Interviews

Game Updates

Pixels AMA Breakdown - December 13: Weekly Insights with Luke and Heidi

Pixels AMA Breakdown - November 15: Weekly Insights with Luke and Heidi
Events

Pixels AMA Breakdown - November 15: Weekly Insights with Luke and Heidi

November 15, 2023

For those who couldn't attend the recent Pixels AMA session hosted by Luke, the Founder of Pixels, and Community Lead, Heidi, here's a quick and comprehensive recap that will bring you up to speed on the latest, exciting future developments, including the introduction of realms and new pet features.

Community Growth and Team Dynamics

One of the standout discussions from the AMA was the impressive growth of Pixels, now boasting over 100,000 daily active wallets. This milestone is a testament to the game's engaging content and the robust community around it. Despite the team's small size – just ten full-time employees – their dedication and effective collaboration have been key in driving the game’s success. This aspect of the AMA highlighted how a focused and passionate team, even if small, can make significant strides in the gaming industry.

Technical Enhancements and Stability

A major focus of the AMA was the team's ongoing efforts to improve server stability and scalability. With the rapid increase in player numbers, enhancing the technical infrastructure has become crucial. The team discussed their ongoing collaboration with the Sky Mavis team emphasizing their commitment to providing a seamless and uninterrupted gaming experience for all players.

Innovative Reputation System

Perhaps one of the most notable introductions to Pixels is the new reputation system. Aimed at fostering a positive gaming environment, this system assigns scores to players based on their in-game actions and social connectivity. It’s designed to encourage commendable player behavior and discourage negative activities like botting and multi-accounting. The introduction of this system indicates a significant step towards nurturing a healthier gaming community.

Pixels Introduces Innovative Reputation System

Future Developments and "Chapter Two"

Looking forward, the Pixels team unveiled their plans for substantial updates, including the release of "Chapter Two." This upcoming update is set to revolutionize the game with new content, guild features, and an overhauled economic system. The focus on resource generation and exploration in this update reflects the team’s vision to expand and deepen the gaming experience.

Introducing Realms and New Pet Features

An exciting development discussed in the AMA was the introduction of Realms, a feature that allows players to create and customize their own worlds within Pixels. This addition offers players creative freedom, potentially changing how they interact with the game's universe. Moreover, the team revealed plans for introducing new pet features, including a variety of new pets.

The Power of Community Feedback

The AMA underscored the critical role of community feedback in shaping the game's direction. The team expressed their appreciation for the community's involvement and reiterated their commitment to keeping the lines of communication open. This collaborative approach is fundamental in adapting to the evolving Web3 gaming landscape.

Addressing Challenges and Looking Ahead

The session didn’t shy away from discussing the various challenges faced by the Pixels team, including technical hurdles and community management. The team's approach to these challenges is proactive, focusing on transparency and determination to enhance the gaming experience continually.

In summary, the AMA session with Luke and Heidi provided a deep dive into the workings of Pixels, revealing the team's unwavering dedication to innovation, community engagement, and technical excellence. As Pixels continues to evolve and expand its horizons, it does so with the support and collaboration of its vibrant community, setting a precedent in the world of online gaming.

Pixels AMA Breakdown - November 15: Weekly Insights with Luke and Heidi
Square Enix Unveils SYMBIOGENESIS: A Revolutionary Gaming Experience in Web3
Game Overviews

Square Enix Unveils SYMBIOGENESIS: A Revolutionary Gaming Experience in Web3

October 6, 2023

Brought to you by Square Enix, one of the gaming industry powerhouses, SYMBIOGENESIS is a brand-new Web3 entertainment experience that features NFT collectible art, game utilities, and a compelling narrative.

Players can enjoy SYMBIOGENESIS in two gameplay modes: Follow the main story and unlock the character stories along the way, or embark on quests to discover items hidden within the Floating Continent. Regardless of which gameplay mode, the goal for the player is to participate in the final choice, the "World Mission," where only three out of all the players can choose the ending story.

Spanning over two million Japanese characters, the story explores the mysteries of the world, recounting the history of humanity's arrival on the Floating Continent, chronicling various past events and calamities, delving into ancient tales predating recorded history, and following the protagonist's battle with the dragon in the main storyline.

Quests are to find items hidden in the floating continent based on clues. Not only searching, but also collecting items and fulfilling certain conditions will unlock a hidden story and lead to another truth of the floating continent.

On the floating continent, the future is determined by the player. SYMBIOGENESIS plays on the theme “monopoly” or “distribution,” where information is locked away via the NFT Characters. Players who purchase the NFTs can choose either share the information or keep it to themselves. Thus, goes back to the theme.

In SYMBIOGENESIS, they plan to offer a total of 10,000 PFP NFT collectible artworks with unique designs across Chapters 1 to 6. Owning these NFT collectible artworks will grant access to different types of stories within the game. This will create disparities in information, leading to a sophisticated information battle among players within Discord as they strive to clear the game.

Furthermore, the stories that can be accessed by owning Character NFTs are not immediately unlocked from the beginning; instead, they will be progressively unlocked through cooperation with all players. This will lead to the stories and item discovery discussions becoming more common and shared among all players, making it easier to exchange information and find allies to collaborate with in pursuit of clearing objectives. However, it may also lead to more frequent instances of strategic information withholding and maneuvering among players.

What are the newly implemented shop features and methods for acquiring free NFTs?

On September 22nd, a shopping feature was launched on SYMBIOGENESIS, allowing players to check out the various NFT characters. They can only start purchasing during mint day, provided that players enter the AL first. By acquiring character NFTs, players gain access to exclusive stories limited to NFT holders. The NFT characters for Chapter 1, which are the first to be sold, are limited to only 500 units. To purchase them, players must first participate in the Allowlist Entry Campaign. However, as mentioned later, there is a possibility, with strategic planning or luck, of obtaining these limited character NFTs for free.

In the Allowlist Entry Campaign, players can earn their scores in a variety of ways and earn the top scores in order to participate in an exclusive sale for the top 90 selected players. In addition to following and retweeting the official Symbiogenesis X account and posting game content on their own X account, players can earn scores through actions such as speaking on the official Discord. After entering the AL campaign, players earn their spot to be on the AL. In order to earn the spot, there is a point system where the more points they earn, the higher the rank, the higher the chance to mint for free or be selected to the top. Points can be earned through various campaigns on X, Discord, or in-game events such as Treasure Hunts.

Additionally, by participating in the Treasure Hunting Campaign, open to everyone, and obtaining NFT items called "relics," players can increase their scores.

A notable feature of this auction is that all listings start from 0 ETH. Since there are 90 participants, if there are no other bidders for a particular NFT besides yourself, you can acquire it for free! However, in case your desired NFT overlaps with other players, it turns into an auction. While the highest bid is locked during the auction, it unlocks when you become the second-highest bidder. Furthermore, while bidding the highest amount in the auction, the bid amount is locked, but it is unlocked when you become the second-highest bidder. It is then up to the player to decide whether to bid again on the same character NFT or bid on a different character NFT.

