After the meteoric rise - and equally meteoric fall - of Axie Infinity, the term “Play-to-Earn” lost much of its cachet, and web3 developers avoided the term throughout the 2022-23 crypto winter. Adjacent concepts such as “Play-and-Earn” or “Play-to-Own” proliferated instead while developers and investors largely ignored the genre, and P2E was effectively declared dead.

But not all developers felt this way. Through the crypto winter, continued to believe in their thesis, that if done thoughtfully and methodically, P2E can be sustainable. Now, almost 3 years after they started building their social farming sim, has hit 500,000 Daily Active Users with over 80,000 concurrent players during events, has announced a partnership with Yield Guild Games and is about to introduce the biggest overhaul of the guilds concept in any web3 game.

In this episode your host, Niko Vuori, talks with Luke Barwikowski, Founder, CEO & CTO of, and dives into how it quietly grew into one of the biggest web3 games by player count after migrating to Ronin, why Luke believes P2E can be sustainable, what utility the $PIXEL token provides players, and more.

To learn more, visit You can find Luke Barwikoski on LinkedIn.

Big thanks to GRID for making this episode possible. GRID is a game data platform providing esports data infrastructure, analytics, and distribution solutions to leading game publishers including Riot Games, Ubisoft, and KRAFTON. If you're a fan, developer, or entrepreneur with an idea for a live data-powered project, make sure to apply for GRID Open Access, get free access to official data, and start creating today! To learn more, visit 

This transcript is machine-generated, and we apologize for any errors.

Niko: Hello and welcome to the Naavik Gaming Podcast. I'm your host, Niko Vouri. We have a great episode for you today. I think it's fair to say that there has been a bit of hype in the weird and wonderful world of Web3 with plenty of citations of various vanity metrics sometimes vaporware announcements.

And here at the Naavik Gaming Podcast, we get dozens of submissions For these types of companies. And so we try to do our best to filter out the ones that are worthwhile to talk about the ones that have real shot at mainstream success. And today's guest very much represents such a shot – pixels.XYZ is one of the largest web three gaming gaming communities by user count on the Ronin network, hitting hundreds of thousands of daily active user wallets and over 80, 000 concurrence very recently on March 5th.

But despite these impressive numbers, if you have not heard of pixels yet, then worry not, you're not alone. The team has kept a relatively low profile. Since launching in October, 2023. But now the team is ready for the world to know what they've been up to, which is nothing less than the ambition to build the Zynga of Web 3.

And as anyone who listens to this pod knows, I'd love me an opportunity to talk about Zynga. So I'm very excited to welcome to the show the founder, CEO, and CTO, busy guy, of Pixels, Luke Baruchowski. Luke, welcome to the pod.

Luke: Yeah. Thanks so much for having me. No, it's really cool because I was an Naavik pro subscriber for a very long time and I was getting tons of value out of all the reports you guys built.

So yeah, it's great to be on here. I'm super excited about it.

Niko: Awesome. It's always great to have a Naavik pro subscriber. All right, with that out of the way. Let's get right into it. Luke, I always ask our guests very upfront here. What brought you into Web3? Because everybody has their journey.

Everybody has their reason for why they saw the aha moment of, ownership or tokenized economy. There's various reasons, but everybody has their moment. So I'd love to hear what your moment was. What was your journey down the rabbit hole?

Luke: Yeah, I think it's like a bit of story that goes into why I'm here.

Just on like my own founder journey and company building journey, and then also just a general set of interest in parts of web three that really intrigued me. But essentially I think the story goes. I was building in a different category before I moved into web3 gaming. I was building with the same core tech that we have inside of pixels right now.

A virtual space is an events company. If the product gathered that town, we were basically competing directly with gather that town for a while, essentially building out these virtual persistent spaces that we would sell to enterprise companies. And what we found in the virtual spaces category before we moved into web through gaming was that when you give people a virtual space, it's not just If you don't have any retentive features inside of it, you don't get very consistent uses out of it.

I think the best use case scenario that we saw inside of these virtual spaces that we were building out was some people would use it about once a week for an hour on a scheduled cadence to do like a meeting or a happy hour different things like that. But yeah, just, we knew we needed to pivot that tech.

And at the same time, as I was going through this pivot mode, Through this previous business I was running, I saw Axie Infinity have its come up. This was in like summer 2021. And I have an economics background. And what's interesting is I was really turned off to crypto for a long time because of that.

I studied economics, but all my economics professors, my focus was on money and banking and undergrad. They all hated crypto. Like I was a big fan of Paul Krugman. You can read all of his essays on why Bitcoin is terrible, essentially. And I was still in that same line of thought. So I saw the rise in 2017 of crypto and Web3 and I basically just ignored it.

But then Axie Infinity came around and I was doing a lot of research onto What they were calling virtual nation building at the time. And that was actually extremely interesting to me where it's like this full use case of, a currency being used in something that actually has value behind it games.

And I grew up playing RuneScape. So the concept of a gaming currency made a ton of sense to me already. Just anybody with that MMO experience understands Web3 gaming innately because of that. And, Axie's come up really inspired me to dig into more of what is possible inside of Web3 gaming.

And yeah, it just timed really well with where like my previous business was at with this interest I had in basically building an economy ground up. I thought that was the coolest thing ever. And What's cool about web three to me too, is it's still super blue ocean, even two and a half, three years later from when we initially started, there's still so much to build inside of web three gaming.

And the fact that there's basically no playbook is also super attractive. The fact that you can just go into this industry side that you want to build something. There's very little competition. And you can basically just start to build the grounds of this industry. So I think that's cool too. So yeah, it's a bit of like great timing.

Actually infinities come up and the problem space is super interesting to me.

Niko: Yeah. It's a combination of two things, actually. I think it's true that there's no playbook. There's also true that there's not necessarily competition in any given category, but at the same time, there's also a lot of competition.

For attention in web three. And of course, not the mainstream isn't there. Or not yet, at least. But we're going to get into that later in the episode. So I want to hear about pixels. I was one of those people who hadn't actually heard about pixel. I cover this space. I look at the space. And I tried to go through my newsletters and my, like my, I subscribed to every web three newsletter out there and I really couldn't find anything much about pixels.

And so you have. Quiet about what you're doing. I obviously you want to have a coming out party right now. So tell me about pixels. What is it, what have you been doing and why now coming with some of these announcements and some of these news?

Luke: Yeah. So pixels. Like really quickly is a web three game.

If I had to describe the gameplay, it's kind of like if stardew valley was an MMO. We are very much a non traditional game studio and we don't build like it too. This is a very interesting team of, I want to call them misfits. But it's a non traditional team is what I can say to be completely honest.

