Recent funding successes and product launches have reignited the surge of interest in the web3 gaming space. Also, it appears the day when blockchain games operate completely and truly on blockchains (onchain) has arrived.
Still, what does the future hold for this space?
For this BitPinas webcast, we talked with Gabby Dizon, co-founder of Yield Guild Games, as part of our “Road to YGG Web3 Summit” series. Gabby shared his insights on where web3 gaming is headed, what to watch out for, and how to stay ahead of the curve.
Watch the interview below or read the article after the video.
Table of Contents
Video Interview with Gabby Dizon
Being A Guild Giant: The Evolution of YGG
- In 2018, Dizon, who has been in the gaming industry for years, started lending his in-game assets that are minted as NFTs to other players who wanted to try a blockchain game. That was Axie Infinity.
- In October 2020, fintech entrepreneur Beryl Li and developer Owl of Moistness joined Dizon in forming the Yield Guild Games (YGG), which started as a guild that lends Axies to its scholars to play Axie Infinity.
- “There’s a lot of evolution that’s happened now. YGG is now three years old. When we started, we started with what everyone know was the scholarship program on top of Axie Infinity. So, doon nagsimula ang YGG, and a lot has happened since then,” Dizon shared.
- A scholarship program is when an entity lends its in-game assets to scholars, so the scholars will play the game and earn crypto. To compensate, the entity gains a certain fraction of the scholar’s earnings.
- But YGG did not just open scholarships for Axie Infinity, but to other blockchain games as well:
- “One is that we’ve started partnering with more games, actually partnered with over 50 games now. Some of them, we have assets, some of them, we’ve invested in, helping with our community campaigns. And then last year we started our questing program. So our questing programs are really the focus of YGG now.”
- The questing programs that Dizon mentioned are the Guild Advancement Program and Superquests.
YGG’s Current Focus: GAP and SUPERQUEST
- In February, the guild raised $13.8 million in tokens purchased from the YGG Treasury. The raise is intended to expand YGG’s Guild Advancement Program (GAP) via soulbound reputation tokens.
- “We started the Guild Advancement Program because we wanted to bring our community together as one and play the different games that we like to play.
- So this started in the middle of last year when we had our season one and we just recently concluded the 4th season, and we’ve had our highest number of players; around 3000 players completed season four, and now what we are working around I think 12 different games and more than 100 quests. So that’s the reason for GAP and then for the community members that finished the gap quest, mayroon silang Soulbound Token Achievement.”
- In July, YGG introduced SUPERQUEST, a new campaign that allows its members to learn how to play web3 games and earn more in-game rewards. Axie Infinity became the first Superquest partner.
- The first two mentors for the SUPERQUEST are Community Manager Kookoo Crypto TV for beginners and Elite Player Spamandrice for advanced techniques.
- “The SUPERQUEST that we did was partnered with Axie Infinity, Axie Origins specifically, and the goal is to have parang part learning sharing, part questing. So we partnered with two different content creators, si Kookoo, which everyone here knows na magaling talaga si Kookoo sa onboarding. And then si Spamandrice, our esports champion, for learning how to get better in competing in Axie Infinity.”
- “So mayroon silang learning modules, and then after that, may main quest inside of the game and then after you finish the quest, then you get rewards. Rewards might be in-game assets, and then you also have soulbound token achievement, which we minted on people’s ronin wallets.”
- According to Dizon, many v2 players, the version of Axie Infinity when it became popular during the pandemic, appreciated the SUPERQUESTS program because the gameplay of Origins is different compared to Classic or v2.
- “So we had really good feedback from that because players who played Axie Classic two years ago but had not gone into Origins. They really appreciated learning the basics again and knowing how to play it.”
- On YGG’s community report, the guild confirmed that it saw a number of dormant Axie Infinity accounts apparently have actually started playing again.
YGG’s Adoption of Soulbound Tokens
- Soulbound Tokens are non-transferable identity and reputation tokens. These are digital identity tokens that represent the traits, characteristics, achievements, or even credentials of a person, organization, or entity, allowing individuals to authenticate their personal information, including their education, work history, credit score, medical history, and professional certifications, using blockchain technology.
- SBTs are in the form of a non-fungible token (NFT). However, unlike regular NFTs that can be sold or transferred to other wallets, SBTs are permanent, non-transferable NFTs.