It's up to you to decide whether to bid on hidden gems that other players might overlook, aiming for free NFT acquisition, or deliberately targeting NFTs that seem likely to gain popularity and betting on their future value. There are various strategies, and the final decision is yours to make. Repeating once again, if you are selected for the exclusive top-tier sale, you have a chance to obtain the Character NFT for free. After the exclusive top-tier sale, it will be available for regular sale, but here it will also be auctioned starting from 0 ETH, and you can choose as many as you want. However, participating here is conditional on being part of the Allowlist Entry Campaign, so don't forget to join!

To Monopolize or Distribute Character NFTs?

Having successfully passed the Allowlist Entry Campaign and auction, owners of Character NFTs face the next choice. Character NFT owners have the option to mint replica NFTs from their holdings and distribute them to other players. While replica NFTs offer a special utility, allowing owners to experience the same storyline as their original NFTs, they do not possess the various utilities that the original NFTs have. For instance, they can't grant access to features like so-called boss battles or rewards upon clearing 'Great Missions' unlocked after completing regular missions.

For lucky players who have managed to acquire Character NFTs, there are distinct advantages to issuing replica NFTs. Additionally, by sharing the previously exclusive storyline with other players, you can expand your circle of comrades in conquering the narrative together. On the other hand, choosing not to issue replica NFTs allows you to exclusively possess NFTs that others can't obtain without deciphering the storyline themselves, maintaining a monopoly on the narrative.

Exclusive Interview with SYMBIOGENESIS Producer Naoyuki Tamate

In the second half, Pacific Meta conducted an exclusive interview with SYMBIOGENESIS producer Naoyuki Tamate to delve into his thoughts and motivations behind the creation of SYMBIOGENESIS.

Pacific Meta: Please tell us about the theme of SYMBIOGENESIS and the world it wants to realize.

Tamate: In the SYMBIOGENESIS project, we consistently emphasize the overarching theme of "monopoly or distribution," this can be equivalent to the centralization vs. decentralization dichotomy. This theme permeates every aspect of SYMBIOGENESIS, including its gameplay, community structure, NFT acquisition, and storytelling.

Pacific Meta: Why do you emphasize the theme of "monopoly or distribution" in the first place?

Tamate: When I entered this market, the question of centralization or decentralization, the so-called pros and cons of decentralization, whether it makes people's lives more convenient or happier, these were, and still are, ongoing discussions. So, I thought, why not take this as entertainment and make it a theme? This way, customers themselves can arrive at answers through the content or at least have a starting point to think about something.

And to enable the experience of this theme, we've incorporated decentralized, what is commonly referred to as Web3, elements throughout.

For example, in this NFT sale, we have adopted a decentralized model where the price is not determined centrally by us, the organizers, but rather by users participating in an auction, with the price being determined by supply and demand. Allowing players to decide the price, a crucial element traditionally emphasized in games, is an exceptionally unusual business model not only for Square Enix but in general. Additionally, since users ultimately determine the price, if the game and storyline are truly enjoyable, it can attract more fans, increasing the value of the NFTs. Conversely, if the enjoyment is low, the NFT value can decrease.

What we aim to deliver through SYMBIOGENESIS this time is decent Web3 entertainment in line with Web3.

In Web3, I think entertainment should have decentralized elements that allow both the service provider and the service recipient to participate, co-create, and make decisions together. As a result, even those receiving the service have influence over the decisions, and this leads to the difference between Web3 entertainment and traditional entertainment, where the value is not fixed but fluid. We believe that the auction format in our case, where NFT prices range from 0 ETH onwards, truly embodies this concept.

Additionally, by allowing customers to shape the future of the content through World Missions, we incorporate an element where players actively participate in the creative process of the story. We, as creators, also become part of the community because we don't know how things will unfold. Through this collaborative effort with players and holders in various aspects, it becomes a new IP starting from Web3.

The extent to which decentralized elements are embraced as entertainment is a highly challenging aspect for us as well, and since we, the creators, also don't know what the future holds, we're looking forward to it together with excitement!

Pacific Meta: Mr. Tamate, on a personal level, what motivated you to become involved in the Web3 business?

Tamate: I think many businesses nowadays operate their ventures on various platforms. It's convenient, and it supports most aspects of marketing. It has become much easier to reach a global audience. On the other hand, I believe that decentralization is an attempt to break away from those platforms and try to do things on our own. I felt that this challenge was extremely difficult, but at the same time, it felt like a rewarding challenge."

I don't know how competitive I can be in the entertainment industry, but I thought it would be interesting to put my life into it. I really like new things. I think there are both negative and positive aspects to it, but I received a lot of negativity from people around me. So, that’s why I decided to participate. When you receive so much negativity, it means that something significant is at play. And that made me think there must be an opportunity.

Pacific Meta: Finally, can you tell us a little bit about the future of SYMBIOGENESIS?

Tamate: In November of this year, we plan to launch the Allowlist Entry Campaign, which will serve as a condition for purchasing character NFTs. In December, we are set to release Chapter 1 character NFTs, a significant milestone, along with the start of the game. Although it's not confirmed, we are scheduled to release Chapter 2 character NFTs and the game itself in the first half of next year. Overall, we will gradually unveil Chapters 1 to 6, each introducing different lands and races, all revolving around the themes of monopoly and distribution. We hope players will look forward to this entirely new era of entertainment in the Web3 era brought to you by Square Enix.

Pacific Meta: Thank you very much!

Join the Revolution with SYMBIOGENESIS

Dive into the gripping world of SYMBIOGENESIS, brought to you by Square Enix. Ready to navigate the dual themes of monopoly and distribution? To not just play a game, but shape its very narrative? Join the community today.

Website: Dive deeper into the world of SYMBIOGENESIS.

Twitter: Follow SYMBIOGENESIS on Twitter for real-time updates, announcements, and more.

Discord: Become a part of the community. Engage in discussions, strategize with other players, and get exclusive insights.

Star Atlas - An Ambitious Undertaking Set to Transform Web3 Gaming
Interviews

Star Atlas - An Ambitious Undertaking Set to Transform Web3 Gaming

June 6, 2023

Tell us a little about yourself, how did you end up as a Web3 Gaming CEO?

I am actually ex-finance. I hold a CFA charter, so I was involved in portfolio management and investment and securities analysis. The story that got me to Star Atlas really goes back to high school. I've said this often, but we had a computer group and kind of gaming group of friends back then. This is back in the local area networking (LAN) days. It was a really great group of friends. I still keep up with them 25 years later. I happened to be on a bike ride with one of the guys from that group, this was in 2013, and he was telling me about mining cryptocurrencies with GPUs. 

We all had grown up building our own computers, and so I was like, this sounds brilliant, I want to try this out. Before I knew it, I just dove in head first, bought a bunch of GPUs and set up my own custom fabricated rigs, and I had this GPU farm all over my house and I was mining script coins. 