And what we are most interested in. Is how web three can change user acquisition inside of web. We've taken a very different approach to how we build and we haven't done traditional gaming user acquisition or anything like that. Like we have actually spent maybe like 5, lifetime to date on marketing.

Inside of pixels. Now there's other stuff that we're doing there. That's interesting. Like we do user acquisition, but it's more web three native and token incentives. And I think that's sometimes why people haven't seen us, we're not spending money on conferences, not spending money on, all of these partnerships that don't really have the end effect we're most interested in is really seeing how can we create good incentive structures to grow and what we call a bottoms up approach.

And that to me is the really interesting part of web three gaming. Like what we're trying to do at pixels is we're trying to create a generation defining or like an industry defining company. And to do that, we were really thinking more on the growth engine side of things. Gameplay is super important to that as well.

And it's a mix of all these different things, but yeah that's the difference with us at pixels. We have taken a interesting approach to building. We do a build in public style approach of building and it's somewhat chaotic, but it's also been allowing us to. Build really quickly. So we've had a game that's live for two years.

If you saw the first version of the game two and a half, three years ago, there's nothing impressive. It was basically just a demo. And we've slowly made it better and better. So there's sometimes where you, we get, like we run into people where they saw the game like two years ago, they dismissed it, they haven't really seen the growth behind it.

But the cool thing is we've been growing with the community this whole time too. So we basically found like a thousand true fans like two or three years ago. And then this whole core user base that we've had has grown with us. We've grown and expanded that ecosystem too. And yeah, the thing that, woke us up to a lot of the rest of the space was our recent token launch.

And now we get to pour even more fire on the user acquisition. Now that we have that ready, we've basically been like prepping for this for two years now. And now we finally get some room to play with when it comes to user acquisition, more growth levers, all this kind of stuff.

Niko: Yeah, it's interesting.

The guests on the show, typically, especially the ones who come from traditional gaming, web two and have experimented with web three. They typically talk about building the game first building a great game. I'm sure that's what you're trying to do as well. Don't get me wrong here. But I always have this question at the that I like to ask them, which is like, how are you guys thinking about growth?

Who is going to be playing your game? Where are the web two players coming from? How are the web three natives finding you? And we, they have answers, the guys do have answers. But it's always a little bit of a question mark at the end of the interview for me, which is like how are you really going to grow?

You can have the greatest product in the world, but if you can't find your users and you can't find your true fans it's going to be very challenging. So it's interesting to have you on this show here. With a different perspective where you start with okay, this is just an MVP. Let's figure out the growth first and then later on the bells and whistles and the engagement features later.

That's why part of the reason why I was very interested to have you on the show. So that leads me nicely into my next question here. So you've, you have hit some really impressive numbers recently. It definitely one of the biggest and some people say maybe the biggest, I'm not so sure. It's always hard to.

quite know what those numbers are, but certainly some of the biggest numbers that I've seen. So why don't you tell us a little bit about your metrics DAUs, active wallets lifetime installs, whatever you want to share here, whatever you're happy and comfortable sharing. I know our listeners would love to hear a successful game by any standards.

But very successful, I think by web three standards in terms of user counts.

Luke: Yeah. Web three metrics. You need to be Um, because there's a bunch of different metrics that could throw it out. Right now we're sitting at like 700, 000 daily active addresses that are playing our game, which is a unique wallet.

It doesn't necessarily mean 700, 000 daily active users. It really looks like we're about more like 500, 000. Real daily active users and that's some of the core problem set that you need to think about when you're building web three games. So the more important stuff to look at rather than just like pure volume of addresses is really things like spend inside of the game.

Retention can be a bit tricky to judge initially too if you have incentive structures. So yeah, 700, 000 daily active addresses, 500, 000, probably real daily active users. There's a bunch of things we do to estimate that. And then spend inside the games and interesting. We've been monetizing with the token and I think we've done something like.

We're not million dollars in like in token revenue in the last 30 days. And I think that might be the more important metric to be looking at. We also have this thing called the VIP. It's almost like a monthly battle pass and we're sitting at something like 80 to 90, 000 current subscribed users. So that's also a pretty good metric to look at when you think about spend inside of the game.

Niko: And how have these these metrics been trending? You've been building for a while, obviously. But I think you've really, it's really the token launch, which by the way, to talk a bit more about, I think it's on Binance, it's called Pixel. What, I had a question plan anyway, but may as well talk about it right now.

It sounds like that has been the catalyst, maybe later last year to really drive, supercharged the growth. I think the risk, of course, as I'm sure you hear this all the time, the risk with any token, and we saw that with Axia as well, of course, is that, as long as, number go up, everything is great.

And, you're going to get new users, right? Because people are going to see Oh, okay, this is a place I want to be like number go up. But I think the risk of course, as everybody knows is how sustainable can that growth be? So let's talk about your token. Let's talk about the launch.

When did it happen? What was it aimed at doing? Where are you right now in terms of the roadmap for that token? What does it do for players? All the questions around tokenization.

Luke: Yeah there's a lot to dig into there. So yeah, we had a token launch. About a month ago now, I think it was on February 19th was the official date.

We launched on Binance and that was great. This is something that the team has been working on for a really long time. And to me, this is the key unlock in Web3. So the talk about sustainability is a really important one. And I think there's a lot of different frames to look at it. So our tokenomics work a bit differently than maybe some of the play to earn games that had come before look at us.

How I really like to think about our tokenomics is I like to think about it. Like I get a. user acquisition budget every single month, and we get to allocate it how we like to choose. So token price affects that budget that we get for user acquisition, but also It shouldn't really affect the core game, right?

So we like to think a lot about creating great incentive structures inside of the game. And we like to think about this concept of bottoms up growth. So a lot of the questions that we ask ourselves when we're thinking about the token and then what we actually do with it when it comes to the distribution is how can we create incentive structures?

That basically create the most efficient distribution of this token. And for us, what efficient distribution looks like is, are we getting more daily active users inside of the game? And are we creating outcomes or incentives that lead to more spend inside of the game? Like the core goal of the pixels network.

If you like to frame. The token where the game as a network is to grow the network and what we want to do for that is we want, yeah, more users, more spend per user so that we can get even more user acquisition power to grow the game even further. So the markets do affect this, right? It's not completely in our control, this user acquisition budget that we get.

And that is something to note too. There's external factors there. But the core concept and what you really need to be thinking about is, is this game actually providing value to people? Because this value needs to come from somewhere. The interesting thing about having a token out is there's external sources of value that might also influence price.

