Game Research Report
Build the Deck of Ultimate Gods: Gods Unchained Research Report
Feb 22, 2023
Build the Ultimate Deck of Gods
Gods Unchained is a free-to-play, play-to-earn trading card game built on the Ethereum blockchain. The game has been in development since in 2018 under the leadership of Nick Clay, former director of the Magic The Gathering Arena, and was one of the first of its genre to include crypto elements.
As in the classic trading card games, players build their deck and compete against each other for rewards and glory. Gods Unchained gives players true ownership of in-game assets by making them NFTs, which players can trade on the ImmutableX Marketplace.
With a rich lore, frequent new card expansions, and the utility provided by the $GODS token, Gods Unchained has become a reference in the blockchain gaming space.
TOKENOMICS & BUSINESS MODEL
Gods Unchained's core currency is $GODS, an ERC-20 token that will be used for governance, crafting new NFTs, making in-game purchases, and is also a key component of the Play-to-Earn loop.
The P2E Rewards Pool accounts for 34% of the total token supply, highlighting the importance of the token in the whole ecosystem. The token will be allocated to a variety of P2E campaigns, such as weekend ranked matches, the daily token reward system, quests, tournaments, and others.
Gods Unchained follows a free-to-play model, where optional monetized content and features are released over time and are not required to play the game. The main way this is achieved is through expansion sets that are sold for a limited time. While users can unlock core cards through play, the expansion sets have a finite amount of NFTs, making them scarce in comparison. Five expansions have been released to date.
Within the motto of "free-to-play," there’s an in-game resource called Stars. You get them by winning ranked matches, and they can be used in the Star Store to buy new off-chain cards from the Core and Welcome Sets.
Secondary market royalties are another source of revenue. These are added to the rewards from the staking pool. Fee percentages vary depending on the card. As the trading economy expands, so will the money from royalty payments.
The latest P2E mechanic introduced was “Daily Play & Earn” which rewards players with $GODS tokens. By playing ranked matches, players can earn points called Fragments from the first 10 Ranked matches of the day. Only wins generate Fragments and the first 3 wins generate double the Fragments.
The amount of Fragments you can earn from winning a match depends on various factors, such as your Rank, how many wins you get, and the Shine Quality of the cards you use in the match.
The Fragment rewards will be translated to $GODS tokens and functions via a shared pool which varies based on the numbers of active players over the previous two days. Players receive a percentage of the pool based on their percentage of the total Fragments earned that day across the entire player base. Although the rewards are given daily, players can only redeem them after a 7 day period.
Then there are the Weekend Ranked events. Competing in them will reward players with valuable card packs from the latest expansion set based on the number of wins in the first 18 matches and also their starting rank at the beginning of the event.
Regardless of when you play, for each ranked match, players gain experience that counts towards their account level. At every level, players receive a core card pack as a reward.
The last P2E mechanic involves an in-game resource called “Flux”. Players received it for the first 3 wins with each god per day, making it possible to receive Flux 18 times per day.
Flux, in conjunction with the $GODS token, allows players to fuse cards via the Forge.
Fusing is the process of combining two or more identical existing cards into a single card of better quality. Despite giving just an aesthetic effect, the new card becomes an NFT and therefore gains real-world value as it may be traded in the marketplace.
TEAM, INVESTORS & PARTNERS
Immutable is an industry-leading blockchain business supported by investors, including Naspers, Galaxy Digital, Coinbase, Bitkraft Ventures, and Fabric Ventures with $77 million in venture capital funding. The company's products include Gods Unchained, Immutable X, the first Ethereum layer 2 intended for non-fungible tokens, and the forthcoming mobile game Guild of Guardians.
Over 50 full-time employees are working on Gods Unchained. The team is composed of experts from top companies like Riot Games, Electronic Arts, Goldman Sachs, and many others. These experts have a lot of knowledge in many different areas of game development and blockchain engineering.