The reality is this was late 2013, so as things were peaking and obviously 2014, 2015 weren't great. That was kind of it, I got in through script coin mining, even though that was not a lucrative venture. 

I was highly fascinated with the potential of the tech. And by 2015, I had quit the formal career and I just went full time crypto. Things started turning around and I really wanted to dedicate myself to this. I launched a company in 2016 operating at the intersection of Crypto and Cannabis. It is still around and has some notable success, but it was really through that company and an acquisition of a project called “Checks”, the Cannabis Hemp Exchange, that I onboarded Danny Floyd and Jacob Floyd, those are the two other co-founders and they have deep experience in game development. Danny in particular has over two decades of building AAA games, working on projects like Splitgate. 

The pandemic hit and we were launching this tokenized closed loop financial system for cannabis in Nevada, and everything got put on pause. I went back to the drawing board and it was just Jacob, Danny and myself that were left at that company at the time, and I pitched them. NFTs were definitely hot, and gaming was, I would say, still on the rise. Axie was doing quite well, but we hadn't seen any really high quality games. 

And so the three of us sat down and came up with Star Atlas, and the rest is kind of history, but it's been an incredible journey. 

In your own words, how would you describe the vision behind Star Atlas? 

In one word, I would describe it as massive. We know that this is an ambitious undertaking. 

We are pulling it off. It obviously will take quite a long time. We know that this is going to take years, many years for us to accomplish. But I think our approach of delivering this content iteratively has been successful, and we've developed quite a lot and cultivated a phenomenal community. Broadly speaking, and maybe in the simplest terms, Star Atlas is a Space Simcade MMO. With that said, maybe getting more into the more complex terms, we do develop this across multiple environments, as I was describing. Unreal Engine we're using UE5.2 right now. This is our flagship product, and probably the most attractive. It's the hyper-realistic, cinematic quality graphics. This is the potential entry point to the metaverse, in our opinion. 

Beyond that, we build in Play Canvas, which is a browser based application. This is a more real time strategy, still high quality 3D assets using WebGL, but just not quite as high fidelity as Unreal Engine. Then we have a mobile companion app that's on the way. 

Bigger than all of that really speaks to our philosophy and ethos around the integration of blockchain into what we do. Because from inception, it has been our ambition to integrate blockchain into virtually every element of Star Atlas. We've seen a lot of NFTs in games, and I think that's a great step forward. But going beyond that, having things like the in-game currency being a crypto asset, digital currency that opens up the world of play-to-earn and then also having the governance structure through the DAO on top of it. 

The most critical part of all of this is that we are abstracting game logic. We're developing that through Solana on-chain programs or smart contracts and allowing the game logic to execute on-chain. We essentially are using Solana as our game server. Not exclusively. We still have game servers, but we're allowing Solana to serve as a game server for us, which opens up this world of permissionless, composability or extensibility. We already have dozens of dApps that integrate into programs like Star Atlas because it's all there and accessible on-chain. For me, I think this is incredibly synergistic and very valuable. It turns us into a platform where people can essentially mod our content. 

They can create their own versions of Star Atlas, they can build their own products and services that tie directly into Star Atlas. For the developers of these dApps, they have the potential to monetize their efforts if they provide a valuable service to our users. For the users, they get access to services that we just simply don't have capacity to build right now. Like, think about all of the DeFi applications that can be built, lending and scholarship programs, and there's ways to automate various actions and operations in the game. For us, as a studio, we're thrilled to see people building their own services on top of Star Atlas because, again, we don't have the capacity to build everything. It's way too massive. 

If we can recruit a global population of developers to build on Star Atlas as though they were building on an L1 protocol, I see all of these advantages for the users and for us. That's the big picture: This open, composable ecosystem that extends Star Atlas beyond just the game. 

As one of the most highly anticipated Web3 games in the industry, the community has placed a lot of expectations on Star Atlas. How do you handle this level of scrutiny and praise?

We feel the pressure daily. I think part of the experience of achieving the level of success that we have so far and understanding that it's going to be significantly higher, I would expect there to be even more scrutiny in the future. It really is learning how to manage that scrutiny now. I think what plays to our advantage is we have always been open and transparent and communicative. That's part of what has enabled us to cultivate this fantastic community. I am in our public Discord every day, chatting with people in the community, and people love that I don't think of myself as a celebrity in any way, but the perception of, hey, the CEO is in Chat, hanging out with us in general. And the reality is I love spending time there too.

I think to some extent, the flip side of it is also having the confidence in ourselves to know that we do have the expertise in building what we're building. And while there's a lot of commentary on the sidelines as to what you should be doing, we are the ones that are ultimately developing the game at this stage. We have to have confidence in ourselves, and I have absolute confidence in our team. When you see the content that we do release, it's mind-blowing. This is really pioneering work that we're doing also outside of integrating bleeding edge blockchain tech, even the fidelity of the game assets. 

What sets Star Atlas apart from the rest of the industry? As a studio, what motivates your team?

I think it's just sheer quality for one, and two really speaks to that platform concept, ecosystem concept. There are very few teams who are actually building game logic on-chain. Beyond just that approach, we're actually developing the infrastructure that makes it all possible to do this in real time as well. We've built a middleware MMO game server that we call StarComm. We built an SDK that we call the F-KIT. That is the first blockchain integration into Unreal Engine 5. And we built a Solana wallet. When you're interacting with our marketplace or you're loading your ships or accessing your account, it is through a wallet connected in-engine that's never been done before. We built a blockchain caching and indexing service. 

All of these things allow us to execute this game function in real time without latency, as if you were using a web2 game server. 

It seems as though there are constant improvements in game development being announced, what is something that you are excited about when it comes to the status of development? Any teasers for the audience?

We have a ton coming out, the 2.1 release just happened. But I'm most excited about the 2.2 release that's coming after that. I'll just point to two game products for that and then also our in browser which we call SAGE - Star Atlas Golden Era. 

We are starting with SAGE. We're positioned to roll out something like six on-chain programs in the next release. This is when we start to truly activate the in-game economy. The extraction and production of resources, the crafting of items, and soon to follow would be the combat systems. It's really exciting because this is the test bed for a lot of our on-chain logic.

The highlight of what's coming in 2.2.?

We have a press release coming out on this shortly, so I won't share any names, but the most exciting component is our user concurrency potential which is how many people can fit into a single server. We are positioned to break all records this year, even with the fidelity level that we have of achieving in the next test, 5000 concurrent users in a single instance and then by the end of the year, 30,000 plus concurrent users in a single instance. That to me is one of the most exciting pieces of tech that are coming out.

You have just launched “Never Alone” a social campaign for this year. Can you tell the audience more about this, and what will draw gamers to participate?

