To quote John Wu, leader of Ava Labs, in a recent interview with Yahoo Finance, “right now, it’s about gaming.”
Blockchain gaming grew by 765% in 2021 and accounted for 22% of all NFT trading volume. Much of this growth has been captured by blockchains like Solana, whose ability to handle transactions at scale make it an ideal candidate for the throughput-hungry gaming sector.
Over 2021 the blockchain gaming sector grew by 765% and the number of crypto wallets related to gaming increased by a factor of 25, with gaming accounting for 22% of all NFT trading volume.
This is just one of the reasons NFT Tech is backing Genopets, an upcoming mobile play-to-earn (P2E) game built on Solana.
Genopets establishes a novel approach to P2E gaming called move-to-earn (M2E). Genopets players are rewarded for real-world movement, which is achieved by synching smartphone pedometer data to measure players’ steps. This allows gamers to meet daily step challenges and receive in-game rewards which can be used to nurture, train, and upgrade their Genopets, preparing them for battle. The game also features an internal marketplace, where players can trade their NFTs.
This article will provide an overview of Genopets by touching on the elements of the game that make us bullish: it taps into the social fitness market, provides idle and active gaming opportunities with low barriers to entry, and leverages Solana, the “gaming blockchain.”
If current trends map out how the sector will fare for the rest of 2022, we can expect the year to end with statistics that match or exceed the benchmarks set in 2021. Here’s why.
In a recent interview with Bloomberg, FTX’s founder and CEO Sam Bankman-Fried even expressed his belief that there’s a “decent probability” that gaming could facilitate the mainstream adoption of cryptocurrency.
Despite the industry’s impressive growth, gaming remains a relatively small sub-sector of crypto. And with 2.5 billion gamers worldwide, there is plenty of room to grow.
The Challenges of Blockchain gaming
Blockchain gaming is responsible for the introduction of novel P2E economics, enabled by blockchain technology and tokenization. P2E affords, for the first time, the chance for gamers to realize real-world value from their gameplay. This means gaming can supplement livelihoods or even act as a primary source of income for gamers around the world. That said, the industry is still nascent and not without its criticisms, which include:
Genopets is the first blockchain game that solves all three of these issues. It achieves this by combining P2E economics with move-to-play dynamics, to create the world’s first move-to-earn (M2E) game. The game leverages the Solana blockchain and will be available on iOS and Android later this year.
Genopets are collectible creatures that populate and explore Esoterra, the Genopets’ home planet in the Genoverse. Players can nurture and evolve their Genopets, train and battle with other players in fast-paced minigames, and craft and collect items to help them along their journey. The Genoverse will feature an open marketplace where individuals can trade the in-game resources they’ve earned through skilled gameplay and from contributing to the ecosystem.
The Genopets team have based gameplay on popular existing games to make sure the most crucial component of any game — fun — is at the heart of their game.
Genopets introduces a new paradigm to blockchain gaming. M2E is based on the social incentive mechanics proven by apps like Strava and FitBit. Genopets imports data from apps like Google Fit and Apple Health by connecting to their health record APIs to measure players’ steps, allowing them to complete in daily in-game step challenges. Completing step challenges earns XP which is required to level up generative Genopet NFTs. Genopet evolution is crucial for success in the Genoverse.
There will be many different game experiences available. Players begin by minting a Genopet NFT whose appearance will differ based on the player inputting their own character traits, incorporating tangible non-fungibility into the game.
A player’s journey then depends on which route they decide to take based on Genopets’ dual earning economy; Free-to-Play (F2P) or Pay-to-Play (P2P).
Solana is a decentralized blockchain “built to enable scalable, user-friendly apps for the world.” Solana’s innovative technology puts it ahead of most other blockchains in terms of cost, speed and environmental impact, which is why Genopets leverages Solana’s high throughput blockchain for its platform.
Solana can handle up to 50,000 transactions per second, transactions cost less than $0.01, and minting an NFT on Solana uses the same amount of energy as two Google searches. The low costs and high throughput of Solana affords users near instant, costless liquidity across its entire ecosystem.
The importance of this cannot be overstated. Liquidity is one of the cornerstones and main innovations of blockchain technology which represents a new paradigm in the availability and transfer of value and information.
As a comparison, Ethereum processes 7–15 transactions per second, a cheap transaction costs $15, and a single Ethereum transaction uses the same amount of energy as an average US household uses in electricity over four days.
As a result, Ethereum has suffered from growing pains. Its low throughput creates liquidity problems because even though Ethereum harbors the most liquidity, when transaction volume increases, the cost to transact on the network rises to the extent that it is unusable for most users. Liquidity in this context is referred to as scalability.
Running a game on the Ethereum mainnet is infeasible due to the scalability requirements needed to process large volumes of transactions. Solana, on the other hand, is perfectly suited for game development. It’s for this reason that many refer to Solana as “the gaming blockchain.”
Solana has attracted some of the industry’s most highly anticipated games, including Star Atlas and Aurory. Solana Ventures has also attracted significant investment to build out its gaming ecosystem. The platform raised $100m for a blockchain gaming fund in partnership with Lightspeed Ventures and FTX in November 2021, and a further $150m in December 2021 in partnership with Forte and Griffin Gaming Partners.