Chris Clay, the former game director of Magic: The Gathering Arena, is the team's leader. Clay is one of several Immutable leaders who have contributed to games and technologies used by millions of people today.
Nic Watt, VP of Product, formerly held the position of Lead User Experience Designer for League of Legends at Riot Games. Before that, he was a lead designer for EA and started his own studio, Nnooo, which he worked on for more than a decade.
Matt Aldrich, Lead Art Director, has been focused on creating world-class game art for more than two decades, working on franchises such as Tomb Raider, Assassin's Creed, James Bond, Lord of the Rings, FIFA, and Star Wars.
Derek Proud, Producer, is a veteran of the video game industry with over twenty years of expertise. His work includes Harry Potter, Avatar: The Last Airbender, Cars, Spongebob Squarepants, and Jimmy Neutron, among others.
Arash Mahboubi, Crypto Product Lead, has spent the last four years building the core technology that governs the Ethereum network, and before that, he helped bring blockchain Dapps to mainstream consumers.
With an experienced team and the backing of such prominent names, Gods Unchained has the potential to provide a high-quality game that can genuinely compete with established industry games, as well as provide a friendly entry point to increase blockchain-based technology adoption, education, and awareness.
Gods Unchained is one of the references in this space, and together with a few competitors like Splinterlands or SkyWeaver, they managed to create a good player base and audience around them.
The genre, however, is becoming saturated, with fewer distinctive elements setting the games apart from each other, which makes it increasingly difficult for new releases to stand out.
While many are still in development, games like Parallel and Cross The Ages have actually managed to create momentum and build large communities despite not having launched yet.
All of it in a time where the big web2 franchises have yet to transition to web3. If and when they do, they might overtake a significant part of the market and make it even more competitive.
February's Web3 Gaming Montly Report
Mar 1st, 2023
February Digest; The number of UAW playing blockchain games in February was roughly 20 million, with a daily average of 730k players. This data confirms the pattern that has been noted in past months. We take a look at Bitcoin’s latest crazy, Ordinal Inscriptions, and assess its benefits and impact on the ecosystem. DigiDaigaku aired an ad touting a free mint of its Dragon Eggs collection during the last Super Bowl game, but it was met with disappointment and controversy. The NFT marketplace wars are heating up as Blur becomes a significant player in the NFT market, overtaking OpenSea in the past couple of weeks. BLOCKCHAIN GAMING ON-CHAIN DATA Around 20 million UAW played blockchain games in February, with an average of approximately 730k daily players. This data confirms the current trend of growth stagnation. DappRadar's analysis revealed that the top 10 blockchain games remained largely the same, except for the addition of Oath of Peak. This MMORPG was launched last month and is steadily gaining popularity. In the opposite direction, Benji Banana's players continued to decline in February, but it still maintained its place in the top 10. ORDINAL INSCRIPTIONS: BITCOIN’S LATEST CRAZE The latest craze in the Bitcoin community is Ordinal Inscriptions, which are now approaching the 200,000 mark as users flood the network with images, video games, and other content. Ordinal Inscriptions are similar to NFTs, digital assets inscribed on a satoshi, the lowest denomination of Bitcoin. This became possible thanks to the Taproot upgrade launched on the Bitcoin network in November 2021. The Ordinals Inscription process writes or inscribes the data of the content stored into the witness of the Bitcoin transaction. The witness was introduced in theSegWit upgrade to the Bitcoin network in 2017. Ordinals are the heart of the Bitcoin philosophy and require users to download Bitcoin Core and sync the node to the blockchain. They can be a complicated process due to the size of the Bitcoin blockchain and the need to use the Command Line (Windows) or Terminal (Mac/Linux) Gamma, a Bitcoin NFT marketplace on Stacks, is offering a paid service that allows users to inscribe images and text. The Benefits of Ordinals Inscriptions to the Bitcoin Ecosystem Bitcoin NFTs have the potential to bring significant benefits to the Bitcoin ecosystem. One of these benefits is increased security. As more users create and trade Ordinals, there will be a higher demand for block space and transaction fees. This will incentivize miners to prioritize transactions with higher fees, making it more difficult for attackers to launch a 51% attack on the network. Another benefit of Ordinals is that they provide a new revenue stream for developers building on the Bitcoin network. With the rise of blockchain