Never Alone is really cool! It's an immersive social campaign and it is a mission and achievement system. This will run for the remainder of the year and it is intended to finish in December. It's 4 independent missions and within those missions a number of different quests that a user can complete. That's everything from attending our events like our Town Halls, to posting about us on social media, to producing video content. But for us, where it all ties together is that there are ways to complete quests by participating in the game releases that we have coming. We want people to get into the game, experience it, have some fun, maybe produce some content about that or share it otherwise!

That allows us to continuously have people coming back for all of these staggered Iterative releases that we have coming through the year. From the lore perspective, I think that the team did a phenomenal job at crafting the story behind this of Saand, the Punaab who gets discovered by some other adventurer after they crashed on a planet  and he's lost all of his memories.

Your objective in supporting him is to go discover his memories, and unlock those in the process. You are essentially earning Loot that is all playable in game and it ties it all together because you can earn Loot. You can play the next experience and produce some content. 

Are there any expansion plans or features coming for the Showroom?

Yes, the Showroom that you're experiencing now is a segment of what will become the MUD Central Space Station. There's three different factions in the game. The MUD is the future of the human race, the ONI is a consortium of alien races, and then the Ustur are sentient android beings. 

Those are kind of the three factions that are competing for these resources in the universe. And so the MUD Central Space Station is where the Showroom lives, and right now you're only experiencing that. 

But this expands out to the full Central Space Station in the future. And in fact, the 2.1 release already sees a considerable expansion of that map. It's probably a 5 or 6x increase in the size of the Showroom in 2.1, and this gets even bigger. I don't know what the hard number is, but maybe 20 times, 30 times what you see today in the showroom is what the scale of the showroom ultimately will be as the Central Space Station. 

Is there a timeline for when players will be able to explore with their spaceships for the first time? 

Yes, a big part of the 2.1 release is that we actually have all 49 available ships flyable in the Showroom now. Some of those are still rough gray box, as we say, so they're not fully textured. They don't have all of the VFX, they don't have all of the SFX. But we have quite a few polished ships that are complete. Six in total that are completely finished. The rest of the ships are all importable, and they can be loaded through your wallet, and they can be flown in the showroom as well. 

As a dominant voice in the space, where do you see Web3 Gaming in the next 6 to 12 months? What are your hopes for the industry as a whole?

I think this quote is probably quite relevant here, and I might misquote it, but it has something to do with the fact that we “significantly overestimate what we can accomplish in one year and significantly underestimate what we can accomplish in ten”

I'll take a more conservative approach here. I think within six months we're not going to see any drastic changes in the space. One year  - more reasonable. But to our earlier discussion point, these high quality games do take quite a long time to develop. What I will say is I know specifically from conversations with the Solana Foundation and the Solana gaming team, that there are mainstream players that are exploring the space right now. These are your traditional AAA studios. Now, what are the implications of that? It's hard to say. 

How far do they want to go out on the risk spectrum of actually incorporating the new technology? They're probably going to be dipping their toes in the water and will be doing something like adding NFTs to games, but I would say I doubt they go too much further than that. In one year? In three years, yes. In five years, yes. 

The implications for us with this is one, it helps establish a solid reputation and credibility for on-chain gaming when you get the mainstream players doing it. I think we can flip this narrative because as we know, there is still a high degree of skepticism out there about crypto gaming being scams. We think we're doing our part to change the narrative on that too, because we're trying to do really high quality stuff. 

Ultimately for us, as part of this composable ecosystem, is that we want interoperability. And so does that mean that opportunities will exist in the future for assets from these other studios to live in our universe and vice versa? Possibly. Are there economic tie-ins? Possibly. 

I think that's the most exciting thing. Establishing the credibility as a real thing with real potential and being able to educate that mainstream gamer on what the advantages are to true asset ownership, to play-to-earn, to composability, that's the big move for me. I don't think we'll see it in six months, but 2024, we'll see some more substantial improvements. 

And what's kind of nice about people trying to time it, at least from our perspective, is we've been through it. The founding team especially, we all have been in the space for about ten years each, and we've been building through it. We know what the end goal is and we know what the value proposition is, so we've been building through it. 

For the people that are just looking to jump on the bandwagon, well, as soon as things crashed, they all hit the brakes and now they're significantly behind the curve because we'll be well positioned when markets do turn around, we'll be well positioned to be best in class. 

Is there anything else you would wish to share with the community?

One final point we didn't touch on was our DAO is officially coming online in June, so we're actually setting the foundational proposal. We call these PIPs - “Polis Improvement Proposals.” The first PIP is coming online in June, so anyone interested in taking part in governance around Star Atlas, that's a good opportunity. 

Our economics are also coming online and for the people that think play-to-earn is dead, I vehemently disagree. I still think that is part of the value proposition of on-chain gaming, and it's not to suggest that you can just infinitely inflate your economy, but our economics team consists of PhDs. 

We put a lot of thought into structuring a sustainable economy as we have since inception, and our economics are coming online. That earnings potential is coming online and I think that's something worth getting excited about! 

From Building with Google, EA, and Respawn: Now onto a Stealth Web3 Project - Meet Alexander Nguyen, A Founder to Watch
Interviews

From Building with Google, EA, and Respawn: Now onto a Stealth Web3 Project - Meet Alexander Nguyen, A Founder to Watch

June 13, 2023

Our audience would love to hear more about your career and the trajectory that landed you here today. 

Prior to getting into the gaming industry, I've always been a lifelong gamer. My dad was an engineer and he taught me how to build my first computer when I was four or five. I've always been around computers playing games with family and all that stuff but I never thought about joining the industry. Out of school I ended up working initially as a software engineer at Google and from there I think that was where I really got a taste of Google's early slice of what AI looked like. 

There was an app called Inbox which was by the Gmail team and there was another email client that was piloting all of the smart capabilities that came from gmail. So smart reply, smart compose, auto tagging, all the other stuff, I guess you can call it like AI nowadays. The technology around that and around tech synthesis and everything that comes with that. That was actually my foray into working as a professional in the tech industry. Later on everyone was kind of sad about it but they sunsetted inbox. It had become quite large and I think it hit half a billion users. 

It was still massive but it wasn't good enough for Google. For Google you're talking about multi-billion. Basically most of the projects ended up harvesting all those features into gmail and then after that I ended up getting recruited out, EA reached out to me and was like “Hey, do you want to work in games?” 

They were looking to build out product management disciplines for their publishing group. That was actually kind of my intro into gaming. Ended up going over to EA, and did a lot of the growth initiatives there. 

I was working on all the subscription gaming stuff, basically rolling out EA Access that was initially the deal with Microsoft and this was prior to Microsoft getting into GamePass, Sony, Epic, Steam, basically built out that entire business. Then I went over and took a look at cloud gaming to see if it made sense from a strategic perspective, and I would say not really, so that's why it didn't really go anywhere, but I gained a ton of experience understanding how to distribute games. The deals that went into that and basically the marketing, tech, and publishing side of the business from there.

