“When I grow up, I want to design loot boxes!” said no kid – ever. We got into the videogames business because we wanted to make great games, but over the years, actually making games has taken a backseat to gaming the audience.
The entire games industry is broken and in dire need of a new approach. Thankfully, we believe we’ve created a better way in our new games franchise, the Unioverse.
Twenty Cents on the Dollar
First, let’s look at what brought us to our current broken system. Over the past decade, game development has been crushed under the weight of three macro-trends:
- Freemium Games: We created a generation of gamers that now expect games to be free. The inability to charge for a game means revenues must be generated by interrupting gameplay with ads, micro-transactions and loot boxes.
- User Acquisition: As the games audience grew and development tools got more accessible and cheaper, more games flooded the market. This is great, creatively speaking, but to get your game noticed in a sea of competitors, the user acquisition market was invented, sucking 14.5 Billion dollars out of development and into marketing in 2021 alone.
- Mobile App Stores: With the rise of smartphones came the rise of mobile gaming, which IDC estimates will gobble up 60 percent of spending for the entire gaming market in 2022. This shift also made Apple and Google de facto gatekeepers, giving them unprecedented control over the market and the ability to charge exorbitant fees just for being on their platform.
A developer needs to consider all these factors and bake them into their game before development even begins. That’s all time spent figuring out monetization loops instead of refining gameplay.
And all that is only if a developer creates a game based on original IP. If you want to make a game with an existing popular property, there is often a minimum paid guarantee costing hundreds of thousands of dollars (not to mention a cut of revenues going forward).
But, suppose you get through all that, and you make a game and it’s great – congratulations! Now you most likely have to make your game free (see above), pay to acquire users (see above again) and then pay platforms like Apple and Google to host your game (see above one last time).
Under this current model, we estimate that for every $1 a gamer spends, less than $0.20 gets to the game developer. Let that sink in for a moment. Game development is riskier than ever, developers make less per game, and even great games fail because they don’t figure out how to “trick” people into spending money.
The good news is – it doesn’t have to be like this, and our new gaming franchise the Unioverse is a vision for revolutionizing the industry.
Development Made Easy
Think of the Unioverse like a “Roblox for Game Developers,” where we provide the content, audience, and a way to monetize; you provide the amazing games. The Unioverse empowers game developers in a number of significant ways, including:
- Free Assets: Developers will have access to Unioverse in-game assets like environments, high-end artwork, character models, vehicles, music and more – as well as SDKs for Unity and Unreal. All of this will be royalty-free and at no cost to the developer! This means developers don’t have to spend time and money creating building block assets and can go straight into game design.
- More Flexibility Developers can make whatever game they want: shooter, platformer, strategy – as long as it works with Unioverse characters, it doesn’t matter to us!
- More Money: Developers can sell their games for whatever they want – and they keep 100 percent of the money. We won’t take a dime. Premium, freemium, give it away – that’s up to the developer.
- Bigger Audience: Unioverse will already have a large, baked-in community ready to play games. So there’s no need to spend money on user acquisition because your user base has already been acquired!
- Getting Paid: Our Game Developers Fund will actively pay third-party game developers to make more Unioverse games!
Our goal for the Unioverse is that at least 90 cents of every dollar a gamer spends goes back to growing the franchise or to the game developer building games – not to user acquisition companies or platforms like Apple and Google.
Blockchain Fuels a Path Forward
The only way crypto games will win over the mainstream gamer audience is by providing an overwhelming value proposition. Despite the current public perception, NFTs are a great mechanism to make videogames better for everyone involved.
Sure, the use of NFTs and blockchain in games has been marred by too much hype and too many scams. Those setbacks, however, will ultimately prove useful because they will help gamers recognize when there is a legitimate use case that actually benefits them.
NFTs underpin the Unioverse, our forthcoming gaming franchise currently under development by the creators of Grand Theft Auto, Crackdown, All Points Bulletin and more. Our pitch is simple: To play our games you need a Unioverse character avatar. That’s it.
Game developers who want to partner with us can use our Unity and Unreal SDKs, and just need to ensure that our Unioverse avatars work in their games. They don’t have to introduce or build out any other blockchain functionality (but are free to do so, if they like).
We will take revenues from NFT avatar sales and put them back into the Unioverse ecosystem through further development of Unioverse assets that developers can use royalty-free, and by directly paying developers to make games through our Game Developer Fund.
By opening up the Unioverse as a platform for developers, using blockchain in a straightforward manner, and allowing developers to keep the revenues they earn, we will revolutionize the games industry and hopefully fix the way future franchises are created.