In 2017, when my company Emoji Games decided to jump into blockchain gaming, I had to find a good answer to justify my decision to drive my whole team into this unexplored new path, leaving my 15-year legacy in the traditional gaming industry behind. At that time, I found the statement below as the answer to the question, “Why blockchain gaming?’
“Digital gaming assets ownership and its transparent trading among P2P”
As of April 2022, we witnessed that the NFT gaming or Gamfi or blockchain Play2Earn gaming market (whatever you name it) has grown so much since last year. It tells me that my decision in 2017 was the right one.
But one still wonders -What makes this blockchain gaming/Play2Earn sustainable?
Bottom-line Issues for today’s Esports P2E NFT mobile gaming platform
Regardless of blockchain gaming or non-blockchain gaming, building a sustainable esports platform requires fair gaming rules and their enforcement to get credits from the users and to be able to give out fair prizes to winners. That means centralized governance is necessary to implement and enforce fair gaming rules.
Commonly, any player can use their most mean tactics in order to win the game and some prizes. The worst scenario happens when the developer manipulates the scores, minimizing the winning chance of organic players to maximize their profit.
In the blockchain gaming world, the consequences can be dire. We need to be alert to scammers all the time, and the governing body should keep on monitoring and coming up with the most up-to-date prevention measures to maintain the Esports platform sound and fair for everyone. The reality of today’s blockchain gaming is that players use these games as sources of income, so the developer shouldn’t be surprised that there are always users who won’t stop cheating or manipulating whenever any loophole is detected.
Often, a bigger issue from the developers’ side is that these games can easily turn into Ponzi scheme-like projects, especially since most gamers are focused on investing in assets and exploiting the game for financial purposes rather than enjoying the fun parts. Common business model of NFT P2E games today is “Pay to Win” so you are required to buy and invest in their NFT assets before even starting the game, whereas Pocket Arena’s play model is Free-To-Play-To-Earn.
Connecting Metamask wallets often work under PC. There are many restrictions and hurdles on mobile to connect your wallet whilst you are playing games. Still, the majority of players are not familiar with Metamask wallets. The first-time setting can be a bit scary, and the hacking threat always looms no matter what. Yet our statistics say that more than 70% of users play our Castle Defense on mobile.
Today, my question has got to the next level — How can one build a healthy and sustainable Web3 Esports mobile platform, solving all the bottom-line issues?
Is the P2E game really sustainable in the long run?
How can one make this Web3 gaming platform profitable for all stakeholders (the developer/investor/players)?
Is it really necessary to play games on-chain all the time?
How to push up players’ mining token’s price, preventing inflation — single tokenomics or dual tokenomics?
POC utility and burning mechanism
Here are the answers from my experiences (after trials and errors) with Pocket Arena.
Today Pocket Arena runs on a database and Hyperledger, which is a private blockchain. If a user wins enough XP by playing Castle Defense, the XP can be converted to POC, and POC can be cashed out; POC is the ERC20/BEP20 utility token of Pocket Arena.
There are upcoming major utilities of POC to be burned within this game, such as upgrading Castle, trading Castles, and Strategy trading. Also, all the NFTs in Castle Town (NFT Emoji Avatar, NFT deco items, NFT buildings, etc.) will be using POC for their trading. This Pocket Metaverse is another social interaction Metaverse where more POC burning mechanisms will be in place and the unique social values are added.
However, one can still wonder if these mentioned utilities are enough to prevent the inflation? Considering most players are dumping the mining token for their daily living, and soon there will be more and more players who want to play and mine on this platform which will cause more inflation?
Another huge utility of POC — NFT gaming assets on Ethereum side-chain
Instead of dual tokenomics, I decided single tokenomics but add more utility to POC to find this balance between players and investors.
True ownership of the gaming assets will be realized when the gaming assets can be transferred on-chain and tradable freely among Peer2Peer by decentralization. That is the reason the Pocket Arena team has been researching and developing the Ethereum side-chain; this ETH layer 2 network is temporarily named Falk, whilst current NFTs are under the Hyperledger Fabric.
Thus, POC will have another big utility for its network gas fee, and the Falk will also be used for other NFT video game assets that need the ETH side-chain for their NFTs in order to expand the ecosystem. Our Castle Defense and other PA games will be the first show cased-dapps to demonstrate this Falk Side-chain.
That’s the way that POC prices can be continuously pushed up and balanced out, preventing inflation by adding bigger utility-burning mechanisms for its network gas fee.
Pocket Arena functioning with 4 layers of tech stack
The Pocket Arena as Web3 Esports mobile gaming platform would have these 4 different tech layers as the diagram above, which can be a cumbersome structure for developers, but it is the most secure, low gas fee, and user-friendly architect structure for users. Users do not need to know what technologies are used underneath.
From users’ point of view, multi-chain support ( ETH and BSC), low gas fee & fast speed without compromising security would be the most important factors which Pocket Arena 4-layered tech stack will be covering up.
Big lesson for the security of Web3 gaming assets
The recent $600M hacking incident of Ronin Network gave us a big alarm and lesson on how to architect and maintain the blockchain games’ digital assets.
This costly lesson is that we should never compromise the security level for validator nodes for transaction speed, especially when you are depositing millions of public funds. Normally this kind of crypto deposit triggers a license in most developed countries.
The validator’s server location also matters. Hackers can easily target cloud servers. Using institutional-grade servers in different locations in high-security countries could be a good approach with the integration of cold wallet storage.
Our Pocket Arena HQ team is located in Switzerland. The most peace-of-mind approach would be to locate cold storage of crypto assets in Switzerland with a multi-signature process. In addition, we are in the process of applying for a licence of the wallet depository from an European Economic Area country to be prepared for the tightening of travel rules worldwide by FATF and to protect users from these kinds of hacking incidents.
On top of having the security measures and license in place, the blockchain tech stack of Pocket Arena with Ethereum side-chain FALK would provide a great value for gamers who still enjoy an easy and fun gaming experience, ensuring minimum gas fee, safe on-chain asset transfer and true ownerships.
We aim to release the Beta version of Falk in the 2022 summertime.
CEO, Hyong Kim