Ended up working really closely with Maxis which is the studio that makes the Sims. They were building out their product management team and I moved over to help build it out because they wanted to become much more of a live service, but they wanted to have, I guess, more of the traditional either tech or Zynga like product metrics that were tracking mobile since it was really picking up. I helped build out some of the expansion content as a hybrid product producer type of role and then worked on a couple of expansions. Rolled out the Sims mobile as well. During that time, I think that was like a huge amount of growth. 

And from there I caught wind of Respawn, which I think they weren't acquired by EA yet. They were still doing a published deal fresh off of Titanfall 2. But Apex Legends was basically very early in R and D still at the time. 

I was then fortunate to be able to join the Apex team build out. 

It is really cool you were a part of building Apex, I know people that play that game everyday, it is still very popular!

Yeah, it's crazy! Some of our team that we ended up bringing on that weren't from the initial Apex team love the game, they are still playing it. It's nice to see, it's very rewarding. After that a couple of us left Respawn, as it wasn't really a startup anymore. The culture has changed tremendously. They're still an amazing organization, but I'm a startup person, really. I like small teams. We ended up starting a company and it's been a little over a year now, but we've been in stealth in the Web3 space. 

I've been in crypto or around crypto since like 2015 - 2016, just being a Degen pretty early on. I had a lot of friends in university mining Bitcoin in 2010 - 2011. They're like you should get into Bitcoin. I'm like, what is this? I have no idea what this is?

Regretfully, I should have done that. 

I know your team is in stealth now, but do you have any sort of timeline for when you will go public?

Yeah, we want to announce something like “Hello World” this year. Probably more towards Q3 or Q4. And then from there it's mostly just slowly building up the community. Right now we're still getting our bearings and I think we have a very good team, but it's still the essence of what is the game that we're trying to build? What's the fun of it? We felt that if we don't have those strong convictions to answer that yet, it's like, well, is there a point in announcing, maybe not? We're just keeping people curious for now. 

For someone who has extensive experience in Web2 gaming, do you ever interact with people from that space who judge you for pivoting into Web3? Do you think those who come from very traditional Web2 gaming spaces agree with Web3 gaming? 

It’s totally a spectrum, at least in my personal interactions with everyone that I've talked to. You obviously talk to or I know people who are totally anti-crypto, anti- blockchain, they are closed minded about it. They don't really want to understand the technology. But the majority of it actually lies somewhere in the middle where their question is, Why would you want to use blockchain? What are the benefits of it? And I think that's the big point of it. You can point them to some use cases where it's a really good application of blockchain, and then they can say, all right, actually that makes a lot of sense. Things like payment rails and all the stuff crypto allows for. 

I think there's others where they have seen at least through media, when it comes to the last two years the whole play-to-earn scene. A lot of developers are looking into the space and they're kind of analyzing, and they don't think the economics really make sense. This model is fundamentally broken. Even us, as in the Web3 industry, are still trying to figure out what is the right thing.

But, I know the traditional AAA developers, that a lot of them actually have a very open mind, but they are adopting a wait and see type of strategy. 

How do you see AI integrating within Web3 Gaming? With your history in the industry, how do you see AI disrupting the job market?

I think AI is going to disrupt everything. I mean, that was one thing where I've always thought from the beginning, or I guess maybe my foundations coming from and seeing how Google operated and the data they collected, it was already huge.

I don't know if you can call it a red flag or it might have been more like a yellow flag, because there are concerns. It's going to disrupt Web3. It's going to disrupt every other industry that we work in. It's definitely a huge natural evolution of technology, the next wave of the internet like Web3. And for me, that realization really clicked off when deep learning achieved what self driving cars were able to do. 

Then from there I thought, all right, the skies will be the limit. It's just a matter of timing. You touched upon job loss. I definitely think society as a whole, obviously with any kind of revolution there's going to be losses, but I think as a whole, society is going to level up and jobs are going to be more intellectually stimulating for those and adapt. It's the ones that don't want to adapt who might be the ones that get left behind like everything else. 

Where do you see the Web3 gaming industry, in six months, a year from now? Do you see it completely transforming? Will people still be using tokens in game? 

That's hard because we move so fast, two months and it's something new. My macro view has stayed pretty consistent. The infrastructure is not there yet, we're not ready. The thing is when you're basically trying to reinvent paradigms of the internet and just the way digital economies function, blockchain technology isn't performant at the scale of what consumer web is right now. And it's not going to become competitive until it's able to do so. Web3 as an industry, we talk a lot about it from a dollar perspective, it's like, oh, there's billions in the space and the transaction numbers are extremely high and stuff like that. But really, if you take a look at user count, it's nothing compared to what Google and Amazon are doing. 

It's not to say that can't turn around, but I definitely think there's a lot of challenges right now, when it comes to user onboarding. I feel like a broken record, but what everyone else is talking about, where it's user onboarding, there's friction, there's all this other stuff and you have to have a seed phrase and what about if you lose your money? Who do you go to? The whole thing around trust. 

You don't need to trust an entity, right? Everything is built around trustless mechanisms. There's a reason why banks still exist for humanity. I have a much more realistic approach for what we're doing and I can only speak to ourselves.

I think Blockchain and being able to have assets on-chain solve a very specific need for the game that we're trying to build. That's a reason why we're using blockchain. I think prior to, because I've always been a fan of crypto, I've never actually considered building a proper business using the technology. But it wasn't until what we were looking for in terms of, we have this idea for the type of game that we want to make. And it just made natural sense that I thought, oh, blockchain is built for decentralization and it's built for longevity. One of the frustrating parts about games is that with every new wave of content that comes out, the older content becomes irrelevant. 

Then people lose their value, that they put so much money into. Blockchain is a means to preserve that value and it's just a different way to design around it. For us, that was absolutely a huge plus and it was something that we wanted to embrace. It was a natural fit to what we wanted to do. I can only speak on that perspective where it's like, it solves the problem for what we're trying to do. As a whole, I think we're still super early, like a year out. I think the infrastructure is going to get significantly better.

Can you give us any sort of insight into what it is that you're building? Is there anything that you could share with us about how it's different then another Web3 gaming studio, or another Web3 game? Any little teasers?

The biggest thing I can say is that we are fundamentally building around decentralized storytelling. That's probably as much as I could say right now. I can lead you to a bunch of examples where you see things like Momoguru, what that team is doing. I think very early on, like Loot Project and what Treasure is trying to do as well. But a lot of things around being able to build up an IP, build out a franchise from the ground up with community, being able to contribute to it and basically being owners from that. I think how it materializes is going to probably be a little different than what everyone else is doing. But that's the gist of it, the long term mission of what we're trying to do. 

What do you think some of the hurdles are for getting Web2 gamers into Web3? I know the common hurdles that people say, but I'm curious, from your perspective, what do you think we need to solve in Web3 to craft more of those players in? 

I don't know if there's going to be something obvious. I think the big thing around Web3 is the finance angle, you're going to have your players on the traditional side, where it's like, I just want to buy a game and I want to enjoy a game and not get monetized from it. I think the big thing is how do you balance the really good, really fun games that are at par with not in terms of visual fidelity, but in terms of just pure gameplay mechanics on par with what we're seeing in the traditional realm? Then two, if you're experimenting with an economy, the balance of that open economy is almost like make or break. 

