The trends in blockchain gaming rule the technology industry.
Interestingly, these trends portend a future nobody thought was possible till now.
Blockchain and web3 technologies are an added plus to the knowledge economy.
So much so that the results seen so far are but a glimpse of things to come.
Gaming itself has faced several changes and transitions with each evolution in the technologies that drive them.
With blockchain gaming the future is now rather than what critics expect it to be.
As such, blockchain gaming is a core part of the knowledge economy.
We had a sitdown with Matt Lobel, the founder of PLAYN.
His insights in blockchain gaming and its impact in the world are a great read!
Here’s what he said.
Matt Lobel, Founder at PLAYN
How is blockchain gaming the future of the gaming industry?
Right now blockchain gaming is in its infancy.
And it’s really fast evolving, so it’s very difficult to pin down exactly what the future is going to be.
But when you look at the current state and where things are headed there are a few things that are obvious. First, is that all of the environments that we currently deploy games in are closed systems… the Apple App store, or Google play, as examples.
And there are tight controls over all aspects of the games that are deployed in their environment.
In some ways it is good, for example quality control, but in many ways its bad.
What blockchain based gaming is doing, is opening up aspects of games that currently are closed.
Obviously, we are all focusing on the financial aspects of it at this point.But there is so much more to it. Right now NFTs are hot, but for the wrong reasons.
People are not excited about what they do inside of games, they’re more excited about making money trading them. And that’s truthfully the only real use case for them in games right now, which is why many gamers are angry at game development companies.
They view NFTs as just another way for game companies to do a money grab. And you know what? They’re right!
The future is much more exciting than that. One of the things we’re doing at PLAYN is incorporating open standards into the transportable visuals of all of our games.
That will allow you to take items that you purchase or acquire in one game and bring them into our open metaverse, PLAYN with Friends.
In addition some of the assets that you acquire or purchase will also be able to move into other games within our ecosystem, and even go into other ecosystems that are compliant with the open standards we follow.
Please, can you tell us about the PLAYN ecosystem?
The PLAYN gaming ecosystem is a blockchain-powered multi-game ecosystem that provides a consistent, secure, and transparent environment to monetize gameplay.
It is a perfect merge of blockchain finance and gaming that offers players opportunities to earn tokens in a variety of games and investors token price appreciation through a gradual, organic, tightening of token supply.
Now that we have worked through the elevator pitch, let me break that down!
The characteristics I think gamers are most interested in are that they have complete ownership of their in-game currency. In other words, it is real.
When you earn, for example, DarkCoin in Darklin Wars, you can transfer those coins out of the game into GameGold, our governance token.
That token will have a real value that can be exchanged for other cryptocurrencies or fiat currency. Without getting too techy, its a dual token system.
That means that in-game currency converts to real world currency at a fixed ratio. Similar to how the dollar used to be backed by gold. So it will always have an intrinsic value.
The PLAYN ecosystem has four games currently planned with one, Darklin Wars, in active development and a second ready for production.
We plan to eventually expand to 30 games total in 6 verticals with all those games linking into our own metaverse, PLAYN with Friends.
The ecosystem is also governed by players who choose to stake their tokens.
We will have a list of decisions every quarter that token holders can vote on.
They will range from development direction, games to add (from a curated list), games to retire, community standards, and a host of other issues.
How has the response been from the blockchain and crypto community towards PLAYN?
To be fair, our project is in the early stages but our existing game community has been quite enthusiastic.
As we have spread word on the project to those in the Web3 space, we have likewise had positive feedback.
People are eager to have a game ecosystem in the space that is not just a glorified casino.
What separates PLAYN from the rest of the pack?
First, we have an understanding of the gaming industry where a lot of the current projects seem to come at this from a technical or financial perspective.
We understand how hard it is to attract and retain players.
As such we are removing all the barriers to entry that other projects seem to throw up.
First, there is no required financial investment up front, we are free to play.
Second, we are distributing the games through traditional channels, and not just on our own site. Players will be able to easily find our games without a ton of searching.