Things like, markets sentiment, just things that are not necessarily in our control, but there are variables that we can control too. So a lot of the focus internally also when you don't talk about the distribution of the token is how the token is actually getting used in the game. That is the most important thing when you're thinking about real value.

And that's why I bring up spend of the pixel token before like revenue inside of the token as well. Right now we saw about four and a half million pixel tokens burned in the last 30 days. It's a great start. And it's something that we're basically like focused for the next 12 months and getting higher and higher.

How I like to think about how we view the token is in the long run, the rewards that you give out probably need to match tokens that you're taking, right? Doesn't necessarily need to look like that completely. There's some more nuance to it. And I'm like more than happy to dig into how we view token burn versus.

Like different mechanics that might, make users less likely to sell their tokens, which might have the same or similar net effect. But yeah, sustainability to me is have you built a game that people want to be using the token inside of? And then, are you using the reward distribution that you have in an efficient manner?

So are you actually giving it to the people who might be likely to stay inside of the ecosystem, regardless of the earnings? Are you just using it as a hook? Or are you using it as the core of what you're doing, basically?

Niko: Yeah. Let's dig into that then. Perfect time. What are the core game mechanics that people are engaging in?

Let's start with what would be the closest analogy from Web 2, a game that our listeners would know. And then dig into what are your versions of Web 2? Those game mechanics from that game or those games. And how does the token make those engagements, those mechanics better and provide that value for the players?

Luke: Yeah. So it's funny because our game, it looks like a farming simulator. And it is like it's core right now, but there's actually a lot more depth to it than people might realize when they look at it initially. It's honestly more like Diablo or like World of Warcraft or RuneScape. Diablo is probably the closest analogy when it comes to game economics or than it is Farmville because most of the depth inside of the game lies in its economics.

Like when you see people playing that's a lot of decision making that they're making day to day. To me. It just makes a lot of sense in web three to have some kind of element of open economy. It just is one of those primitives that people in web three already interacting with. And if you want to attract a web three audience, it makes sense to lean into that direction a little bit.

So when you play the game you, the core of it is. the system called a task board. You have to basically go to this centralized task board. It's in the store and we give you different orders that you need to fulfill for either an off chain currency coins or an in like the on chain currency pixel.

The gameplay per each player is actually quite varied day to day. A lot of different tasks that they need to do, and they don't really know what they're going to be getting every single time that they open up the game. And, it creates a really interesting peg when you start to introduce the pixel token to actually create value inside of the rest of the ecosystem and economy.

If you had an open economy of in game items, They probably have some inherent value due to gameplay in general and like desirability progression, all these things, when you start to add in the cryptocurrency rewards that actually do have a very clear value, the gameplay becomes pegged to that cryptocurrency value.

So it creates like an interesting way that we can basically assign. Or shortcut all the value to the items when we start to introduce this into the core gameplay loops. So basically these players will go through this task board, like they'll randomly get assigned some of the pixels tasks. And then there's this whole greater economy where players actually have to be trading the other items that they're farming.

They have a routine to farm this one specific type of resource. They might just choose to do that, they might just be farming, pop berries every single day, selling at the open market for coins, getting coins back and then going through the task or trading their coins for things that actually might get them the pixel token in the long run.

But yeah, it's basically like a trading game and economics game. And a decision making game around that. And then a lot of the depth that we're about to add is around the social and around the like guild mechanics as well, too. It's a start of the game. The gameplay is compelling enough right now, and we're adding in more and more like web three primitives and more and more ways that we can actually bury the end game, the gameplay and like next one to two years to make the game even more interesting on top of that.

Niko: Yeah, we're gonna get to the social piece the guilds piece, which I know you're very excited by, and it's coming soon. So we're gonna get that in a second here. But to me, it actually sounds very similar to an early Zynga game Farmville, Frontier World, Cityville Cafe World a lot of those games just had, It was just simple harvesting mechanic, right?

You were just harvesting, timers and then you'd have a task list, in the left nav always in the left nav. I used to work at Zynga, by the way, which is why I always love talking about Zynga and but combined. So like early, early Zynga type games, just farming simulators with a different Theme, whether it be a cafe or an actual farm or, being on the frontier and frontier or whatever, combined with the Diablo auction house economy mechanic.

It sounds like that's is that a fair way to describe what you guys have right now? I know you're going to build out more, but that's what it sounds like to me in a nutshell.

Luke: Yeah, I would say so. And then there's also like these spaces are also like shared and multiplayer too. So there's a social element with that as well.

But yeah, I would say Farmville might with like Diablo auction house combined with like some of the social elements that you might see in an MMO.

Niko: Nice. Nice. Okay. It sounds like an interesting mix and it sounds like it's working. Question on players. Obviously, you've got some very impressive numbers.

We talked a little bit about that. But where are these players coming from? Are these sound like they're very Web three native, very crypto native individuals? Is this the Axie Infinity audience? From Philippines and Thailand and various other countries, or are these Western players who are displaying because they like the game and they're maybe less there for the value?

I'm sorry. I don't want to say extraction. That's the wrong word extracting value. Generating value for each other and trading value. But curious to hear where are these players coming from? And then maybe just jump into how are you bringing them in? How have you managed to get hundreds of, I'm sure every web three developer out there would love to know your secrets.

How do you bring in hundreds of thousands of what sound like active, real human beings who are playing a game and trading? And getting value out of it.

Luke: Yeah, so there's a bunch of stuff here. So one of the biggest catalysts for us was moving to the Ronin network. And that can't be understated, the effect that had.

So one of the hardest parts in Web3 is the distribution layer, right? Like you don't have the app store, you don't have really Web3 publishers, the same way that Web2 has. And, that was one of our biggest struggles for a long time too. It's okay, we have a game, like we had actually done a lot of retention optimization before we.

Started switching on the web three components where we knew we would be able to retain users in a certain way. We knew like a decent idea, like LTV side of the game too. We knew we had something that would probably grow, especially once we started adding incentive design. But the issue is like, how do you get that initial user base?

So we moved to Ronin Axie infinities chain that is known as in about, I think it was like October 31st was the date that we moved there. The it's interesting cause it was a really controversial decision when we first announced it. Basically, I got questioned a lot when people like heard that we were going to be moving there because there was maybe the sentiment of rather than being more of a dead chain or Axie Affinity came and it like had its day and then maybe it wasn't the same level of DAU numbers at the time, but I knew and I had this really strong feeling that the work of onboarding people on the web three can actually be quite expensive.

