Today, we’re very eager to introduce two new members to the Decentraland team. Justin Waldron will be sitting on our advisory board, and Thor Alexander has joined the core team as our VP of Production!

Justin is best known as the co-founder of Zynga, the studio that built FarmVille and many other massively successful social games. Drawing from his years of experience designing virtual worlds, along with the multifaceted markets that often emerge within those virtual worlds, Justin will be advising Decentraland on its product and distribution strategy.

Thor Alexander has over twenty years of experience designing, building, and writing about massive multiplayer online games. He’s even written a couple books on the subject!

Both Justin and Thor worked together to build YoVille, a virtual world that achieved upwards of 5 million daily active users and over $150 million in yearly revenue.

Who is Justin Waldron?

Justin Waldron is an entrepreneur best known for co-founding Zynga in 2007, which rapidly grew to become one of the most successful social game studios in the past decade, bringing in as much as $1 billion in annual revenue. While there, Justin headed the product direction and development strategy that led to popular games like FarmVille, Mafia Wars, and YoVille.

Justin fills his time writing his own software and games, a passion that hasn’t faded. After departing the company in 2013, he returned to entrepreneurship as a mentor and angel investor focused on early-stage startups.

Justin was quick to express his interest in crypto gaming, and crypto-based virtual worlds, which he thinks will see greater longevity and more widespread monetization than traditional online games.

“Decentraland is re-imagining what a virtual world can be when you truly own your digital assets- that is a big deal.” – Justin Waldron

You can follow Justin on Twitter.

Who is Thor Alexander?

Thor Alexander is an equally creative and technical thinker who has spent more than 20 years focused on building online games and social platforms. He’s been intimately involved with startups and titles ranging from Ultima Online, Earth & Beyond, and Medal of Honor.

Thor became Zynga’s executive producer, where he led YoVille - a virtual world with a heavy focus on virtual asset trading. YoVille was largely supported through microtransactions. By building an economy in which users bought and sold virtual goods, YoVille was able to grow into an interesting (and successful) experiment in virtual worlds.

“Crypto represents the next evolution in video games, and Decentraland is leading the way forward. I’m very excited to be joining the Decentraland team on this bold adventure.” – Thor Alexander

To find out more about Thor, and his previous work, visit his website.

Building a world and growing an economy

At Decentraland, we see non-fungible tokens as the key stepping stone that will push virtual asset trading to the next level. NFTs have bestowed users with legitimate ownership of their digital items, and make it possible to assign real-world value to those digital items.

We’re super excited to bring Justin and Thor’s expertise in virtual worlds and economies to the Decentraland platform, and cannot wait to see how they further the reach of NFT-enabled gaming.