- “This is very important because if it became like a membership and access badge for our community, members, and people could get certain kinds of access. For example, having their own access to different games or whitelists for YGG community members and maybe access to games or certain lobbies that only YGG community members could play in. So, as a kind of access badge, it’s actually very important.”
Dizon on Onchain Gaming
- Onchain gaming refers to the growing ecosystem of games and NFT primitives that operate completely on blockchains. Effectively, this means that every aspect of the game other than the front end, or the part of the game the player sees on their screen, is run solely using blockchain technology.
- “Ang ibig sabihin ng user owned Internet is that you can own assets in the digital world. We are very familiar with the idea of owning assets in the real world—mayroon kang bahay, mayron kang kotse, mayroon kang gamit. But the idea that you own assets in the digital world is still kind of new to us.”
- “The concept of user-owned internet means that I can own part of the economy of this valuable online work. So that means that when these virtual economies are put onchain, the players themselves will contribute to the game, who pay in the game, who invest their time and money, are able to own part of those economies that may contribute to.”
- However, Dizon admitted that onchain gaming will take time to be adopted by more people because it is just a new idea. But not all games will integrate blockchain into their game features.
- But one of the advantages of onchain games is that when the company that developed that game, that game will still run even when the developers are gone.
- “So the idea of fully onchain game is that once you put the smart contracts onthe chain and then the assets are on the chain, and therefore you’re not using a server, it’s like the game will be there forever. Nobody can stop it and as long as the blockchain remains, your game will always be there.”
More Upcoming Web3 Trends
- According to Dizon, he is interested in using ERC-6551, or token bound accounts. It is a new and innovative Ethereum standard that expands the functionality of NFTs by allowing them to operate as their own smart contract accounts.
- “This is a new kind of NFT, it’s an NFT that has its own wallet. It’s a very interesting innovation and I think it’s one of the things that will again revolutionize NFTs because now it can enable new types of interactions and NFTs.”
- Moreover, Dizon explained that if an NFT holder has a profile picture NFT, ERC-6551 makes it have its own NFT wallet. Thus, if the holder decides to sell the PFP in the secondary market, the NFT wallet is automatically integrated.
Challenges for Web3 Game Developers from a Guild Founder’s Perspective
- From his perspective, web3 game’s biggest challenge is still user acquisition.
- “User acquisition, retaining your members and interacting with the game (ang pinakamalaking challenges ng developers). Especially ngayon, ang web3 games ay hindi pa masyadong sikat sa mainstream, bago pa siya. And I think it will take a good blockchain game that everyone will enjoy for people to see that positive ang NFT-based games.”
Q and A with Gabby Dizon
Soulbound Tokens in Education Sector
- “Soulbound tokens can definitely be used as a form of certification, and important dyan, ay mayroon kang data doon sa soulbound token, kung sino iyong nag-certify. Certainly, soulbound tokens can be used as certifications.”
How Web3 Gaming Answers Unemployment
- “Well, I don’t want to say na web3 gaming can answer unemployment, kasi kahit may value ito, hindi ito trabaho. But there are actually a lot of jobs that Filipinos are doing within web3 games. For example, Discord moderators, community managers, and freelance writers.”
How YGG Fights Bad Actors in Community
- “Well for us, ang mga fini-feature namin na games are only the ones that are legit. So we have a vetting process to see para makita kung maganda ang game. If a game is partnered with YGG, you know that we have evaluated the game internally.”
YGG’s Inspiration in Hosting Web3 Games Summit
- “This is a global event. You have games that are coming in all over the world to show the latest web3 games. And on our end, ipapakita natin sa kanila kung gaano kalakas ang Pinoy web3 gaming community.“
- According to Dizon, they observed that the community bond is stronger during in-real-life events.
Tips to Those who Want to Try Blockchain Games
- “Siguro if you want to try a blockchain game, ‘wag ka munang maglalabas agad ng pera, ‘wag kang maniwala agad. You have to do your research, you have to ask your friends, try it out yourself without paying anything, especially if you want to buy assets. ‘Wag kang magpapadala sa emotion na malaki ‘yung kinikita ng iba, because ‘yang mga nadadala sa FOMO o inggit, dyan nadadale ‘yung mga tao eh, dyan sila nawawalan ng pera. Do your own research, play a game, join a community, alamin mo muna kung ano siya.”
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This article is published on BitPinas: Web3 Gaming Predictions | BitPinas Webcast 28
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