A lot of the time right now, it's the initial whales that are coming in that are playing the game that's affecting the economy quite a bit. Prices either dip or drop, and you could see in scary cases, cascading effects across everything else. Once that's kind of out the door, is the game still alive or not? I don't know. Most of the time it's dead. You might be able to operate with a very low user base, but the chances of that going up is pretty slim.

Right now, it really is around this one thing that when I'm taking a look at the Web3 games, it's none of these games I would actually, within the last, probably two years, none of the games were stuff that I would play. Intrinsically, I'm there because of some sort of earnings potential. 

Is there anything you wanted to share on your perspective of Web3 gaming? Or anything you want to share with a Web3 gaming audience about either what you're building or something you're excited about in the industry?

I'll talk about what I'm definitely excited about in the industry. I think Web3 has a very interesting opportunity, and I think I heard it on a podcast yesterday I was listening to with one of the Yuga guys. Web3 has an opportunity to run a new service model as they are coining or they have talked about it, “community as a service”. I think that's one thing that you see a lot of, Triple A or Single A games that are trying to double down on "How do I become closer with my community?"

Web3 has definitely figured out something there because it's mostly community on steroids, but now they have to take a step back and figure out what the product is, what is the product?

I'm super bullish and I'm excited about being able to be closer with the community that Web3 empowers. Then I think it's around that decentralized storytelling and all the teams that are building around that. I think there is so much opportunity in the next wave of entertainment franchises coming that is going to come from this space. 

My message to it is more of a matter of timing. I know everyone's very impatient when it comes to like, oh, we want it now, we want our prices to go up. The next big thing is going to come next year, and hold a long time horizon. If you do hold a long time horizon, I don't think you'll be disappointed because right now I consider this almost at the bottom and there's nowhere really to go but up. 

There's a ton of talent that's coming in and I probably wouldn't be able to name names, but there's a lot of talent that have built amazing stories, very seasoned veterans, that are super interested in this space. It's just a good indicator that there's talent coming into it. 

They understand, at least when I talk to them, they understand the power of the technology of blockchain. There are definitely going to be great products built out in the future, but you're taking a look at like a five year time horizon. 

Nakamoto Games: Creating a Dynamic and Interconnected Environment for Gamers
Interviews

Nakamoto Games: Creating a Dynamic and Interconnected Environment for Gamers

May 25, 2023

Nakamoto Games is a platform that combines gaming and cryptocurrency adoption. They aim to create a comprehensive ecosystem of Web3 gaming, offering decentralized finance benefits, ownership of in-game assets, and a wide range of gaming possibilities. Nakamoto’s vision is to make gaming accessible and enjoyable for everyone, not just limited to complex AAA games. They focus on sustainability and organic growth by nurturing the developer team, investors, players, games, and game owners. The Play-to-Earn model, which generates a sustainable source of income, is seen as a driving force for Web3 gaming adoption. The platform offers hundreds of games, with Candy Shop, NAKA Strike, and Tank Battle being some of the best performing titles. They are developing a Collectible Card Game and Nakaverse v2. 

The team is also working on a mobile app to provide seamless gaming experiences and real rewards on the go. Nakamoto's hopes for the future of Web3 gaming include decentralized gaming experiences, control over in-game assets, economic opportunities, and player involvement in shaping game development.

They believe that Web3 gaming going mobile will revolutionize the industry!

In your own words, how would you describe the vision behind Nakamoto Games? 

As the CEO of Nakamoto Games, my vision was born out of the recognition of the immense potential in combining the worlds of gaming and cryptocurrency adoption. Our unwavering commitment to this vision led us to pioneer the GameFi movement. However, we didn't stop there. We understood the need to adapt and evolve, so we transformed our project into a comprehensive ecosystem of Web3 gaming. By doing so, we aimed to create a dynamic and interconnected environment where gamers could experience the benefits of decentralized finance, ownership of in-game assets, and a wide array of gaming possibilities.

Can you give our audience insight into why you founded this platform and how it all started?

In the early stages, I observed that most projects in this space focused on a single game, and I saw an opportunity to revolutionize the industry by creating a hub that offered a diverse range of games. Our vision was to bring gaming experiences that were accessible and enjoyable for everyone, not just limited to AAA games that could be time-consuming and complex. We aimed to create easy-to-play games that would appeal to both gamers and non-gamers alike, such as the nostalgic Duck Hunter. This retro game not only offered a refreshing experience but also served as a gateway for individuals new to gaming.

However, our focus extended beyond the games themselves. We focus on a sustainable system and growing the platform for all parties. Ensuring sustainability and organic growth for Nakamoto Games is a multifaceted task. It involves nurturing various aspects, including the developer team, investors, players, games, and game owners. We are committed to continuously improving every aspect of our platform, as evident from our active engagement with the community and on social media platforms like Twitter. By listening to feedback, adapting to market demands, and fostering a strong community, we strive to create an environment that supports the long-term success and growth of Nakamoto Games.

You mention the ability for Play-to-Earn to generate a sustainable source of income. Do you believe this will be one of the driving forces for adoption of Web3 gaming? How have you seen the Play-to-Earn model benefit your community so far?

Play-to-Earn comes in various forms depending on the game type. However, the sustainability of income must come from a solid ecosystem, including giving back the platform's profits to the community through various events and activities. This income generation alone is sufficient for Web3 gaming to revolutionize the Web2 gaming era. Creating a transparent and clear Play-to-Earn model without resorting to pyramid schemes, I believe, is already a significant benefit for our community, as what they put into the system retains its value.

The platform has hundreds of games available for your community, what are some of the best performing titles? Are there any games in development that you are really looking forward to?

Among the games on our platform, Candy Shop is one of the best performing games  based on the highest player count to date. There are varieties like NAKA Strike, Tank Battle that constantly receive positive feedback from players.  As for the games we're currently developing, I'm particularly excited about our Collectible Card Game and Nakaverse v2, which we recently shared the good news on Twitter.

The Naka team is currently developing a mobile app, can you tell us more about this exciting news? Is there a timeline for when this app will be released?

The Nakamoto Games team is working tirelessly to transform our NAKA mobile app into a game-changer for Web3 gaming. We're adapting more games, adding smartphone-specific features, and creating a mobile ecosystem that will blow your mind. Imagine seamless gaming experiences and real rewards, all at your fingertips. Whether you're on the go or relaxing at home, our app will keep you entertained and make your idle time profitable. With a goal to launch 35 games this quarter, we're bringing the excitement of Nakamoto Games to your mobile device.

Join us as we redefine the future of gaming and cater to the global audience of 2.3 billion gamers. We aim to cater to this massive global market by allowing gamers from every nation to play games and earn real rewards on Nakamoto Games.