gaming and other decentralized applications, developers are looking for ways to monetize their creations without relying solely on token sales or advertising revenue. By creating Ordinals, developers can earn revenue from each transaction that involves their NFTs. Finally, Ordinals can help promote wider adoption of Bitcoin as a platform for digital content creation and distribution. While Ethereum has dominated the NFT market thus far, Bitcoin's robust infrastructure and massive user base make it an attractive option for creators who want to reach a broader audience. As more artists, musicians, and game developers begin using Ordinals to showcase their work, it could lead to greater awareness and acceptance of Bitcoin as a viable alternative to traditional payment systems. In my opinion, the recent spike in newly created Ordinals in the Bitcoin community is a positive development for the ecosystem and will benefit the network in several ways, as mentioned earlier. While there are still technical challenges to overcome, such as making the process of creating and trading Ordinals more user-friendly, the surge in interest in Bitcoin NFTs suggests that these challenges can be overcome. It remains to be seen whether Ordinals will become as popular as Ethereum-based NFTs or other forms of cryptocurrency-based digital assets. Still, one thing is clear: by enabling users to inscribe digital content onto its blockchain, Bitcoin is once again proving its versatility and adaptability as a decentralized platform for innovation. DIGIDAIGAKU NFT SUPER BOWL COMMERCIAL DigiDaigaku, an NFT project by Web3 gaming company Limit Break, aired an ad touting a free mint of its Dragon Eggs collection during the last Super Bowl game. By scanning a QR code, viewers could mint the free “digital collectible” as advertised in the commercial. Already in 2021, Digidaigaku made waves during the Super Bowl with its memorable ad featuring two robots in a rap battle. However, the company's plans for the 2022 Super Bowl were even more ambitious. Even though the project got a lot of attention, it got a wide range of responses, which left many in the NFT space confused and led to controversy in the end. The DigiDaigaku ad aimed to provide a free digital collectible to viewers who scanned a QR code. Unfortunately, for many viewers, scanning the code didn't lead to the expected NFT but instead directed them to Gabriel Leydon's Twitter profile, the CEO and Co-Founder of Limit Break. Leydon's Twitter header displayed a "follow to win" banner, which led to speculation that the ad and QR code were part of an expensive engagement farming strategy. While that is partially true, since the mint was already completed, any additional viewers were forwarded to the social page to gain traction. The ad cost $6.5 million, so using it to its fullest potential made sense. After the ad's launch, many took to Twitter to express their disappointment at the missed opportunity to introduce enthusiasts to the NFT space. Despite this, Leydon considers the ad a success. Following the mint, OpenSea indicated that the NFTs were being sold at approximately 0.5 ETH. However, the prices have since fluctuated, and the current floor price for a Dragon Egg NFT is 0.245 ETH. The varying prices may have been influenced by Gabriel Leydon's recent tweets. Despite that, they managed to generate 1,485 ETH in volume so far, and with that some revenue from the fees as well. A second-chance mint was announced before the game ended, featuring another 5,000 unrevealed NFT Dragon Eggs. Limit Break and DigiDaigaku's plans for the future are still unclear, but their poorly received launch shows that falling short of expectations while under a microscope can be dangerous, just like other hyped NFT drops in the past. OPENSEA VS BLUR: THE NFT MARKETPLACE WARS OpenSea has long been a dominant player in the NFT market and the natural choice for NFT traders, collectors, and creators. However, the NFT ecosystem has undergone a significant change recently with the emergence ofBlur, which has given Opensea a run for its money. While other competing NFT marketplace platforms like Genie, X2Y2, and LooksRare have been around, they did not pose a significant threat to Opensea. Since its debut in October, Blur has gained considerable momentum among NFT traders and has climbed to become the largest NFT marketplace by volume, overtaking OpenSea in the past couple of weeks, as per data from Dune. Known for its zero trading fees and marketplace “floor sweeping,” Blur has become a significant player in the NFT market in just a couple of months. Here’s everything you need to know about the current battle of the NFT Marketplaces: Blur's Token Launch and Airdrop Blur's token, $BLUR, was highly anticipated by users of the platform. The airdrop of $400 million worth of tokens was seen as a generous move by the platform to reward its early users. However, the alleged wash trading by the top three users has raised questions about