ImPower Salon #1 Recap - GameFi Sustainability
0xe616
July 30th, 2022

ImPower Salon is a topic-focused and open Twitter Space where we invite these Web3 angels to discuss anything and everything Web3.

ImPower is a new initiative by Impossible Finance that aims to create a community of Web 3.0 angels to help empower builders navigating the space. With their diversified backgrounds and unique strengths, these angels can value add to builders by providing expertise in various verticals from marketing, business model planning, tokenomics to team building, fundraising, networking, and so on.

Meet the Panelists

KC — Hooga Gaming

Hooga Gaming is a Play-to-Earn collective that aims to become one of the best Web3 guilds. They are highly active in their guild activities and have joined numerous competitions in the Web3 space.

Ruby — Incuba Alpha

Founded in 2020, Incuba Alpha focuses on supporting crypto founders during their pre-seed and seed stages. Incuba Alpha helps projects on future fundraising, ecosystem, and community growth, particularly in Asia, and is also a happy investor of Impossible Finance and Hooga Gaming.

“I really like the vibe here in the ImPower group. Definitely a good place to get valuable information and connections in the current bear market.”

Calvin — Impossible Finance

I’m really excited to be here kickstarting our very first ImPower Salon. We’ve been building Impossible for a year and a half now, and I’m excited to chat about a topic that's near and dear to our hearts. We see gaming as a core piece of Web3, and I’m looking forward to the cool insights from some of the folks that we talk to daily. With ImPower Salon, want to give everyone a glimpse of some of the conversations we have in our Telegram groups and some of our token-gated communities.

Questions

Why blockchain? Is it necessary for games to move over to blockchain? If so, what is the advantage that traditional games do not offer?

KC shared how not all games need to make the move to blockchain. With the many different genres of games, some are more well-suited than others to make the shift. He added that games that allow for elements to be passed onto others to enhance the game experience are a good fit for blockchain. An example would be Pokémon or GameBoy. Blockchain even allows for users to spin their mini-games and build atop a core game like Lego pieces that others can continue building on.

The business model for games is to earn as much as possible through the margin between the cost of their user acquisition (CAC) and the average revenue per user (ARPU). Blockchain-based games like Axie Infinity and STEPN are good examples of how to keep the CAC low — community ambassadors come in and promote the game themselves which helps drive adoption. This innovative way to market games is something Web2 games studios can learn a lot from to reduce CAC, especially in a landscape that has become increasingly competitive over the past 20 to 30 years.

In terms of ARPU, different games have different monetization methods — subscriptions, skins or tools, loot boxes, etc. Some major innovations include loyalty fees and the NFT trading market which helps to boost the secondary trading market of in-game assets and the revenue came back to the game to boost original revenue quickly. This has also helped to boost the User Generated Content (UGC), and incentivize them to create more game-related NFT assets to earn NFT loyalty fees. It’s positive to see that there will be much more NFT innovation (new NFT standards, leverage, etc.) for blockchain games that can help boost in-game revenue.

Zero-knowledge proof and other elements unique to blockchain have also made new game-play mechanisms possible (e.g. Dark Forest). They showcase new applications of blockchain and are one of the best ways to test new technologies.

Being unable to port over past game experiences is one of the pain points for Web2 games. This is something that blockchain and Web3 can come to solve, and it is exciting to see more teams try incorporating UGC into their games.

What are some controversial opinions about blockchain games (especially P2E) and what are your thoughts regarding those views?

Too many “hardcore” traditional gamers, the crypto game experience still has a long way to go. But not all gamers think this way. As a blockchain game player himself, Calvin shares that despite this belief, blockchain games have still managed to capture a great deal of people’s time, much like Web2 games. Moreover, blockchain games have managed to attract many new users who have never gamed before. Creating engrossing crypto games on the same level as what is seen in Web2 is very possible, and medium-playable games currently seen in the space should not be used as a benchmark. KC adds that while some players today may not be as welcoming to blockchain games, the evolution of game players is imminent as blockchain games introduce new and innovative game mechanics to the space.

What are some interesting trends you’ve seen recently in the GameFi space? What is needed if a game wants to adapt to blockchain?

GameFi is currently a spectrum from super casual games to really intensive games with strong fanbases that invest a lot of time and resources. In crypto, projects need to know which side of the spectrum they belong to because communities are much easier around these two ends of the spectrum. Finding a specific niche is important for games, as fan bases revolve around certain niches as well. Tabletop games such as TreasureDAO and DND influenced much of GameFi — reflecting how looking to other games and concepts for inspiration and adapting them to fit their own unique story can work well. Ruby shares that an interesting trend is how GameFi allows for games to be derived from NFT collections, instead of the other way around. The flip in the sequence is catalyzed by NFTs, and shifts away from the traditional method — pouring resources into developing a game, its storyline, artwork, mechanics, etc — towards one of a continuous building and learning process. Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) and Otherdeed are good examples of this where the sale of NFTs within existing communities is then used to fund the game. She also anticipates more use of data to train better game economics.

What do you think of Web2.5 elements? For example, the main game logic happens off-chain but the assets can be stored on-chain, or withdrawn to the third-party wallets.

This is something that most games are doing and it works. Having Web2.5 elements allows for projects to take off easier as the interface and other Web2 aspects provide a familiar experience to Web2 players. It is also helpful in bringing in new users who have no experience in Web3 and who need to learn how to use certain elements like wallets and so on. Of course, it would be beneficial for more games to grow from Web3 (DeFi KingdomsWolf Game, etc.). Gameplay related to user addresses or games associated with Web3 on-chain ID could also be very interesting.

Players are not happy with current P2E tokenomics. What are some problems you have seen, and what do you think are some solutions?

One of the most powerful things about P2E is that it can be a time onramp — a great way to reach out to people who are not currently in crypto by allowing them to digitally migrate crypto. It is one of the best ways for people who have the luxury of time to enter a new crypto ecosystem, but for this to happen, there must be value for them as well. P2E can be extremely valuable if project teams can create meaningful ways to incentivize user adoption, transparently. KC believes some games try too hard to make tokenomics sustainable, creating a negative experience overall. But price action is inherently difficult to control, just like a currency. It might be more worth thinking about how to deliver a whole new experience for users that can eventually become a habit.

What constitutes useful contributions players bring to games that justify their earnings?

With the example of STEPN, its current market might be the exact target user group STEPN aims to capture. With these earnings and incentives, STEPN has been able to create a valuable consumer community that is helpful for brands (i.e. sports) in identifying long-term communities to market to, creating a positive feedback loop.

What are you most excited about in the GameFi space?

There are a lot of opportunities for the space to grow. For KC, one thing that excites him is the revamp and enhancement of gameplay for games like CyBall and Axie Infinity — where the same NFT can still be used in a more enhanced game. E-sports and joining more of these competitions is also something that he’s excited about. Aside from more guilds and competitions emerging, Ruby is excited by how GameFi is also bringing a new type of trading casino model to the crypto ecosystem. As a builder, Calvin is most excited to see more users enter the space with GameFi and various projects innovating solutions that reduce the frictions — something he finds very valuable for GameFi.

About Impossible Finance

Impossible Finance is the go-to crypto investment platform that empowers you with high-quality, fair and accessible crypto opportunities. We simplify DeFi so you can enjoy fairer investing, cheaper trading and better yields through our accelerator, launchpad, and swap platform.

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