Third, we are removing the technical barriers to entry.
You do not need to install a wallet when you install a game.
We will secure your account more traditionally.
You only need to connect your wallet when you are ready to put money into or take money out of a game.
Finally, we are focusing on great gameplay, geared to each vertical that we are entering.
Many of the blockchain games look and feel like they were created by tech teams. Ours will be great games from the start, not just blockchain experiments.
We are one of the first true blockchain gaming companies.
Not a gaming company toe-dipping in blockchain, or a blockchain group experimenting with gaming.
Can you tell us about your entrepreneurial journey?
I’ve been an entrepreneur for the past 30 years and my journey has taken me from the early days of multimedia development and web development through e-learning, and into game development.
One thing I’ve always been involved in is media.
Whether that’s graphics, sound, video,or 3D. The exciting part for me is creating.
No matter what I’ve done, I’ve always tried to innovate and be on the leading edge of technology.
How did you end up in the blockchain gaming industry?
So that goes back to my prior answer, being on the leading edge.
As a lifelong gamer, who saw where gaming was logically heading, I had to get on board.
I am, admittedly, also fascinated with technology and was already in the crypto space in other capacities.
So with a foot already in gaming, and another foot already in crypto, it would’ve been insane for me not to have made this jump.
How has gaming development changed since blockchain technology came on the scene?
To me Blockchain gaming is just a natural extension of where gaming was heading.
The industry as a whole was struggling with play to win, and then how to integrate free to play.
So now, we’ve gotten to that point where the technology is mature enough to really start to see some integrations into games.
And that brings us to where we currently are which is morphing from free to play into play to earn.
But the really cool part has less to do with the money being earned, although that can be a radical paradigm shift.
The cool part is the way that the players can, utilizing blockchain governance and ownership of their purchased or acquired assets, have more control over their gaming experience.
This is a huge shift from what they have had in the past.
What are the various issues that need to be overcome within the blockchain gaming industry?
The gaming industry as a whole needs to overcome its view of players as simply a bank account to withdraw from. That’s the way many gaming companies approached NFTs.
They looked at it as he had another way to milk players for money, rather than what it could be, which is a way to add unique value to the players.
So when you combine that traditional gaming company mentality with a direct financial reward you get a seriously negative dynamic that was picked up on by astute players.
I guess in a nutshell what you need to overcome in blockchain gaining is pure greed.
Blockchain gaming can actually be a wonderful way to spread some of the wealth out, while still making a ton of money for the gaming company.
Let’s approach it from a player’s first perspective and move from there.
What experiences are you bringing from e-learning into the blockchain gaming industry through PLAYN?
Truthfully, those are two very different worlds, but one common denominator is that you have to keep your audience engaged.
People don’t effectively learn if they’re bored or disinterested, similarly if you lose your players interest, they’ll delete your game.
That may be the strongest parallel that I can draw between the two industries.
What benefits do players gain from being a part of the PLAYN ecosystem?
The main benefit of the PLAYN ecosystem is the fact that it is an ecosystem.
What I mean by that is it’s not just the solitary game sitting out by itself.
It’s not even two games or three games. Our roadmap calls for a total of 30 games to be deployed in our ecosystem.
With each game being backed by a fixed amount of GMG (GameGold), that means we have an ever decreasing supply of tokens, causing a gradual but steady price increase in the token value itself.
So the players, as a result, see their in-game tokens becoming more valuable over time as well.
In addition, the transportability of the assets that they acquire or purchase inside the game provides them a real value within the overall ecosystem, as they can move them between games and the metaverse.
Finally, as a standardized metaverse becomes more prevalent, they will also be able to transport those assets out to other metaverses.
What are the technologies behind PLAYN?
The GMG (GameGold) tokens been created on the Binance smart chain, using solidity.
We have custom APIs for currency conversions, auction management, and item management.
Of course our servers are in the cloud and we utilize unity for much of our game development.
Is there a specific audience PLAYN caters to or is it for just about everyone?