As a leader in the industry, what are your hopes for the future of Web3 gaming?

The future of Web3 gaming is mind-blowing! We're talking about a whole new level of decentralized gaming experiences that will totally redefine how we think about virtual assets. Picture this: you'll have complete control over your in-game items and characters, and you can freely trade, sell, or use them on different platforms. It's like a gamer's dream come true, opening up endless economic opportunities and rewards. And get this, you'll actually be recognized and compensated for your achievements and contributions, thanks to cryptocurrencies and decentralized reward systems. This is all about creating engaged and thriving gaming communities that put the power in the hands of the players.

But here's where it gets really exciting: Web3 gaming is all about giving the community a real voice. No more being at the mercy of some distant decision-makers. With Web3, you can actively participate in shaping the future of your favorite games. You'll have a say in important matters like game updates, new features, and even changes to the in-game economy. It's all about collaboration, ownership, and shared responsibility. And the best part? Web3 gaming is going mobile! You'll be able to take your virtual worlds with you wherever you go, exploring different gaming universes, trading assets, and seizing unique opportunities across various blockchain ecosystems.

The possibilities are endless, and with big players like SEGA, Tencent, and Epic Games getting in on the action, we're on the brink of a gaming revolution. It's time to embrace the future of Web3 gaming and be a part of this incredible journey!

 

Pixels: Creating a World Unlike Any Other Web3 Gaming Experience!
Interviews

Pixels: Creating a World Unlike Any Other Web3 Gaming Experience!

May 24, 2023

"We don't have to guess what features to build. We utilize this giant community that we already have, get their feedback, and build with them." - Luke Barwikowski Founder and CEO.

 

Pixels evolved from a virtual spaces company to a gaming platform with an NFT collection and game called Farmland. One of the things the Pixels team has focused on is building a world that creates actual demand for tokens and NFTs, as well as incentivizing growth in the ecosystem through token incentives. 

Pixels took a community-driven approach by building exciting user experiences through constant feedback and evolution. Additionally, interoperability allows players to use assets they already own as part of their identity online within the game, leading to a unique market for NFTs rather than just high floor prices.

We would love to hear more about your background. What are your thoughts on making game economies successful? Where do you see the future of Web3 gaming economies going? 

Yeah, I'm swinging back and forth on how I feel about this. It's interesting because we would go and pitch our game in 2021 and people would always ask about tokenomics, and what they meant about tokenomics was focusing on the supply side of tokenomics. 

How is your token supply going to shrink over the long run? And I never like thinking about tokenomics in that sense. When we're thinking about building a game with a good economy, we think about how we create actual demand for tokens and how we create real demand for NFTs. And when we're thinking about the demand side, we're thinking about your need to build a game people want to play. 

But there's a massive problem within Web2 games, where essentially what happens in Web2 is they will spend millions on building a game, and they'll spend like $10 million a month on advertising their game. All their budget goes into user acquisition. And now, with Web3, we're interested in skipping that middle layer where we don't need to spend so much on UA, where we don't need to spend all of our games budgets and handing it directly over to Apple or Google or Facebook. Instead, we have these token incentives to grow our game for us. It's all about building out a network of incentives that help your game grow, help the ecosystem grow, and build a whole network of whatever you want to achieve. 

There are many farming RPGs; what differentiates yours from others like Stardew Valley?

Yeah, we took a really community-driven approach to how we build. If you look at our Discord, things feel different than many other NFT projects. Our community is very wholesome. They're into the actual game. For example, we banned swearing in our Discord, which was highly controversial a while ago. A lot of the NFT Flippers didn't love that. But, building a community that actually likes what we're doing and then building in public and building with them has allowed us to create an exciting experience for our users.

We're doing AMAs every single week, asking our users for feedback, and, in a sense, building with them. This game has evolved into something that these players have helped create. 

We've been able to add many features just based on that, and other than that, obviously there's this level of interoperability that you wouldn't get in other games as well. Where you can take in assets you already own and other NFTs you own and use them as part of your identity online, and it's interesting to see all of the NFT collections that popped up. I buy NFTs, and a lot of our community buys NFTs just because they look cute in our game. 

We see you have a lot of NFT integrations: Can you tell us more about the integrations and how they impact the game? Any other exciting partnerships coming?

Right now, we integrate with just Ethereum, but we're about to release some stuff on Polygon, so we're about to add Polygon support. We have done over 70 NFT integrations now, which is pretty crazy. We have an excellent pipeline around it, so it's not too hard for us to do. And we have very good guidelines if you want to bootstrap it yourself. 

It's an interesting addition to these other NFT collections because you have a fantastic looking NFT in the game. People see it, and then they kind of want to buy another one that looks like it. There's this tiny NFT collection called Subway Rats, and they look really cute in the game. We've driven so many sales to them because they integrate with us.

Most of our interest is inbound, with projects coming to us rather than our team focusing on outreach. We have a huge advantage because we have a playable game, and we can build a bunch of funnels into our ecosystem. 

Web3 offers 3 things - ownership, incentive design that's much stronger than without it, and interoperability. Ownership increases retention in our ecosystem. We've noticed people who own our NFTs play the game a lot more, and they come back to the game more often, which is extremely valuable for us to have retention higher to incentive design. We've seen that when we add token incentives, we get the behavior that we want much stronger than without. And it makes sense because there's more liquid value attached to it. Interoperability gives us ways that we can reach new users without spending money either. It's like a new form of distribution. 

We are now in Q2 of 2023, are there any exciting developments your team is looking forward to this quarter?

We've been talking about the token since day one. I have been so excited about what we can do with this pixel token, and I cannot wait to get it out. We're ready to do it, and it needs to get out for what we want to accomplish next year. 

What we're trying to accomplish is, one, getting this token out, seeing how we can use the token to grow and play with it in terms of user acquisition, and in terms of retention incentives, and all of that. And then stage two is we have a bunch of products that are ready for it as well. 

We are also about to do a new mint. We haven't charged our users for anything since the Farmland mint back in January 2022. We wanted to focus on building the community. This new mint will be done in this Pixel Token. We will also be airdropping the token to our most loyal users. We're going to do some ecosystem rewards after that. 

We're doing recurring mints of these new NFTs. They're going to be pets that follow you in-game. We have a full game loop and game mechanic built around these pets as well. Super excited about that! And then Pixels has also been making more aggressive moves in the user-generated content. 

The Web3 space is constantly evolving, how do you see Pixels evolving along with it?

I think our long-term play is to be like the Web3 Roblox. The 2D version focuses on incentive design, what the token can do, and how it plays an integral part in growing the network, the ecosystem of builders of users, and content creators. My opinions have changed a ton over the last year and a half. I have a strong opinion that you need to iterate if you want to succeed. It's interesting because a lot of VC companies or VC investors invest in a lot of the Web3 games, but the interesting thing is, if you're a AAA game in Web3, you have to get it right first try because they have such large productions. This makes it hard for them to pivot or be flexible over time. 

