Susan Cummings, CEO of Tiny Rebel Games’ Petaverse Network, is optimistic about the endemic friction surrounding blockchain and NFT games: “It’s as controversial as it gets. Hardcore gamers tend to be – understandably – skeptical of new business models and see the motivations behind them.
But you don’t become CEO of a new blockchain gaming initiative built on the foundation of interactive pets without committing to the idea that NFTs will have a compelling role in the future. Blockchain gambling currently targets converts squarely, but Cummings argued that we can look to our industry’s history for better direction.
“We have to look at the journey of F2P, which hardcore gamers also hated, which led to the birth of hypercasual and social games – Candy Crush and Facebook games – and that in turn led to in-between content. It took us years to get to Call of Duty Mobile, but for some reason blockchain gaming is jumping straight to hardcore.
It’s as controversial as it gets. Hardcore gamers tend to be skeptical of new business models and see the motivations behind them
“There is a huge potential value proposition for hardcore gamers. But we’re not there yet, and that’s why this skepticism and desire to see utility in the most transparent way possible is understandable. this moment, you expend a huge amount of energy in a fierce and difficult battle.
give me your wallet
Instead, Cummings directs those energies to “the broader, casual mass market, much like mobile.” But that comes with its own bespoke challenges – how do you translate the complex language and technicalities of blockchain into something broadly understandable? How to remove integration barriers when processes are not yet fully defined? How many people have a MetaMask account anyway (and if you need to ask, you know the blockchain isn’t ready to be a real mass market yet)?
“We spent a lot of time looking at friction in blockchain spaces, talking to wallet middleware companies, engaging with the variety of blockchains. There are still huge frictions, but I want to note that almost all of our investors are Web3, rather than traditional game investors. This friction is something we knew we were going to encounter.
The Petaverse instead leans toward custodial wallets — where full control is assigned to a third party, while the owner primarily has permission to send or receive payments — like Binance, BitGo, and FreeWallet. Cummings argued that the custodial wallet experience is akin to the ease of credit card payments.
“Apple Pay recently announced compatibility with MetaMask. These are really the things that are going to help clear up the confusion around wallet addresses and which wallet and blockchain options to use.
Meowth, it’s true
Overcoming the technical elements and facilitating the consumer journey is integral to the accessibility of blockchain games and NFTs. But equally important is expressing the appeal of NFTs. Screaming monkey jpegs are one choice, but Cummings chose a different battleground: “What’s better than virtual cats?”
Petaverse is working on its Pet Creation Kit, a Unity-based tool “that allows us to create an almost infinite number of adorable cats.” Ownership of each pet will be tied to an NFT, but Cumming is keen to express the potential of metadata within each NFT.
We want to inspire you to keep your pets – that it hurts you to sell them
“We call it the animal’s DNA: its behavioral and social characteristics – down to the equivalent of its D&D alignment or spellcasting abilities. This metadata can be read and reinterpreted by other projects. , and we want everyone to be able to use our resources. This is our platform, our model, our animations – this is the key to interoperability.
17 years of preparation
Cummings cites two key inspirations, one unsurprisingly – “CryptoKitties is the granddaddy of it all” – and the other a bit more unusual.
“24 million people have played Nintendogs. It is the most played Nintendo DS game of all time. If these pets were all NFTs, that’s 24 million NFTs we could be creating content and utilities for right now.
“In our minds, people will continue to develop and support these NFTs for decades. For us, honestly, it’s all about AR glasses: I want you to be able to have your pet follow you around the house. And while it’s about giving players ownership, we want to inspire you to keep your pets – that it actually hurts you to sell them. »