Really it’s gamers.
Since we plan on entering six different verticals, we can accommodate a variety of different gamers.
There are certain verticals that we will probably not get into, simply because they don’t lend themselves to a Blockchain-based play to earn ecosystem.
But within those six verticals, we encompass all of the major games that you will find are currently popular multiplayer options.
It is my belief than any gamer will find something they like in our ecosystem when it is fully built out.
What’s the backstory behind PLAYN?
PLAYN started as a solo game development, Darklin Wars.
We were deep into production and then Covid hit.
With the majority of our development team in Southeast Asia and India, Covid wound up being horrific personally, and for the project.
We had team members that died.
We had others that had family members that died.And other team members were in and out of the hospital. As you might imagine we put the project on hold.
Fast forward a bit and I had been involved in a crypto project, as Director of Operations, and felt it was time to restart Darklin Wars, but evolve it into a much larger project that incorporated blockchain.
After tons of research, PLAYN was born.
Please, can you tell us about your development plans, roadmap, and co.?
The first step in this journey has been the development of APIs that will run the ecosystem.
We have split this development effort into three different APIs that each handle different functions within the environment.
We have an API that handles the exchange of crypto, another API that handles the transportability of objects, and a third API that handles transactions within the games.
These APIs are being developed in parallel with our first game, Darklin Wars.
As we continue through development, we will be preparing our ICO. Once RICO launches, everything goes into high gear.
We will launch the MVP of the ecosystem along with the first game, quickly followed by the start of development of our second game.
Although we plan on deploying four of our own games, we will also be looking to acquire other games to integrate into our system, and partner with development companies to bring their games into our ecosystem.
The overall target is to have 30 games that are extremely high in quality for players to enjoy, all integrating smoothly into the ecosystem and the PLAYN with Friends metaverse.
Please can you tell us about the team behind PLAYN?
We have a great team at PLAYN!
I specifically look for solution creators for our organization.
People who are knowledgeable and forward thinking with extensive knowledge in the field and love a challenge. Now this might be a funny requirement, but we are all gamers too!
What is great is that as PLAYN has progressed, I have been joined by thought leaders in the blockchain and crypto space as both advisors and project contributors.
Moving forward, we are adding additional developers to our team with specific, deep, expertise in GameFi.
Are there any specific games players can get to play immediately when they onboard?
At the moment we have a very small external group of players that we are allowing to test Darklin Wars.
Each month we release a list for sign-up, and players can join our test group on a first-come first-serve basis.
As we continue to progress in the development, our test groups will expand, so we encourage players to sign up on our mailing list to be alerted immediately when we have additional openings.
When Darklin Wars moves into closed beta, we will open it up to hundreds of players first, then a thousand, after successfully testing we will finally move into open beta where we will have no limitations so that we can stress test the game, and our servers.
This will help us find the upper end of our ability to support players in a single instance of the game.
Please, can you tell us about the PLAYN token?
The token for the PLAYN ecosystem is GameGold, with the token symbol of GMG.
It resides on the Binance Smart Chain.
We actually named it GameGold because of the history of the US dollar being backed by gold until the 1970s. The US dollar was valuable up until that point because it had a hard intrinsic value.
Likewise we wanted the in-game currency to have a hard intrinsic value, so we developed this dual token economy where the governance token, GameGold, provided the value to the in-game currency by directly backing every unit of in-game currency at a fixed rate with GMG.
What are your plans for other web3 components (DAOs, metaverses, etc)?
Within the PLAYN ecosystem, we have a metaverse underpinning the entire game set up, integrating into each of the other games in a substantial way.
We are also allowing players who stake tokens to have a role in governance within the ecosystem.
Once per quarter we will invite token holders to vote on a variety of issues, giving them a real say in the direction that we take.
What is your ultimate vision for PLAYN?
The ultimate vision for PLAYN is that it becomes the destination of choice for gamers to find high-quality games, that respect their individual dignity and liberty, and provide real value for the time that they invest in the entertainment we provide.