“I think winter is great. It is the time to prepare for bigger things.” On Nov 6th, Harry Xiao, founder of blockchain game platform DOGI, told the audience at the block chain forum in GMGC, Chengdu.
He was referring to the economic winter — from gaming industry to blockchain industry. The pessimism is wide-spreading.
“I heard many companies are laying off people due to game licensing issue. I was surprised to see so many of you here today. In the recent couple of years, the numbers of merges and acquisitions are dropping for listed game companies as well.
Economic climate, public opinion and government policy all account for the sluggish business. But deep down, the fundamental reason is the customer. “Customers are tired. They are tired of throwing money into the companies.
Harry Xiao is now starting new in the blockchain gaming. He has seen too many ways of how centralized services affect the industry. “Licences are only issued by the centralized government agency.”
Blockchain will set consistent game rules
In his opinion, a game has its own set of rules and the key is “how to make sure these rules are the best for the industry”
The purest game rules are the marbles kids play. Four holes on the ground and whoever finishes them first wins. Whoever wants to leave the game can just take his marbles and go. This is fundamentally a set of rules. This is the earliest game I could comprehend.
As games are developing, especially when online games start to be use free-to-play model, all kinds of problems start to emerge. Harry Xiao has been doing a lot of thinking about it. He keeps asking himself, could it be that our own system is breaking the balance of the games?
A game must have its own rules to make it interesting. But if its own rules fail to maintain transparency, consistency or order, the game may lose its fun. As time goes on, developers will lose their passion and customers will lose their interest.
In 2014, Harry Xiao accidentally purchased some bitcoin and got into contact with 8btc, the first blockchain community in Mainland China. He also invested in some blockchain games. This experience and his history with mobile games have shined a new light into his thinking.
In January 2019, he founded DOGI, a public platform for blockchain games.
It is a de-centralized game platform based on blockchain technology. It is committed to discovering and promoting ideas into fun games. It also vows to provide support to creative blockchain game developers worldwide.
In his opinion, blockchain ensures transparency with the help of technology. Nobody can casually change the rule so the two can integrate perfectly with each other.
Blockchain has the opportunity, possible through a technical way, to set up a consistent set of rules.
As Harry Xiao explained, if the consistent rule-setting can be promoted across the industry, the whole ecosystem will benefit from it, from developers to customers.
From a historical point of view, games are always playing the role of “catalyst” that drives the developments of software and hardware. Harry Xiao named a few examples from arcade to PC and mobile games. For instance, <Angry Bird> and other mobile games were reasons smartphone gained its popularity in such a short time.
He thought that blockchain games need to find the appropriate breakthrough point to connect the fun of games with the fair and transparent rules of blockchain technology, like the one between traditional games and hardware.
“From the angle of blockchain, games can be an early application of the technology since gaming industry is searching for a new way out and blockchain is looking to break through games.” He said.
Blockchain game developers need to lower their expectations
Certainly, he was blunt about the difference between blockchain games and traditional mobile games. The latter puts the games into one app store and let consumers pay for what they choose to play.
In the age of blockchain games, users and developers must be bound together. In addition to self-funding, developers need to attract public investment as well to get more customers believe in their team and their product. Tremendous external help is needed throughout the development period to let more people know about the product.
As Harry Xiao imaged, this is what the future of games looks like, after integrating with blockchain technology:
In the age of blockchain games, users and developers must be bound together. In addition to self-funding, developers need to attract public investment as well to get more customers believe in their team and their product. Tremendous external help is needed throughoutthe development period to let more people know about the product.
In this context, game development will be a highly unrestrained, flexible and market-oriented activity.
In the future, if blockchain game developers can find customers who believe in them, current game publishers and platforms may shift into managers of gaming communities. Some players may also get into guilds and get involved in the operation of the games, even in rule-setting processes.
In the past few months, the introduction of blockchain has agitated some developers. The inflated assessment of blockchain games has also humanly raised the threshold. However, the economic winter is here to burst the bubble:
A blockchain game developer must stay practical. If crowd-funding is necessary, lower your expectation and control your cost.
Meanwhile, he has also listed some practical advises for developers:
As a blockchain game developer, you need to find your audience from day 1, find those who believe in your development concept and the rules of your game. It doesn’t matter if they are your employees, your friends or people who play your game. Get them to identify with you. Make them your early investors, your promoters and your advisers.
“Just like a monk running a temple. You need to actually walk around with a bowl and ask people for donation. You need to let people see your value.” He said
For Harry Xiao and his start-up DOGI, they are continue topromotethis value.
DOGI is looking for blockchain developers across the world to help him crowdfund, promote, build and manage his community.
You need to find the right direction in the winter
In the end, he gave his words of encouragement in the economic winter:
Everyone will become practical in winter. We should think of what maintains its value in the long term, think of what is worth doing for 5 and 10 years.
“If you are all having a good life, I suppose there is no need to jump into blockchain games; But if you are having some setbacks or struggling, this is something worth your attention.”