The F2P economic model is designed to cater to those who want the social and motivational aspects of fitness apps, are less interested in gaming, but still want to earn. This is achieved by innovating Axie Infinity’s breeding system which requires new players to pay to breed an Axie to participate in the game. This makes gameplay prohibitively expensive for some. These costs are partly what has led to the development of guilds, which play a crucial role in supporting players and games within P2E space. Find out more about guilds below.
In contrast to Axie, minting a Genopet is free, and transaction fees on Solana are near non-existent. This provides access to a much wider market of individuals that want the novel experience of earning from their exercise, but don’t want to spend time gaming. It also means that Genopets will not rely too heavily on user growth for success, providing security in times of slow growth. Individuals can simply mint a Genopet, connect their fitness apps, exercise to earn XP, periodically level up and then sell their Genopet NFT. This new sweat-to-earn mechanism is unique and its potential is amplified by Genopets complimenting apps like Strava, rather than acting as competition.
For F2P players, Genopets simply means more income for minimal additional effort. The F2P element is a clever way to tap into the social fitness market by offering idle gaming optionality.
Social fitness is booming. Strava, one of the industry leaders, is a good example of the industry’s growth. The app saw 38% growth in 2021, adding 2 million new users each month, recording 1.8 billion activities, and ending the year with 95 million users. Strava’s pandemic growth was not slowed by lifting restrictions. With this in mind, and with an increase in remote working as the new norm, it’s easy to see how social fitness apps will continue to gain in popularity.
The P2P route could be described as Genopets’ inch wide mile deep strategy. It targets individuals interested in fitness, crypto and gaming. P2P players can purchase an NFT called a habitat and explore the Genoverse, participating in turn-based minigames. The game is modeled on the most popular existing mobile games. Gameplay involves PVP, PVE and questing. It is designed to be cognitively and reflexively challenging.
The P2P game has the following elements:
P2P players can earn by creating the rarest Genopets, crafting and hunting for rare NFTs, terraforming habitats to farm crystals, battling other players, and leasing out habitats to other players. The team has also disclosed that there will be a prediction market element.
We love innovation and Genopets is pushing the boundaries of blockchain gaming with their novel M2E gameplay economics. It takes guts to be first, and based on the excellent team, the fun game with sound economics, and the rising demand for social fitness applications, we believe that Genopets has what it takes to be a massive success. If we’re right, Genopets will have the first mover advantage.
It’s likely that these elements are what caused many of the industry’s top guilds, including our own GOAT Guild, to partner with Genopets. And even though Genopets hasn’t launched yet, the wide array of partnerships secured by Genopets is testament to their well thought out P2P game dynamics which sound both fun and economically promising.
Blockchain gaming guilds support new players by purchasing NFTs that are necessary to participate in P2E games, which those new players could not otherwise afford. Gamers that get accepted into the Guild (Scholars) borrow these NFTs from the guild in exchange for a small share of the revenue they generate from gaming. In this way, guilds fill an important void in the P2E space. Scholarships open up P2E gaming opportunities to those that otherwise would be unable to afford it.
Guilds are also advantageous for games. They play an important role in introducing new players to games, widening their audience. Guilds can also help with marketing, game development, and an array of other areas to help games to succeed.
Our GOAT guild proudly opens up P2E gaming to over 250 scholars who’re playing or awaiting the launch of an array of games, including Axie Infinity, Star Atlas, The Sandbox, Big Time, Pegaxy, Place War, Ember Sword, Splinter Lands, Decentraland and of course, Genopets.
Our medium-term goal is to reach 10,000 scholars. If you’re interested in becoming a GOAT Guild scholar, please join our discord here.
Just as Genopets has a dual earning economy, our approach to supporting the blockchain gaming ecosystem is twofold.
The first avenue of support is with our GOAT Guild. We dedicate resources to finding the most fun and profitable new gaming opportunities for our scholars to participate in. We then assist our scholars financially by lending them NFTs, and socially through constant support and different chat rooms available on Discord. We also help scholars refine their gameplay with our tutorials.
Our second approach is through the investment arm at NFT Tech where we research and offer assistance to early stage gaming projects. We help by providing financing, building, advice and growth hacking.
Our excitement about Genopets is clearly shared by different stakeholders. Despite being pre-launch, Genopets boasts an impressive 150,000 Twitter followers and 166,000 Discord members. Currently in private beta, a small group of the 3333 Genesis Genopet NFT holders are testing the game. These NFTs were minted in November 2021 and are available for purchase on Solanart where their floor price has exceeded the majority of other Solanart NFTs for the duration of their listing.
Beyond the community, the potential for Genopets to make exercise more fun and more socially and financially rewarding is not going unnoticed. Multiple athletes have all minted Genopets, including legendary batsman Ab de Villiers, pro footballer Keisuke Honda, e-gamer PWR Lachlan and the NBA’s Tobias Harris.
In the investment community, Genopets raised $8.3m in a seed round led by Pantera and Konvoy. The round featured some of the industry’s top investors and included notable angel investors including Richard Ma, CEO of Quantstamp and Kevin Li, Co-Founder of Twitch.
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