmville came out on Facebook.
I think that for live service titles [games like Fortnite, League of Legends and Apex Legends], a dominant business model is going to emerge to revolve around player-owned and…