Especially that initial cold start and Ronin and Axie Infinity, they've already done the hard work of onboarding millions of users into their chain. And I thought that was extremely undervalued and what they had done there. So on October 31st, we moved to the Ronin chain and we started getting a lot more traction being there because essentially what Ronin acted was a publisher for us.

It's just a mutually beneficial relationship between us two. Where, they're incentivized to help us grow. We help grow their network effects inside of the ecosystem. We help grow Ronan daily active addresses. And then, they had a huge user base to pull on that was already onboarded into web three.

That was actually very willing to try web three games. This was the web three gaming audience. It wasn't quite as active before we moved, we had this feeling that they were going to be coming back or at least like able to be resurrected. So that helped give us a great distribution layer that took us from like the 20 K DAU mark.

It's a hundred K. And then the rest of this has been incentive design. This is some of the stuff that we've been experimenting with a lot before. Light of three incentives are extremely powerful. Especially when you bring a token into the mix and once you have something that has a bit more behind it too.

I think like right now inside of pixels, we get 28 million pixel tokens a month that are, basically our user acquisition budget. So we use that in a bunch of different ways. But that also is a huge incentive program, right? If we were to go to web two model, what we would have to do is we'd have to raise a ton of money if we wanted to basically have the same user acquisition power, or we'd have to, um, go really deep into the science of like the performance marketing game.

Which is a much, much more difficult and crowded game to play. And web three offers really new, interesting UA channels that basically just don't exist in web two. They're hyper competitive against web two. And that's the kind of stuff that we focus on. Now there's a lot of nuance in depth that you need to get into to actually make it work.

You can't just give people tokens and expect them to play the game or expect them to stick around. And that's a lot of the core tech and experimentation that we've been doing for the last two years. It's like who you side, how do you decide who to give the tokens to? How do you prevent bots and Sybil attackers, because if you give an incentive structure, people are going to try to mess it up.

They're going to try to attack it, take advantage of it, right? And then, are there better ways to figure out incentives to actually grow the ecosystem too? Do you want to give incentives for playing, for sharing? What are the right balance between the two? Are there different types of users inside of your ecosystem that actually might be better to give rewards to versus others?

How do you actually effectively do that? Yeah there's so much to dig into there and that's like the really fun stuff to me. And I think that's where we want to position ourselves, Pixels, to be building at essentially. It's this is the core growth engine. That will make the industry change completely.

If somebody can pull it off, essentially.

Niko: Yeah, that's interesting. It sounds like you're very acutely aware of course, of the risks of the, incentivizing certain types of behaviors and essentially giving financial rewards for doing something X, Y, Z, A, B, C, whatever that something is. And like I said, as long as the number goes up that's going to work, it's absolutely a hundred percent going to work every single time. So I'm very encouraged to hear that. So many developers fallen into the pitfall of okay yeah, if you give away a token, like somebody's going to come and want to, harvest that token.

Same thing happens in free to play games, right? It's, even without the financial value, never mind with financial value, but it sounds like you're very aware of the potential dangers of doing that. It sounds like you're being quite careful about designing the economy, trying to design the sinks versus the inflows.

Talk to me a little bit about what has been the most effective way of balancing the economy. Open economies always have risks because you're not fully in control as a developer, right? In fact, you may not be in control at all. At some point, you may lose control completely, even if you think you have control for a time.

So what has been your approach and what has been the most effective way of maintaining a healthy balance in that economy? Which sounds like it's, it's easy. Currently growing, but maybe not growing exponentially, like with Axia. Maybe that makes you feel confident that you can maintain that growth.

So yeah, a lot again in that question, but this is an area that I'm extremely interested in. Every time talking about economy design, I like spreadsheets too. I'm an ex CPA accountant from Ernst Young way back in the day. So I love numbers and I love trying to figure out like how do you make those numbers work in any game economy, never mind an open Web3 game economy.

Luke: Yeah there's a lot here too. So part of its player expectations and promises, part of it's live ops, part of it's, community building, part of it is bot prevention detection. That's actually probably the highest impact thing that you need to be thinking about inside of web three gaming and cyber attacking.

If you can't figure out who are real users and who are not real users. There's no chance that you can get into the depth of the real user data. And gold farming is an issue in any open economy game. And when you remove the barrier to sell currency, a hundred acts like cryptocurrency does, there's horrible things that you get from it.

There's, it's also a double edged sword, right? Because if you remove the barrier to sell, it also makes the bot prevention detection much more difficult too, right? A bit of friction in that can be helpful for MMOs like world of warcraft or runescape who are dealing with gold farming. But then you remove that barrier and you have to be much, much more on top of it.

So yeah, all those other things are super important too, but the real player identification, highest impact by far in the early days, you literally can't get to the rest of it unless you have that, or at least like relatively under control. So yeah, some of the stuff that we've done for that is, I think there's two camps that I think about when you think about real player identification, there's the hard KYC, which is a route that I think some games are going to have to go.

Some games are gonna have to integrate, world coin and the eyeball scanning or do ID scanning as well, too, especially if they want a competitive game. It's gonna be really difficult to do it otherwise. Even if you look at like some of the stuff going on in Apex Legends or Warzone, the new anti cheats that are coming out are insane.

Like I saw a bot in Warzone the other day that basically can detect when anti cheat is turned on. The bot turns itself off for the half second. And then it turns itself back on when the anti cheat detection is done. Like for some of these games, you're literally going to need kernel level access to a computer if you really want to make it fully competitive.

Personhood, it's going to be nuts. That's one route that you can go. Our approach instead has been forms of soft KYC and still focusing on a free to play experience that feels a bit better. But if you do that, there's a lot of different things you need to focus on in order to actually pull this off.

And then I think this is part of the web three, tech that you need to think about. So for us, it's like a level of. Like traditional bot prevention detection, which I will say the prevention side of things is quite ineffective when you have incentives in front of it, like captures don't work at all.

You can pay for captures to be done. If there's an economic incentive on the other side of the capture, people are going to be paying for them. The like detection methods of like most web two games. So you do like a bunch of data analysis. Like we do that and that's quite effective. But there's an extraction time period that can happen basically.

We do a lot of like data science on the backend with all the data that we collect on these users, like other, repetitive actions or they're like, flows of different money going to like different accounts. Like you can look at this stuff, you can ban some bots on the backend, but there's still an extraction level that can happen.

So what we'd like to do is we'd like to add two layers in front of that. We like to add a reputation layer. And we like to add a bit of a paywall too, in front of certain economic activity. That's been doing a pretty good job of, aligning incentives between. Real players and also giving us time to do some of the bot prevention detection.