the validity of their activity on the platform. The controversy surrounding the wash trading has not affected the popularity of Blur, as it has continued to attract new users. Blur is hinting at its upcoming "Season 2" token airdrop and has highlighted that traders who place bids on the top collections closer to the floor will receive greater rewards. Essentially, those who bid on the cheapest available NFT for a specific project will increase their potential rewards. As a result, traders are both buying and selling in bulk. OpenSea's Royalty Fee Cut OpenSea's decision to cut mandatory royalty fees for a limited time was seen as a response to the competition from Blur. OpenSea's move was welcomed by some users who preferred not to pay royalties, while others criticized it for not supporting creators. The move was also seen as a strategic decision to stay competitive in the market and attract new users. The Impact on Creators The controversy surrounding royalty fees has been a major issue in the NFT market. Creators rely on these fees to monetize their work and generate income. The move by most marketplaces to make royalty fees optional has been seen as a disadvantage for creators, who may not receive the compensation they deserve. OpenSea's decision to cut mandatory royalty fees has further added to the concerns of creators, who feel unsupported in the market. The Future of the NFT Marketplace The NFT market has grown significantly in the past year, attracting new investors and artists. The competition between marketplaces is expected to intensify as new players enter the market. There’s even the possibility that big players may create their own marketplaces to maximize revenue and strengthen relationships with holders. Popular projects like CryptoPunks have already made this move. It remains to be seen how the market will evolve and whether creators will be able to continue to monetize their work through royalties. As the NFT marketplace wars continue to heat up, it's becoming increasingly clear that a winner-take-all mentality is beginning to emerge. Liquidity, however, follows good projects, and there are many considerations to be taken as an NFT creator. It will be interesting to see how the NFT market as a whole moves forward. While Opensea may still have one more card up its sleeve with the Opensea token, it's clear that the NFT marketplace wars are far from over. As a result, creators and traders alike will need to keep a close eye on the evolving landscape and be prepared to adapt to changes in the ecosystem. OTHER NEWS HIGHLIGHTS Gam3r’s Choice Award Winners Revealed Wildcard Mint and Game Exhibition Xterio Invests $2.5M In Multiplayer RPG Studio Overworld Sony Wants To Rent NFTs & Stream Spectators To Players Through PlayStation 5 Introducing 'DRKVRS' — Coming from the Creators of 'The Witcher' and 'Cyberpunk 2077' Premier League Officially Joins Sorare Fractal Partners With Ev.io to Kick Off Fractal Survival Event LUXON Joins the Chainlink BUILD Program to Boost Blockchain Gaming Adoption Renowned Fortnite Gamer Wins BAYC Special Minting Event Yield Guild Games Secures $13.8 Million in Token Sale Backed by DWF Labs and a16z Crypto Web3 Gaming Startup Immutable Cuts Staff by 11% to Prolong Cash Reserves Introducing 'Star Symphony' — A Web3 Rhythm Game with a Twist Illuvium Beyond is Launching Next Week: Here's the Scoop Champions Ascension Goes Wallet Free Immutable Introduces Immutable Passport Introducing Epic Games on Elixir Gods Unchained Pre-Alpha Mobile Test XP Foundry announced migration of assets to Rooniverse and Immutable X Mini-Royale Partners with Audius for In-Game Music Ubisoft Partners Sandbox for Rabbids NFT Meet the Rising Esports Stars Playing Axie Infinity Spotify is Testing Token-Enabled Playlists for NFT Holders Pokemon-Style Game Chainmonsters Switches to IMX Azra Games Will Incorporate NFTs Into Games — Raising a Total of $25 Million Seed Funding Magic Eden Ventures Invests in 11 Web3 Game Studios
Gaming for Everyone: A Look at AAA and Hyper Casual Video Games
Feb 16th, 2023
Video games have evolved significantly over the years, and today we can find different types of games that cater to different audiences. From the high-budget AAA games to the simple, fast-paced, hyper casual games, there is something for everyone. In this article, we will confront AAA with Hyper Casual, and delve into the characteristics, gamer profiles, and popularity of each type. AAA Video Games AAA video games, also known as triple-A video games, are high budget games with high production values, such as big-name franchises like Call of Duty or Grand Theft Auto. These games tend to have more polished graphics, deeper gameplay mechanics, and larger, more intricate worlds to explore. The process of creating a AAA video game is a complex and time-consuming one that typically involves a large team of developers, designers, and other professionals. The development time can vary greatly depending on the size and complexity