Vladimir Tomko, CEO of Blockchain Cuties and Kokushi Hattori, head of overseas marketing of My Crypto Heroes were our honored guests for Dapp.com AMA Episode 8. They spared some time with us to answer all the questions from our community. We covered just about everything from business monetization to blockchain gaming trends in 2019, from deep dive into pros and cons of building games on Etherum, EOS, and TRON to the daily routine as a dapp buidler.
Here are the highlights of the AMA just in case you missed it.
Vladimir: We’ve met in Telegram. From day one, we’ve created Blockchain Cuties’ art style to be attractive for Asian markets, especially the Japanese one. At the point when we met MCH, we were already doing pretty well on the global market but didn’t have a solid foothold in Japan. My Crypto Heroes, on the contrary, were gaining huge traction in Japan and were only planning to hit the global market.
We’ve decided that it would be helpful for both games to share their experience regarding different markets and do some collaborations together. The games are also somewhat similar regarding the combat mechanics, so this partnership would also be logical in terms of audience preferences.
Regarding the future collaborations – Blockchain Cuties will be adding some of the MCH heroes as Cuties and players will be able to play them.
Vladimir: We get to the office at 10-11am and work till 7pm-2am. Some manage to continue going to the gym, but mostly we’re committed. We work, sleep, eat and passionately create a great product.
Kokushi: My daily routine is going to sleep!
Vladimir: We want to reach as many different audiences as possible and want to hedge the volatility risks. For all new developers, I would suggest starting with TRON right now. At the moment it has the biggest growth potential. If to speak about our users that first played on ETH and then switched to TRON – they received lower playings costs of playing and faster transaction speeds.
Vladimir: It is difficult and expensive to do user acquisition. Scalable channels like Facebook Ads, Google Ads, and Twitter are closed for crypto games. Targeted audience intersects with ICO investors heavily and as we remember, everything connected with ICOs is overpriced (even still). The current addressable market is very small and thus – expensive. Onboarding process for new users on EOS, for example, can take from 1.5 hours to a week (if a player doesn’t have ANY crypto and needs to buy it on exchange).
These players are usually not educated in terms of cryptocurrencies, they don’t have crypto-wallets and don’t own cryptocurrency. The will have to undergo a heavy acquisition funnel to be able to play crypto games. Majority of such people just churn away during the process. That’s why it’s very expensive and ineffective to attract such audience until we have tools that allow people to buy crypto instantly with credit cards, with super simple KYC procedure (or without it for small sums of money) and systems that hide scary stuff about private keys. It takes time.
The main plan is to develop solutions that make the onboarding process a lot easier. We need in-game wallets that:
Allow people to buy crypto instantly with credit cards.
Simplify KYC procedure or no KYC at all (for small sums of money <=100$).
Secure systems that store private keys somewhere in parts hashed and allow for Restoration in case you lost it.
Better UX in payment tools (fewer steps, better feedback, less scary stuff).
Kokushi: One of the biggest obstacles is playing the crypto game is too complicated, fewer contents, and bad UX. We are waiting for the way to purchase ETH with fiat and also an improvement for sidechain technology.
Most of the people are still not familiar with cryptocurrency and wallet app. If we find a way to buy that with fiat easily, then the market will be growth, although then we need to solve the scalability problem.
Develop a great product, improve it in all the ways possible.
Get access to your audience and consult with them about what’s important for them.
Build trust and concentrate on marketing, PR, and community management.
Find your fellow team members who have passion, speed, and competence.
Focusing on building your game ecosystem.
Get more core fans - That is the key for building community.
Choosing the right market which has the potential to grow - we are focusing on attracting mainly English and Chinese players right now.
Vladimir: Attention is very important. If you’d be able to sort it out then you can try tweaking your retention and monetization metrics. Business models that work:
Sell content and take 100% of the revenue from it.
Offer market services and take a commission fee from every transaction.
Organize in-game tournaments for players with prize pools and participation fees and take rakes from it (like 10%).
Sell in-game services that provide comfortable gameplay for a fixed amount of money.
You can even do a subscription model if your game is on EOS.
Vladimir: For short term success, key ingredients are:
Time to market.
Calculated and working game economy.
Intensive marketing and PR.
For long term success, here’re a few things you need to do:
Create an updatable product that’s always improving.
Work together with your community. The community is very important in crypto games, more important than in regular PC/social/native mobile games. Think about the community from day one – how will you engage it, how to nurture it, what values will you provide.
Developers need to create great in-game economies and add the possibility for players to participate in it, always delivering, always improving.
For long term success, key ingredients are:
UX, game loop, great mechanics.
Community and relationship with your players
Marketing, PR and non-stoping business development.
Vladimir: It will just be more mature. New standards will appear, infrastructure will get better. I also believe that another market will emerge – blockchain games market, where developers store assets on blockchain and pay for players’ interactions with it. I believe Mythical Games is pioneering this field right now.
Within 3-5 years blockchain will become a mainstream technology. Traditional gaming companies will start to enter the market in 1.5-2 years time and this will bring a lot of competition. First big crypto games M&A deals will start to appear during this time. 2019 will bring increased attention to crypto gaming from venture capital firms as well as various crypto funds. First big crypto gaming platforms will probably emerge somewhere around late 2019, early 2020.
Blockchain and smart contracts brought true asset ownership and open-market relationship to gaming, which brings huge value to players who’ve tried this experience.
Kokushi: More games will be shown up in 2019, and we are expecting a new way to solve the scalability problem. We hope the technology will be improved.
More large gaming companies will join the market in 2019 and being profitable is not their priority, because they will be able to take profit from the existing mobile game.
I believe that blockchain technology will disrupt many industries in the future, and it will start from the gaming industry since blockchain goes well with the game.
Vladimir: My favorite is Ryoma Sakamoto and already have him in the game as a Cutie;)
Kokushi: My favorite game is “Yakuza”, the game about Japanese mafia haha.
Vladimir: I’ve been around in gaming for 15 years now. When I’ve seen that a new market is being born, I knew it’s time to jump it. All gaming markets develop in a similar spiral manner. So we usually know what to expect.
Kokushi: I believe that blockchain technology will disrupt many industries in the future, so I quitted my job at the investment bank and joined this industry : )
As usual, you can read the full AMA session here.