One of the most effective things was this VIP battle pass that we released where essentially to earn more inside of the game or to actually unlock significant earnings, you need to buy a battle pass. It's only like 10 a month right now in our native token. And what this does is one, it creates a cost to create many fake accounts inside of the gaming ecosystem.

Which is great because bots sometimes can afford a huge cost, even though we do see some bots try to buy it sometimes. So what this does is if we're able to ban a bot for an expected level of extraction, they actually come out in the red economically. So that's a way for us to do it. We basically know, okay, if a bot comes into the ecosystem or a non real player comes in the ecosystem or somebody who's made like a thousand accounts, We ban them or remove their accounts within a certain amount of time.

The incentive to bot becomes much less. And then, yeah, we've also combined this with an in house reputation system, but this is some area in Web3 that I think really needs to get expanded upon. Essentially, what we like to do inside of our game is we like to look at some of the external data that you link to our accounts.

We'll make you connect your discord, your Twitter other socials, look at your wallets, things like that. And we'll get like a deep idea of like who you are as a person from these external sources. It can give us a better sense of. Like personhood by the data that like all these other platforms are also doing as well.

Some of them are more effective than others, right? Twitter has its own bot problems. So just connecting to Twitter isn't really enough. Same thing with some other platforms too. But the more data points that you get, the better idea that you can have basically. Then we also combine that with in game data too.

So there's an external side where we can get some data on you, from whatever you connect. Then there's also behavior inside of our game that we know is better. And it's like more reflective of real users too. And this is also something we're like, going to push more into our reward system as well.

But we know that certain types of good players play in a certain way. At certain types of bots or bad actors play in a certain way too. And we can actually get like a score internally on, what kind of player you might be, and we're working on like more and more segmenting that will help us figure that out.

So one, it's great for bot prevention detection too. It's also great for creating better reward structures in the long run too. But yeah, that combined with all of that. And then another layer of game design when you come to building out the game to make it a bit more bot, cyborg resistance is also super important.

That's why we're introducing things like guilds, we're changing up some of the economic systems inside of our game too. Like how you build a Web3 game is really important because, again, if you create the wrong incentive structures inside of a game and the ecosystem, the economy, you're going to set yourself up for botting and cyborg attacking as well.

Like for example, If the game that you built is set up in a way where one person making a thousand accounts gets a huge advantage, people are going to make a thousand accounts. It's literally, if it's a written into the incentive structures of the game design there, it's going to happen. And you need to find a way to make game design work in a way where more accounts doesn't really have an economic impact.

Whether it be like high skill, which for us, that's not really where we're going or whether it be scarcity inside of the ecosystem, whether you have some of that be gated by social. All of this. Yeah it's crazy what you have to do here. Web3 Gaming, it's all of these things combined together to pull it off, in my opinion.

There's so much nuance and depth, and there probably is a billion dollar company in every single area of this, I think. But it's fun because basically none of us has actually really built or polished yet inside the space. So you're a company building inside the Web3 game and you have to figure all these things out for yourself.

And that's the state that we're at right now.

Niko: Yeah. Yeah you're making me break out into cold sweats just listening to all the things you have to do to prevent the bots. It sounds like you're on top of it, but of course, as I'm sure you well know with success comes, even more problems, and the, you're always playing cat and mouse. With the bots, you're always playing cat and mouse with a bad actor. So I wish you all the best and good luck in, in in fighting that because of obviously that is critical, as you say in order to keep the economy balanced and in order to make sure that things don't spiral out of control, like arguably they did with Axia.

Axia was up and to the right, right? The number go up for a long time until it wasn't at which point, it collapses on itself a bit like a like a Badly cooked flan in the oven. Souffle collapsing on itself. Let's change gears a little bit and talk about LiveOps, because that was another element of what you guys are doing that impressed me quite a bit.

Very similar, by the way, to the Zynga playbook. Zynga arguably, was one of the pioneers of the live ops playbook for gaming in particular and Zynga PM's product managers were famous for trying to make sure that you're keeping things fresh and interesting for the players.

So tell me I think you've got updates every two weeks, give or take. I know you have a lot of events. I know you just mentioned earlier on that you're 80. K, 80, 000 plus concurrent day was on a, on an event day. What are you guys doing to keep the players engaged? What kinds of events are you running and how frequently are you in fact putting out content and new features for the players to engage with?

Luke: Yeah. So we take building in public to an extreme. I haven't seen many people do it to like the extent that we do it. And for us, it's a really valuable thing inside of web three. Community building was the first thing we started doing at Pixels even before we had a strong game to be honest. And that's the interesting stuff in Web 3 and why I liked it initially as well.

Like we saw essentially growth hacks to get a thousand true fans through dropping something like an NFT collection or any of that. And it is a really powerful thing. We dropped an NFT collection like a week or two before we launched the first demo of our game. And yeah. Yeah, the LiveOps of Web 3 is particularly interesting.

We started building in public, doing updates almost every week, every two weeks. And we also do AMAs every single week. Our community is actually a really active part of building the game with us. They, at this point, understand that the game is not finished, it's not super polished, and they're completely okay with that, because they get to see it get better every single week, and we engage with them really actively to build out the things that they want to see inside of the game, too.

You know, There's a bit of a balance, because you can't always build Exactly what the community asks for and wants, because especially web three, sometimes their interests aren't like completely aligned with a long term of the ecosystem. But, and it's it's a funny bunch of people sometimes, but also I couldn't picture.

Yeah. I couldn't picture building any other way because there's still so much stuff inside of web three gaming that we haven't. No idea will work or not where we really prefer the iteration speed, and we really prefer being lean and agile. We're still treating our game development like we would a startup where we're not really going in.

With the like perfect idea of what's going to work. And I know some game studios operate in this way. We're just the complete opposite. Basically we're rather than trying to make like a perfect product, optimizing everything, showing it out to the world as like an act of love. Like our act of love is actually building with the people who want to see this stuff built and, basically making the thing that they want.

Yeah, these updates every single week are really helpful and also fostering that sense of community and social is super important too. So yeah, we do AMAs every single week like live streaming with our community answering basically any question about the game development progress there.

And we host a bunch of events inside of the game as well too. So we host energy parties inside of the game when we do AMAs. People always need energy inside of Pixels. It's one of the main constraints if you play the game. So it creates this really interesting social dynamic where, there's this in game need to make you listen to the AMAs with us because we host energy parties inside of the AMAs.

We'll literally link the AMA in the game so you have to come into the game and then you get some energy inside of the game too. And yeah, they've been pretty successful. We typically have like 20, 000 people since the AMA and sometimes like up to like 80, 000 people concurrently in the game at these energy parties.

