Short-Form Thoughts

State of Crypto Gaming

I grew up with games, unlike many others in crypto. All the way back since Mario Kart: Double Dash and Half-Life 2, I’ve had them all. You name the console, GameCube, Nintendo DS, PS Vita, PlayStation, PC, etc.

From my perspective, we haven’t even begun to scratch the surface of what’s possible with the intersection of games and crypto. Nearly every relevant project looks like sketches of GoldenEye in its inception stage.

The problem stems from the developers behind most of these crypto gaming projects having no background in gaming, neither professional nor personal. The focus is too much on the ‘play-to-earn’ and financial aspects rather than developing an interesting and immersive world.

If crypto games were attractive enough to play without financial incentive, their currencies would automatically be in demand for their usability in a world in which people would spend it as they would spend fiat money.
People jump into games to delve into new worlds, be challenged, experience that which they cannot in this life, and often with their friends as a shared adventure. No one wants to click ‘attack’ for three hours in a game with gameplay mechanics from another era.
Ironically, crypto games would be far more successful were the developers to focus least on the financial aspects and more on building the game’s universe, characters, story, and gameplay. Why? Because this would attract players from outside crypto.
Were any indie or AAA game studio to implement a cryptocurrency in their game as its central currency, that game would blow every single crypto game out of the water. Consider three of the most popular games currently out there: Apex, CSGO, and New World.
Imagine skins in Apex and CSGO as NFTs, only buyable through the game’s own cryptocurrency, which you earn by playing and completing some challenges. Would this addition change any aspect of the game? No, it would operate the exact same way, since the main focus is elsewhere.
Imagine coins in New World, or any other MMO. A cryptocurrency would act as the central form of currency with which players interact with the world, just as we do with fiat money. Again, this wouldn’t change a thing about the game. No need for it to be more complex than that.
This way, all players can achieve wealth within the respective game’s universes and potentially use that across other games and platforms, all on the blockchain. Their time and investment into games suddenly become much more worthwhile in an interconnected metaverse.

The MonkeyBall Launch

MonkeyBall has a total supply of 1 billion and dedicated 1% of their tokens to their IDO. They chose to launch through the launchpad called StarLaunch.
StarLaunch works as follows:
You buy their $STARS token that you stake to earn another token called $N2H4, which you then ‘contribute’ to determine your allocation for the IDO. The more $STARS you buy and stake, the higher your allocation would be for the IDO.
You might ask yourself, what if the price of $STARS crashes after the IDO before I can sell it?  What if you only bought it for MonkeyBall and only needed it to achieve a good allocation?
Look at the following chart. And yes, that peak is when most people bought in before the IDO.
StarLaunch Chart
This would be fine if you got a decently-sized MonkeyBall token allocation, so your profits would outweigh your losses on $STARS, and maybe you could still sell your $STARS for a tiny loss right after the IDO.
Let me explain why this was a lose-lose scenario for all participants.
Only 10 million tokens were dedicated to the MonkeyBall IDO, and the more people bought and staked $STARS, the less allocation each $STARS token would get, so it was a shot in the dark regarding your specific allocation for the IDO.
Let’s say you bought and staked $4000 worth of $STARSThat should get you a decent allocation, right? In reality, it got you less than $10 worth of MonkeyBall tokens.
The token would have to 400x before breaking even with what you spent on $STARS, but StarLaunch had another arbitrary mechanic at play.
If you didn’t lock your $STARS for 90 days, you would be losing 0.77% of your $STARS tokens every day for 90 days due to “decay”.
If you did lock but chose to unlock before the 90 days were over, you’d be charged a huge penalty. 22 days after the IDO,  $STARS was trading at -70%
No one came out of this IDO with the possibility of ever profiting or gaining any decent amount of tokens. All these mechanics were obvious beforehand, which leaves me asking why the MonkeyBall team chose this launchpad for their IDO?
In the future, proper education is needed for token launches involving arbitrary and complex launch procedures to avoid burning public investors.