There will be AAA games in the next year and a half that hit, but many of them won't be able to adjust to the things they need to. Our approach is a lot different. We've decided to scale back production and increase agility, where we think adapting to the space is probably our most important priority. 

We want to be iterating and building as much as possible. Pixels has released, I think, like 50 public updates in the last 75 weeks. We were just taking feedback from our users. Our plan is always to adapt to the space. If we see something that's not working, we will change it. If we get feedback that something needs to change, we will change it. We went through this thing a few months ago where we were building and releasing content and just kind of guessing at what would work, and then we switched in our heads where it's like 

“We don't have to guess what features to build. We utilize this giant community that we have already, we get their feedback, and build with them.”

It's been a game changer since we did that, where it's so much less guesswork. We get to ask our players what they want to see, and then build it. 

Myria: Revolutionizing Gaming with Blockchain Technology!
Interviews

Myria: Revolutionizing Gaming with Blockchain Technology!

May 23, 2023

“As gamers ourselves, we very much understand the need for fun games first and foremost. That's a big part of the reason why we have Myria Studios because we trust ourselves to build great games.”- Brendan Duhamel, Founder

Myria is a blockchain platform that scales games and DApps on Ethereum with fast, carbon-neutral, gas-free transactions. The platform includes in-house AAA game studio Myria Studios; SDKs and APIs for developer onboarding, plus its own L2 wallet and NFT marketplace.

Myria has taken the space by storm with over a million registered users, 250+ game developers building on it, and over half a million community members spread across its social platforms. Even in a slower market, Myria has continued to expand and onboard new users and partners!

In your perspective what are the benefits for gaming studios, players, and investors when it comes to your platform's offerings?

We are an L2 built on Ethereum and we are excited about people getting involved in the ecosystem. As big Ethereum believers, we think any involvement, specifically one that allows you to bypass a lot of the downsides that exist on Ethereum such as high gas fees and the like while keeping all the perks of the biggest blockchain network in the world.

As an L2 built on Ethereum, everyone can build and trade with both gamers and developers in mind and that has a slew of great benefits. As gamers ourselves, we very much understand the need for fun games first and foremost. That's a big part of the reason why we have Myria Studios because we trust ourselves to build great games. We also know it needs to be a seamless process for players to make the space thrive. We knew that paying $50 worth of gas just obviously wasn't going to work. 

Of course, the whole pitch of Web3 games is that you should have genuine ownership of your assets. We didn't want to substitute high gas fees with a custodial solution where in fact, you're not trusting the game studio, but you're trusting some other party. There are high-quality games in Web3 that we think could benefit from what we're doing, but especially those in Web2 where they've spent decades honing their talents in that arena and haven't spent the last several years figuring out what is going on in this new world. Going through the ins and outs of how smart contracts and GameFi support work and coming out on the other side with toolkits that allow our partners to use those insights without knowing much about them is an awesome benefit. The last thing I would say is not gamers or developers specifically, but anybody excited about the future of gaming has valuable opportunities to get involved in the ecosystem. 

One of the best ways to do that right now is to get a Myria Node license, become a node operator and earn daily rewards for supporting the decentralization of the Myria network. 

You recently had a Public Node Sale, for those new to the industry can you explain what a node is and the benefits for those who own them within your ecosystem?

We've seen a lot of projects where during each step of the development journey there is additional decentralized computing required. As is often the case, somebody completely outside the space may not know this at all, but blockchain networks depend on it, not just for the core aspects of the network, but for auxiliary functionalities as well, such as decentralized storage and oracle capabilities. Decentralized computing is really important for networks like ours. And why we have this node network is because we've seen projects where every time they roll out some sort of additional auxiliary bits they then need to kind of go and make sure that they have the decentralized computing available. 

We thought it would be nice to just have a guaranteed pool of this decentralized computing wherein every time we take the next step into a new area where we need those nodes to do other stuff, we have them available to do it. That's just a nice way to ensure that we're not going to be slowed down at all by not having the computing available. 

Why are people buying them? 

Because this is genuinely helpful for our network and will become more so as our network begins to do even more than it's doing today. Node operators are rewarded for their contribution with daily distribution in MYRIA tokens and if you look closely at our tokenomics, 36% of the total supply of our native token is earmarked for those node emissions. Node operators will also be given voting rights in general governance, and we fully expect this within game-related concepts as well. That's going to ensure that Myria's decision-making process isn't just for myself and my co-founders. As impressive as we think the team is, we want this to be a community-driven platform.

What sets Myria apart from other competitors?

I have loads of respect for all of our competitors and in more ways than one. We wouldn't be where we are without what they've done. We're excited to see what they continue to do for the space, and we are competitors in certain ways with selling products to similar types of buyers but we're also excited to drive the entire space forward. 

As I talked about earlier, the Ethereum ecosystem is extremely important for us, and like Vitalik, I think that it is the future of blockchain scaling. We're very excited to be part of that. I think that one of our larger differences with the competition is that we were games-focused and only games-focused right from the beginning. One of my co-founders and our CTO ran technology for Ubisoft in Asia before joining us, and we have many other individuals on the team who have worked at almost all of the top studios. 

We knew gaming was what we wanted to get into from the get-go and we haven't veered from that. Some of our competitors started out as sort of just general NFT scaling. Again, it could have been a timing situation where NFT scaling was really important, and then games became clearly what you needed to be scaling NFTs for. Myria has been laser-focused on blockchain gaming from the very beginning.

Myria Studios is also creating games in-house, can you tell us more about this and give any insight into games that are currently being developed?

Metarush is the first game developed by Myria Studios, it's a battle royale type obstacle runner. The game had a closed gameplay demo in March with special guests, including the European Fall Guys champion. We have taken a lot of inspiration from Fall Guys for this specific game but our main idea is to involve the community as much as possible. We have also partnered with larger guilds and communities that have given us a lot of valuable feedback on our 2023 Roadmap. 

We have another game that has a public pre-production release that is targeted for the second half of the year, barring any delays. It is not Myria Studios directly, but we're very fortunate to have been able to partner with AB de Villiers. He’s a cricket legend who's building a game on Myria and it is a very exciting time! First and foremost, the game is going to be free to play because we want everyone to enjoy the game. So that's also something to look out for in our ecosystem. 

What strategic partnerships or investors have you secured so far? What are you most looking forward to in Q2, any specific announcements you would like the community to know about? 

A few strategic partners we have secured are some of the largest gaming guilds in the space like YGG, and of course, the cricket star I mentioned earlier and many others. When it comes to Q2 and beyond, we have some major developments coming, specifically to our platform and developer SDK. If you're a developer and you've given us any feedback about things that you've tried to launch already and anything else, then definitely check this out because a lot of that feedback has gone directly into our latest update. This means as well, once we get this going there will be a lot more launches on the Myria marketplace.

The last thing is added utility to the MYRIA token. Keep your eyes out for announcements on this, there will be staking opportunities and much more!

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