And it's cool because you actually see all these different players. You feel like a sense of, you feel like you're a part of something bigger when you come into this too. That's what we'd like to invoke inside of Web3 as well. You are here building with us. These are early adopters inside of Web3.

Legitimately just interested in seeing Web3 get better and better. Because they've grown with, games like Axie, and now they're here two or three later, years later still here because they actually like it. They're interested in the future of it. And now they're actually a part of it as an active participant in making Web3 better, too.

So you like to lean on to that kind of ethos and mindset with these users.

Niko: Yeah that brings us nicely on to social. And I know that this is one of the primary reasons that you guys are making a bit of a splash now with some of the news. So guilds you're announcing guilds. And it's a big deal.

You did a partnership with YDG which is, the biggest name in, in guilds in web three and have been for the longest time. Talk to us about guilds. How do they work? How do they layer on top of the existing gameplay? That's already there. And how does it compare to other? Games that have the concept of guilds, because there are a lot of guilds out there, as I'm sure you well know from from your time in Web3.

Luke: Yeah, so there's a couple of things here too. One, what I like to say is we like to think about primitives inside of Web3 and we love thinking about the features that make Web3 unique. Or make Web 3 games potentially better than Web 2 games, or at least like non competitive against Web 2 games. Some of those primitives are things like play to earn.

I think that's a Web 3 primitive that like, it could exist in Web 2, right? There's no reason that somebody couldn't create really big prize pools inside of a Web 2 game, and then offer incentives like that. We do see that a lot of the times. But it's 10 times easier inside of Web 3. Guilds is one of those Web3 Printeds, which I find very interesting, where there are guilds inside the web two games that's super normal in clash of cleans in games like world of Warcraft or Run Scape, like these are all like pretty essential parts of the gameplay.

But then Web3 offers like a new twist on it that is a bit interesting. The other thing that we saw as a Web3 primitive was social fy and there's all these things that like, it's really easy to criticize these primitives inside of Web3 because they didn't work in the first iteration. What we'd like to think about is, is this actually something new inside of Web3?

And is there a way to make this work? Or is there something interesting here that we can take inside of our gaming ecosystem? And, use in here. Socialfy and FriendTech was one of those things I saw last summer that was really interesting to me. The concept of bonding curves and the idea behind it.

Basically creating like this really interesting aligned incentive and structure. to, bring in creators or people who might help grow in the ecosystem and, have incentive alignment there. So guilds played that role inside of some of the early web three games, right? You had a guild come into the ecosystem.

They actually helped onboard tons and tons of people into Axie Infinity. So when I'm thinking about growth inside of our game and ecosystem, these two things together actually seem pretty interesting. We started thinking about, how can create more incentive structures. So if our user acquisition be like 10 or 100x, right?

Can we create systems where people are helped So you incentivize to do UA for us and yeah, that's what drew us into actually like figuring out, is there a version of Guilds 2. 0 inside of Web3? So for us, what that looks like and we'll see how well this works. We're gonna have to iterate and adjust it a ton because there's so much depth and nuance here and a lot of iteration experimentation needs to get done is we're basically combining Socialify and Guilds and Web3 gaming all together in this one feature that we're calling Guilds.

How it works is, essentially, there are now guilds inside of pixels that will be integrated into the gameplay. There's a lot of really interesting end gameplay that we're going to be adding in the next 2 3 months around guilds as well too. But in order to join a guild, you have to essentially pay pixel, and you join it on a bonding curve.

So what this does is, larger guilds become more expensive to join. And newer guilds actually have a much cheaper price to join too. And these membership prices are split between us and the guild leaders as well. So there's a couple of things that are going on there. One, it creates better longterm guild competition.

Essentially if a guild is not providing value to the end users in the, justification of that high membership price you would hopefully expect to see a More guilds form with lower membership prices, right? So this creates an interesting head of landscape inside the guilds, inside the ecosystem.

So you don't have one super guild essentially. To what this does is creates that great user acquisition incentive alignment. There's a split on the fees. Guilds are more likely to go out and help create like incentive programs to join their guild, which helps us in the long run. And then three, what we're doing when we integrate this in the gameplay too, is It creates really interesting self governance when it comes to resource distribution inside of the game and ecosystem.

So along with all of the new interesting gameplay that might form with this kind of stuff we are introducing new types of resource generation that are tied to the guilds. So one of the big changes that we're making inside of the game in the next month or two is changes to the resource generation side of the game.

Right now, just like we were talking about this whole bot thing. When you come into the game, basically anybody can farm on a plot of land inside of pixels. So if you have a piece of farmland, you can have 10, 000 people on your farmland. And yeah, that might be like 10, 000 amount of resources getting generated per piece of land every single day.

Change that we're making now is that. on farmland and on soil inside of the game. Only one person can farm on it at a time. So this is interesting, like crazy scarcity that didn't exist in the game before. But what this does now is we can actually tie some of the more valuable resources to this scarcity as well, and create really new, interesting social gameplay dynamics.

We link this into the guilds. So one thing this does is with the resource generation, and therefore the pixel generation it's almost self governed by guilds now, where if there's a bot that's coming onto guild land, And taking resources in this guild's land. Now they're taking resources away from the guild.

It's not, it is zero sum in this situation now. It's not more and more resources getting created inside of the game. So the game is going to become much more social. Now we're also going to self manage resource creation and distribution. And that's the stuff that we're interested in.

Basically, it's like a form of cyber resistance gameplay where the bot detection is almost decentralized into the guild's hands. It's creating better incentive alignment when it comes to resource distribution side of the game. And I also think it just adds more fun and interesting gameplay dynamics.

Like If you've ever played even line. That's like a great guild system that we're interested in. Like we want backstabbing. We want like a lot of the social dynamics that come with the guild system inside of eve online. And yeah, I think that's the end goal. So yeah, it's a new web three primitive.

It unlocks new types of gameplay. It creates better incentive alignment between us and end user. And. It makes the game a bit more cyber resistance too. So yeah, it's interesting. It's gonna be, there's gonna be a lot to pull off. It's gonna be so chaotic for the next couple of months. And we'll be one hell of an experiment.

Niko: It's one hell of an experiment and I love it. I love the audacity. And this is what part of what makes web three so much fun is you get to try. Crazy things and some of them are going to work and some of them are not. And it sounds like you've got a pretty strong thesis around what hasn't worked in guilds and web three so far.

And what might make it work with what you guys are doing, but it does lead to the question, which is what about player expectations? Obviously this is a pretty big change here. Resources are suddenly becoming much more scarce. There's a lot of like change for lack of a better phrase.

