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This blog was originally published on Yahoo Finance
By Balthazar CEO John Stefanidis
There are hundreds of millions of traditional mainstream gamers out there and many don’t like the idea of non-fungible tokens (NFTs). In fact, they hate them. They fear them.
As the CEO of a guild with tens of thousands of whitelisted gamers desperate to find NFTs to play with, it’s a truth that can’t help but intrigue.
Clearly Balthazar’s players aren’t the traditional gamers companies like Ubisoft, Activision, Microsoft, Sony, Take-Two and EA acquire. Yet. But it’s becoming clear these huge companies want our players.
On 27 January 2022, an explosive interview on Finder with the man leading the blockchain and NFT charge for AAA games publisher Ubisoft set the internet on fire.
The VP of Ubisoft’s Strategic Innovations Lab, Nicholas Pouard, was responding to the reaction to his Quartz blockchain platform and the company’s newly minted NFTs, called Digits.
He declared that the company’s existing fanbase didn’t understand NFTs and what they could offer. Gamers and game media pushed back with vulgarity, anger and frustration.
But it was a comment later in the interview that really caught my eye. Pouard declared guilds as “the future of user acquisition” and “a new tool for user acquisition”. In a more eye-opening comment about the way AAA developers may approach their games in the future, Pouard continued:
“If you build a good play-to-earn experience, those guilds will come to your game, and they will boost up your ecosystem. The net effect is that you need to engage the whole economy and community.”
AAAs working with NFT guilds
In truth, I was not surprised to read these comments. We’re in a whirlwind, which is the metaverse, play-to-earn industry, and we know what’s happening.
We understand the developments in the technology and the impact it’s having from a social perspective. But I am pleased that it’s being recognised by a large company like Ubisoft.
And Pouard is absolutely correct. Guilds are the future of player acquisition. They are focused on building the largest gaming communities on the internet, where companies like Ubisoft will have access to these players.
Pouard indicated that Ubisoft saw guilds as a more cost-effective means of increasing their player base than traditional marketing methods.
A method whereby they’re not trying to actively seduce new gamers, but instead use guilds as the ‘middlemen’.
The key to success for a company like Ubisoft, as it moves into the NFT space with its Quartz platform and Digits, is how it leverages guilds as a new middleware solution. Where we’re the link between the players and their games because we make it easy.
It’s a launchpad for games to launch their games into a community of players.
That’s what’s missing.
For many players, NFTs are not straightforward. You have to be technically minded. You have to know people who have done it already and can help.
Platforms that make it easy are the ones that are going to come through as the strongest.
Pouard knows this. Ubisoft knows it. And the reaction of mainstream gamers to the Finder interview should further reinforce the company’s belief that it needs to work with guilds.
The future of acquisition
While I agree with Pouard’s sentiments around the role guilds play within the NFT gaming ecosystem, I’d like to see companies such as Ubisoft see them for more than just player acquisition.
I feel that companies have a corporate social responsibility to help facilitate guilds and scholarship models, as profits can be funneled into developing countries.
As such, current players in the NFT games and blockchain gaming space should welcome these comments from Ubisoft. As I do.
It means that we’re becoming a lot more legitimate and recognised. And recognition comes with more funding and more trust, more liquidity to fuel the tokens, more opportunities for people to earn.
It means that we have more resources, and we have the confidence to continue to develop what we’re building, knowing we’re being recognised as adding a lot of value.
John Stefanidis, is the CEO of NFT gaming platformBalthazar and one of Australia’s leading digital marketing and e-commerce experts. John has developed and scaled several businesses including digital marketing agency Covert. As a serial entrepreneur and avid video gamer, John is passionate about the NFT gaming space. Follow Balthazar on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and Discord.
Balthazar is hiring! Check out our careers page for job openings or get in touch if you want in.
Balthazar is a scholar-driven NFT (non-fungible token) gaming platform for the metaverse. It’s one of the first in Australia. Balthazar aims to be the largest Decentralised Autonomous Organisations (DAO) in the play-to-earn space. It’s a community-focused guild for gamers to access play-to-earn games with no upfront cost, supporting a fun and competitive team of players. It also offers a rent-to-earn feature where NFTs can be rented to Balthazar for the scholars to use in games. Balthazar supports the guild through social networks, educational resources, and training and development around game play and learning cryptocurrency investment.
Balthazar CEO John Stefanidis Debuts on CNBC: Gaming as a New Use Case for Crypto
Balthazar’s CEO John Stefanidis debuted on CNBC Street Signs Asia on December 22, 2021, discussing the explosion of NFT gaming, how it’s set to disrupt the video game market and how Balthazar is lowering the barrier to entry for people wanting to play to earn.
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