In this Metacast episode, Anthony Pecorella, Anil Das-Gupta and Matt Dion, join your host Maria Gillies to discuss Investing in Interestingness and whether or not setting goals is actually counterproductive when creating innovative games. The team also discusses the concept of full on-chain games, and chats about why traditional console developers aren’t taking full advantage of the mobile market.

💥 Investing in Interestingness

⛓️ Fully On-Chain Games

  • Context
    • Dark Forest is being touted as the first fully on-chain game (see this episode where we discuss our first impressions of Dark Forest).
    • Academics have praised it as revolutionary and innovative. However, from a business perspective, it’s been seen as frivolous as it runs slow, has low user capacity and it’s fully on-chain feature provides no tangible benefit.
    • Does Dark Forest represent the direction we should go in?
  • Reasons this isn’t the way forward:
    • In “innovative” web3 games like Dark Forest, the gameplay is often unique but not fun.
    • Success has always come from observing the market and creating/ deriving/ combining/ remixing based on what people have found fun before, not by creating totally new things.
      • E.g. Dota 2 and Auto Chess, games where UGC had a large part to play in their success.
    • On-chain games might turn out to be like VR in the 1990s: is cool, but won’t take off.
  • Are on-chain games viable from a business perspective? What can blockchain do that other platforms can’t?
    • Composability: The game will exist for as long as the blockchain does → no development time limit, gives assurance to players and investors that game will not suddenly close.
      • Possible to create a classic game that will last generations., like what chess is now.
    • Creates stronger relationship between the company and its customers → branding.
    • Open source: a lot of opportunities for innovation.
      • However, also means your work is not protected → could be monetized by another party.
  • At the same time, when considering whether or not to pursue web3, we should not only consider business viability. We should pursue innovation.

🎮 Traditional Console Developers and Mobile

  • Context
  • How was Fire Emblem Heroes so successful?
    • Well designed monetization (being a strategy based game combined with gacha mechanics).
    • It is backed by a strong IP.
    • Is most popular in Japan, the country that traditionally has the highest spending per player.
  • Perhaps console developers are unwilling to venture into mobile due to lack of understanding.
    • Possible old-school belief that releasing a version of the game on mobile will devalue the console version, condescension towards mobile as a genre of games.
    • Lack of knowledge of how to monetize from mobile → need to hire people with experience.
  • Might only be a matter of when, not if.