of the game, but it can take several years to develop a AAA game. The gamer profile of a person who chooses AAA games is typically someone who values a more immersive and complete gaming experience. They are looking for a game with high production values, such as polished graphics and intricate game worlds, and they are likely to have an interest in exploring and discovering all that the game has to offer. They may also be willing to invest a significant amount of time and money into the game, as AAA games offer a deeper, more rewarding experience. In terms of demographics, consumers of AAA video games tend to be older, with a median age of around 35 years old. They are also likely to be more affluent, as AAA games tend to be more expensive than other types of games. Hyper Casual Video Games Hyper casual video games, on the other hand, are simple, fast-paced games designed to be played in short bursts, such as Angry Birds or Candy Crush. These games tend to have simpler graphics, more straightforward gameplay, and they are often designed to be addictive and easy to pick up and play. A hyper casual game's development time is typically shorter than that of a AAA game. Due to the simplicity and smaller scope of the game, its development can take anywhere from a few months to a year. People who love playing hyper casual games typically appreciate simplicity and ease of play. They might be searching for a game that's quick to start, easy to pick up, and that can be enjoyed in short sessions. They might also be looking for a game that's highly engaging and keeps them coming back for more. In terms of demographics, people who enjoy these types of games tend to be younger, usually around 25 years old. Over the last decade, both AAA and hyper casual games have seen popularity and success in the video game industry. AAA games have historically dominated the sales charts. Additionally, the success of the open-world and RPG genres has contributed to the popularity of AAA games. Hyper casual games, on the other hand, have grown in popularity particularly with the rise of mobile gaming. Some hyper casual games have become household names and have been downloaded billions of times, generating millions in revenue each year. It's not surprising that 2022 saw 5x more hyper casual games than the previous year, given the shorter development times. It's worth noting that in the last decade, the gaming industry has seen a huge shift towards mobile gaming, and hyper casual games have taken advantage of that trend. However, AAA games still have a strong presence in the console and PC markets and continue to be popular among core gamers. The incorporation of elements of hyper casual games into AAA titles is a growing trend in the gaming industry; however, it raises some concerns. One concern is that this may be done to attract a wider audience and generate more revenue at the expense of the player experience by making the games more accessible for players who may not be as experienced or interested in traditional AAA titles. Another concern is the use ofmicrotransactions, which are a common feature in hyper casual games in AAA titles, which could lead to players feeling pressured to spend more money on the game to acquire in-game items or currency and create a "pay-to-win" scenario. Now, taking a look at the current state of web3 games, it’s fair to say that Hyper Casual or even Casual games are well-suited to the current state of web3 technology and audience. As of today it can be challenging for game developers to create AAA-quality games using blockchain, aside from the need for significant investment, expertise and time. Additionally, the current audience for web3 games is relatively small and mostly composed of early adopters and enthusiasts of blockchain and cryptocurrency. These players are often more interested in experimenting with new and innovative gameplay mechanics, rather than in traditional AAA-style games. Hyper Casual games are well-suited to this audience as they are simple to understand and easy to play, which makes them accessible to a wide range of players. That being said, the new economic models made possible by the use of blockchain technology will allow developers to have revenue streams in web3 games where previously was not possible, potentially pushing forward more AAA games development. Despite the concerns pointed out, both AAA and Hyper Casual games have their own unique audiences and can be successful in their own right. It's important to note that these are generalizations and there may be some overlap between the two groups. Some people may enjoy both types of games, and some people may not fit the typical demographic profile for either group. Both types of games have their place in the gaming industry and can co-exist and even complement each other. Ultimately, the choice between AAA video games and hyper casual video games will depend on the individual player's preferences and what they are looking for in a game.
