It may be a dreary winter for the crypto world, but GameFi is like a hot spring oasis for investment and development.
Blockchain games remain a dominant force in Web3 apps, with more than 50% of DApp usage and $748 million raised from 14 top projects in 2022, according to a recent industry report by CoinMarketCap and Footprint Analytics.
Immutable Games Studio had the third highest-grossing fundraiser in GameFi that year, raising $200 million. Immutable is promoting the upcoming launch of Guild of Guardians, a mobile squad-based action RPG game published by Immutable Games Studio and developed by Stepico Games.
Guild of Guardians Thursday announced partnerships with eight of the top 10 esports teams: Cloud9, Fnatic, NAVI, Ninjas in Pajamas, NRG, SK Gaming, T1 and Team Liquid. The esports teams have already played and provided feedback on the pre-alpha game.
They will help spread the game in the mainstream gaming community, and the team tokens will appear as playable characters that can be traded as digital collectibles.
We have interviewed Derek LauVP and Game Director of Guild of Guardians to learn more about the game’s vision, the future of GameFi, the relevance of play-to-earn (P2E) in 2022, and how the new game will help Engage users in the digital world property and Web3.
Image: Derek Lau, Guild of Wardens
BZ: How would you describe Guild of Guardians as a game?
Lou: “Guardians is a team-based action role-playing game. Players can gather a team of heroes, we call them Guardians, and send them into dungeons and fight through various monsters and bosses to level up. You can also play in a guild and collaborate with other players and make new friends as you play. A lot of the game will therefore be familiar to mobile players as it involves advancing through game strategy, creating and collecting different team compositions, heroes, etc.”
What does a user need to buy to play the game?
“You don’t have to spend any money. The game will be released on the App Store for free, so anyone can download it on their phone. Players can start playing using an email password system, so you don’t have to create a wallet. And in the game not everything is an NFT, so it looks and feels like a normal game. Finally, some of the later game content or the more exclusive content may be NFTs. Usually these are created by players. Many of these items can only be found by playing the game.”
What kind of play-to-own value is there for users in Guild of Guardians?
“The game is played to level up your character, so there is a play-to-own component.
Players gather resources and craft in-game. Whether players are summoning NFT heroes that are tradable or crafting items, players can create special items or characters as NFTs and then use or trade them.”
Has the term play-to-earn become irrelevant in the bear market?
“Guild of Guardians is a game. We don’t see it as a job or an additional source of income. We’re thinking about using blockchain and NFTs to make the game a better experience for everyone involved. It’s more fun because there’s more strategy involved, and it’s more rewarding because the collection part is something that people actually own forever. The property aspect has an enduring value. And they can potentially be used in other experiences and other games around the ecosystem.
We believe there is also an enduring emotional value and community aspect. We believe that the social benefits of being able to play this game, of building relationships and deriving social value from it, will have a lasting impact that goes beyond the financial.”
Is there a contingency plan for developing a modder community to add fan-made DLC to the game like we’ve seen with games like SIMS 4 and Skyrim?
“We’ve talked a lot about it, but right now we don’t have anything that we’re working on that would mod the game. But where we see that this is actually already happening in our community if we take a broader look at what modding is, that is creating some kind of content around the game. We see a lot of people in our community, whether it’s building websites or tools, analytics, creating merch or fan art, all different things are already happening in our community. And that’s pretty exciting to see. It’s definitely something we have some pretty active plans to try and encourage and incentivize further. By doing this, we are empowering not just gamers, but people around the gaming ecosystem to get involved.”
So you don’t need a wallet to play, but you do need to mint NFTs to craft certain items?
“No not really. Players have a wallet. We provide players with a depot wallet so everything is taken care of for them and they don’t have to go through the process of creating metamasks and creating a seed phrase, writing it down and trying to understand what that is. You simply use the email password to access this wallet.”
Do you see this as a way to engage Web2 users in Web3’s digital ownership?
“I think learning about digital property will be part of the experience. And we believe that is also part of the magic moment, the experience of owning your first NFT. You can do whatever you want with it, and we believe that digital property is pretty powerful. So that’s going to be part of the journey that we’re going to take players on, but they don’t necessarily need to know much about it.”
Do you manage the steps for players to create NFTs?
“Right. The steps are just like any other game. So, for example, when you play the game, you might accumulate all of these resources, right from playing the game, taking classes, going through dungeons, and then using them in-game to build a To summon heroes, which is NFT as an example, or to craft an item.
The way it works is that the in-game objects or the in-game assets are either normal game assets or NFTs and so on. Once that is created, please do not need to take an extra step to turn it into an NFT. If it’s already an NFT, they can play with it right away.”
They’ve teamed up with some of the best esports teams to play and promote the game. What is the goal of the partnership?
“We have formed long-term partnerships with eight of the world’s leading esports brands. It’s not just for this first promotion for our first release, that’s not the intention at all. We have agreed with them to build this long-term partnership. The idea behind this is that we want to help each other win. So we want to help the teams and better connect with the fans that built this brand, how they can expand this intellectual property and help these content creators make better money. We would like you to help us with some promotional aspects and also get your opinion on the game. And also to introduce more people to the game and the world of digital ownership.”
Ideally, where do you see this game in a year?
“Ideally, a year from now when we launch the game, we’re going to have millions of players coming back every day and really enjoying it. Then we showed the rest of the gaming industry what a great Web3 game could look like – a game that was fun, sustainable and engaging.”
The last word
There are a few bright spots in the currently declining crypto and NFTs market, and going back to basics of delivering real value is certainly one of them.
The concept of P2E has lost its luster in a bear market. This is a good thing for gamers because the game developers are focusing on the gameplay and not the tokenomics.
Investment is still flowing into Web3, particularly GameFi and Metaverse projects, and competitive projects will soon be better able to compete with the mechanics and design of mainstream AAA games. We may not be quite there yet, but GameFi is miles ahead of the blockchain games of just a few years ago.
We may shed a tear for our lost opportunity to earn passive income by playing Dig Dug, but with a P2O dynamic, Web3 still offers unique benefits and nuances to gameplay and to building your character without sacrificing to fall back on promises that cannot be kept.