There's a lot of change happening for the players. How do you communicate this with them? And I know you said you do a maze every week and updates every two weeks. It sounds like you're pretty upfront about it. But what have players been saying to you when you've been teasing this feature or talking about how this is going to work down the line?

Luke: Yes, some are excited. Some are nervous. And yeah, this. Truthfully, maybe this has an impact on DAU, but these are the things that we need to take experiments and risks on. If we want to get to that route of web three gaming sustainability. We're not afraid to take giant risks inside of pixels.

And we never have been. Our focus is really seeing, can we make play to earn work? Can we figure out web three gaming? Can we create something that is actually sustainable and we'll be around for the long run? So I'm willing to sacrifice some short term growth if that's what it takes. In order to actually have something that works in the long run.

I legitimately do think that these features are going to be more fun, more exciting for players. It might not be great to some certain user personas. Maybe the bots aren't going to like it. I can tell you that. We're going to have some angry people in the discord that, actually do that.

They like poses real players. Yeah, that's always the thing. Whenever you add like more inside bot, you'll get really angry.

Niko: Well with AI, you're going to have sentient bots soon.

Luke: Yeah, it's also going to like maybe be yeah. It's going to be a bit different from some of the personas too.

It's interesting. If you look at a lot of the like player criticisms of the game inside of pixels right now a lot of them are saying they don't earn enough. And that is something that you need to think about when you think about who you're actually targeting. Should you listen to that as much as they're saying the real answer is probably not.

What we'd like to think about a lot is what are the earnings that you actually need to be giving inside of the ecosystem, actually retaining users. We're going more on a hard data approach to this one rather than player sentiment, right? For that particular piece. But these are the things like in the tough decisions that you need to be thinking about when you think about Web3 gaming sustainability.

Like what are the actual numbers that you need? Or to achieve the outcome that you want. If you have a data that justifies that. And yeah, there's, yeah, there's a bit of back and forth on that too, but it's funny, like we've been through this so many times that when we make big changes, every time we make a change, somebody is like, nobody's going to play the game after, and then we.

We focus on sustainability, we focus on the right stuff. We've always found that there's growth with that, essentially. The key thing is, if we're able to build out better incentive structures, we can create more incentives for the real players, which is more user acquisition budget that we get to real players, essentially.

So any time that we do something that's more bot or server resistance, that's basically way more budget for user acquisition. So it's always advantageous for us to figure these things out.

Niko: Yeah, I could ask you for leaning into play to earn, by the way, we haven't talked about this very much, but as I'm sure you well know, play to earn got a pretty bad name and most web three developers actually hit away from it.

So no, we're not play to earn. We're play and earn or we're. Play and win or, there's a lot of euphemisms for that. And I actually like how refreshing it is to hear from you. They're like, no you are play to earn, but it does bring up a question here though, which is yes, the incentive structures, you are obviously putting a huge amount of thought into it.

And so I'm very. Truly impressed by how much thought you guys are putting into and clearly are well aware of what has come before. What is the legacy of, something like Axia and other kind of early play during games. But I think that does bring up the question, which is, are the players there to play?

Are the players there to earn? Can that ever truly be balanced? I know that maybe it feels like I'm asking the same question a couple of different ways here, but that was always the conflict. With something like an axia that's always been the conflict in the plate to earn space is the I'm playing.

But if I'm earning, am I really playing or my working? This is the job that I'm doing here. Yeah, just want to get your take on that. Just again, kudos for leaning into play to earn. And saying, I'm trying to figure this out like nobody has figured it out. We're trying to do that. Absolutely.

I wish you all the best and good luck on doing that. But does play not be become play anymore? Does it become a job if the earning component is there? Maybe more of a philosophical question, but certainly something that I think you must have thought about.

Luke: Oh, yeah. No, I think about us all the time.

Yeah, play the urn is actually like the ship I'm willing to sync with that is our mission at pixels. Can we figure out crack how to make a play the urn game actually work in the long run? Because I think if you unlock this, it's literally industry defining, not just in gaming, but consumer and a lot of the way that you use applications in general.

So I'm willing to take the swing because, maybe there's no way to make it work. Maybe there isn't, but I truly believe there is, right? So I think the question you need to ask yourself is, You're willing to pay money on ads to acquire free players, right? You're not paying money on ads, like, why can't you maybe give some of that money back to some of the users, right?

To me, it's more of a value distribution problem than it is a sustainability problem in a way. One, in order to make play to earn work everybody agrees the game needs to be fun. The value needs to be provided through a great game that people are willing to spend money on. The game probably needs to benchmark against Web 2 games so you don't have any incentive structures on it.

And you need to be thinking about spend inside of the game for, the love of it, right? But then, how Web 2 game economics work is not everybody needs to spend inside of the game for the game to be successful, right? But you do need to spend a lot of money on user acquisition to make that game successful too.

So thinking about it and framing it like that is a bit different when you start to think about it's the budget I have for user acquisition. And I'm trying to get this much spend out of the long run. I think you can think about play the urn in a similar way to and the interesting thing about having a live token and all of that too, is get some time to figure it out.

Speculation is a double edged sword, right? When you have a live token out, um, you do get speculators inside of an ecosystem, right? That just want to. The token or like new investors, things like that funds that come into the ecosystem and it's actually a superpower in the early stages.

Cause you get that budget for user acquisition that you might not have otherwise. If we were trying to bootstrap this ecosystem and do this in like a web two way, what we would need to do is make a lot of money through the game through in app purchases, things like that, build up like a treasury, and then we could start to distribute some of that.

Value that we're creating through profit to users in that way. But instead of the Web3 native way, there's a different route, right? And if you use it in the right ways, potentially you're building out a really great network. But then, yeah, I also think a lot about player promises, like the right types of players who you're bringing on.

I think that's quite important to think about. Like for example, not everybody can earn the entire time, most likely. Like you do need to have people who are willing to play the game. In the long run as well too, but it's that like whale free to play structure that already exists in a lot of free to play games too, right?

You need a user base for whales that actually come in and enjoy the game in general as well. Like you can't just have a whales only game. I guess you can, like there are some things like that, but typically in most of the free to play settings, it's a mix of the two personas, right? So it can create incentive structures that create like a great whale friendly environment through also having these other players inside of the gaming ecosystem.

I might not have tried it before, or he can give them books to come in and be like great players anyways. And then, yeah, how much do you need to give these people to have them stay? Is it, job level, or is it just like a little beer money that gets them into the ecosystem, keeps them to stay.

Or do you just need to give them like an initial hook to try it out for the very first time? And do they like to stay because of the game itself, like these are questions to ask too. And then the other point I like to bring up too, is. Like I actually legitimately think regardless of anything else to play there and makes the game more fun.