reNFT x XPAD: Web3 Gaming Solutions Partnership
Feb 9th, 2023
We're incredibly excited to announce that XPAD will be partnering with reNFT — the leading NFT rentals protocol — to drive the adoption of digital asset rentals in Web3 Gaming. NFT rentals have a wide range of applications, including digital collectibles, artwork, music, and items in video games, and a lot more (especially considering the infancy of this industry) - and although in this specific area, reNFT and XPAD are paying more attention to the gaming assets, it is surely very interesting to see so many different possibilities enrich this market. While Web3 gaming continues gaining traction worldwide, many mainstream players, especially those unfamiliar with decentralized tech, face numerous roadblocks to adoption. To attract users at scale, games need to onboard their players effectively, it's their lifeblood. NFT rentals is key to lower entry barriers and the mainstream adoption of Web3 games. It empowers players, opens up new economic opportunities, and links diverse sets of players across games and ecosystems. reNFT rentals protocol jump starts game economies by enabling holders of NFT assets to put them to work by renting out gaming assets to use in blockchain gaming experiences, and by enabling new players to experience a game without having to purchase an NFT. Let’s take a look at some of the possibilities, shall we? Now, from the viewpoint of Gamers, it might seem quite obvious that if you want to give it a spin to, say, Dookey Dash, but your finances are far from the level that allows you to own a Bored Ape - you can now opt for a rental solution. Or let’s imagine, you’d like to participate in a token-gated event or tournament, or you need a certain collectible to unlock that tough level, don’t worry, NFT rentals complements game design by allowing users to temporarily use an NFT they otherwise don't want or can't purchase, for a set time period. But what about NFT owners? Well, naturally, just like a physical asset, as a digital asset owner, utilizing an NFT rental service offers several benefits. Firstly, it provides an additional source of income for the owner, as they can rent out their NFTs for a certain period of time and receive payment for it. Secondly, it increases the visibility and exposure of the digital asset, as the rental service will market the NFT to potential renters. This can also help increase the demand and value of the NFT. Thirdly, these rental services often have a secure and trustworthy platform for transactions, which provides peace of mind for the owner and protects their asset. Overall, NFT rental services offer a convenient and profitable way for NFT owners to monetize and promote their digital assets. The partnership between reNFT and Exeedme is a significant step towards the integration of Web3 Gaming in the Gaming Industry. With shared strengths and vision, this collaboration has the potential to bring innovative solutions to both communities. We look forward to seeing the results of this partnership and its impact on the future of the industry. We are thrilled to join forces and work together with the entire Exeedme team to enable digital asset rentals within its Web3 game partners and ecosystem! Together we will continue unlocking mass scale Web3 gaming accessibility and true freedom for players and their assets. Nick Vale, Founder and CEO of reNFT Partnering with reNFT not only expands the reach of our platform, but it also opens up new possibilities for our players to monetize their in-game assets in exciting and innovative ways as well as bring democratization into Web3 gaming, opening access to NFT’s for a much lower cost . The XPAD is committed to expand the possibilities of Web3 gaming, and this partnership is a step in that direction. Francisco Varela, Co-Founder, Chairman and CSO of Exeedme