Basically everything has stakes finally. So the decisions that you're making matter a lot more when I played fantasy football, I am so much more engaged in my fantasy football leagues. When there's money on the line, that's yeah, I care about the games more. I care about the players more and a play their game is the same way.

Like it's legitimately more fun when you have stakes, when you like decisions that you make have some kind of impact, it's like pretty low stakes. So I think that adds another part to the equation that a lot of people forget sometimes as well you need all these other things to do it.

But then legitimately having these components also add another level where you might be even more likely to spend and the ecosystem actually might be more valuable for that reason, too.

Niko: So let's talk a little bit more about your partnership with YGG Yield Guild Gaming. They're one of the biggest names, if not the biggest name, as I mentioned.

And In the world of Web3 they were obviously famously early in Axie Infinity and it's how they made their name and grew from there quite dramatically. So you have a partnership with them and I'm very interested to hear what does that entail? How are you guys working together?

What do they bring to you and what are you bringing to them?

Luke: Yeah, so I think both of us think that Web3 guilds need to look a lot different than the first generation. It's really interesting what popped up in the first generation of Web3 gaming with guilds, right? But, I don't think anybody really wants the second generation of it to look like exactly what it did before.

How I think we both view guilds more in the traditional MMO sense, where guilds are essentially groups of players that are coming together for a shared goal. And whether that be in gaming or anything else, that's what we kind of want to facilitate. So even when we think about the systems design inside of pixels, that's the end goal that we're trying to achieve.

We really just want to make it so that a group of like 10 to 20 friends can play together and achieve some economic outcome together, like some end goal together as well. But then YGG, the interesting thing there is they have a lot of people who have already been onboarded into web three guilds, like they're the web three.

Guild company, right? So it was a really interesting partnership as we're thinking about what guilds 2. 0 looks for us to start to explore, right now we're providing like a lot of users that might, go into YGG, but what we hope for in the long run is we hope that there's more web three games to start to lead in the gills that we can start to bring in from YGG to pixels, right?

So for us, that partnership's mutually beneficial in the long run, where, we always want to be working with people. Who there's a line incentives with and shared goals with where, if YGG starts getting more and more guilds that are coming in and playing games like alluvium or playing games like shrapnel are there incentive structures that we can create for these same groups of people to come into pixels and start playing pixels too?

Niko: Interesting. Interesting. Okay. Yeah, I do think this there is definitely an evolution required, maybe not a revolution quite. Maybe it doesn't need to be a bit more drastic, but yeah, definitely. I think the old guild model from, the early Axie infinity days. I think that generally me. I'm not saying it's proven to not work, but it hasn't worked yet.

Let's put it that way. So I like that you guys are rethinking what that could look like for kind of the next generation of Web3 games. Okay. We're coming up to time here, but I do want to ask a couple, couple more questions. The first one is obviously Guild is huge. It's a big experiment.

Let's see if it works. Good luck. Do wish you all the luck in seeing how that plays out. And we'd love to have you back on the show at some point to talk about how it went after you rolled it out once you have some data in there. But what's other than gills, what's next on the pixels roadmap?

What are the coming the bolder beats, the bigger things that you guys are working on?

Luke: Yeah, I would say there's a really clear path to one to two million DAU for us. I don't even think we have to change anything. We'll probably hit about two million DAU. But then the question mark is like, how do we get to that 7 to 10 million mark and for us, that's going to have to be a lot of optimization.

There's still a lot of work to put into like the core gameplay, the polish systems, like we're not there yet. It's interesting because we're getting a lot of traction, but we're still like, I would call this early stage. So there's still a lot to figure out. So the next Three to nine months.

That's what this looks like. Essentially, like optimizing spent pixel per player, optimizing, like even more of their attention and like really fine tuning how to build out these incentive structures properly to keep people inside of the game for a long time. And then once we start to do that, we can start pouring more of the fire on some of the user acquisition side of things, like pretty sure we can scale this particular title to 7 million.

I'm just, I'm looking at the playbook of releasing it to like Yobo. For example, how I think yoga was at like 7 million DAU at one point. And it's, yeah, it's funny actually, how similar pixels is the Yoville hadn't even realized that until somebody had pointed it out. Yeah. But then the question mark is how do you get to 50 million?

And that's what I'm thinking about a lot lately. So for us, we want to build out like these incentive structures. Like really figure out this core growth engine and see if this also scales to other games too. Like I, I do think there's a path to a like 50 million DAU company if we figure all this out.

And that's the that's the reward that we're going for basically. That's like the end goal.

Niko: That's ambitious for sure. That's a, I think a lot bigger than the current web three gaming population period. So a lot of onboarding needs to happen from web two into web three. And of course, with incentive structures, you can do that, right?

People will come they'll come for the money, come for the earn, stay for the play. Maybe, I don't know. We'll see how that plays out, but I'm definitely curious to see how it does play out and how you guys progress against that roadmap and that very bold vision of 50 million web three players just in a single title.

I think, are you talking about single title or are you talking about the more broad network that you guys are trying to build here?

Luke: No, I think that 50 million DAUs gotta be through multiple titles. Fair enough. I was

Niko: gonna say, you would have one of the most successful games on the planet at that point which, hey, good luck maybe you will, okay, cool. Completely different question here. This is the last question I like to ask all of our guests. What three games are you playing or what three games are you most excited by at the moment? And they can be Web 2, Web 3, mobile. Console, PC, whatever.

Luke: Yeah, it's funny. The games that I like are more walking simulators um, or like, sailing oriented games.

I just started playing Subnautica, which is not a walking simulator, but it feels like it. It's just a diving simulator. But I love that game lately. It's just like more of an escape for me where I can go out and just chill out and explore some cool environments. I still play a lot of Vampire Survivors.

I'm into like also casual quick games like that. And then, yeah, I've been playing games with friends. It's more like Civ or strategy games like that.

Niko: Nice. All right. Very different taste to most of our, so far, every one of our guests has said Baldur's Gate 3 is one of their favorite games.

And good to hear that we have some more eclectic titles in the mix there as well. That is a great place to end today. Luke, I just want to say thank you so much for coming on the pod. It was an absolute pleasure.

Luke: Yeah. Thanks so much for having me.

Niko: This is great. Yep.

And a big thank you as always to all of our listeners. We'll be back next week with more interviews, more insights, and more analysis from the weird and wonderful world of web three. So until next time, friends stay and stray, why not crypto curious and feel free to send questions, guest recommendations, and comments to me.

My email is [email protected].

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