The current Game-Fi industry pain points and how STEPN would like to address it
A paradigm-shifting project only emerges when there is pain point in the market, not the other way around. The current pain points are, with so many Game-Fi projects attract millions to play to earn, though the earning is good, the grinding starts to take a toll on players’ health; and when “play” becomes “work”, players become tunnel visioned to the ROI instead of enjoying the game.
Using monetary incentive to attract players is effective until it backfires — there will always be a game with better ROI in the future, therefore depends solely on high earning as the form of player retention is shallow and ineffective. We believe as soon as the game is on track with player onboarding, the game developer should focus on community building.
From our experience, traditional games need to grow at exponentially rate to gain momentum and start profiting as soon as possible; however for Game-Fi, the situation might be just as opposite, if a Game-Fi project grow too fast, the pressure of game’s economy management, community management, and player expectation management will go skyrocketing. If a Game-Fi projects gain too much attention before it even release, it could do more harm than good as the project needs to exceed the already high expectation, when the project fails to meet the expectation, the community it built might be at jeopardy.
If using monetary gain as a motivator is a short term solution to boost the awareness among players is a “bad” thing, then we have a dilemma, because the Game-Fi industry as a whole is generally fast-moving — without explosive returns, players will not even bother to play, if there is explosive return, the pressure to maintain the high return is persistent.
In our view, if a dilemma emerges, it means the industry must have a pain point waiting to be resolved. In this case, the Game-Fi industry needs a detox, we do not need game like a fast moving consuming good (FMCG), instead, we need something people can enjoy for years to come, and to do that, we need a good product and a robust community.
We did a lot of research before starting STEPN and we realised walking or running is one of the biggest consensuses among people from different backgrounds. And the most common course nowadays is to fight against global warming. We merged these two together and created STEPN, a move2earn app aiming to nudge millions into healthier lifestyles, make awesome earnings and at the same time, contribute positively to the environment.
To achieve this grand goal, having crypto community alone is not enough, we need to get more attention from the general public, millions of them. This is a challenging task, because not everyone in general public is pro crypto or like to play game, therefore we need to strike a balance between Game-Fi and game-like app, we opt the latter. This is the main reason we pivoted a month after we started the project — from Find Satoshi to STEPN. And to convert the general public to Web 3.0, we need to improve the user experience of how Game-Fi works: the process of cash in and out, and the need of use multiple platforms such as NFT marketplace, DEX and Game-Fi must be re-worked and pack into a well thought out app, so that people never played Game-Fi can navigate.
We are still far from achieving this goal, but we are working on it, in our MVP released on 20th Dec, we have released a mobile decentralised wallet, we will release our first major patch update before 2021 Year End introducing a mobile swap between GST and stablecoins; the marketplace will be ready in late Jan/early Feb; the cross-chain covert will be ready in March and we are already working on fiat on/off ramp.
In traditional game, objective and reward are easy to get. It is like donuts, sweat but hollow. For example, in Sim City, body and shape comes from player customisation, but in real life, having 6 packs requires years of exercise and self-discipline. And because real life achievement is so hard to get, it usually gives higher and longer ratification once a real life goal is accomplished. We built STEPN so that players can gamifies the discomfort and the soreness after exercise, so people can achieve real life objective easier than doing it alone.
To truely develop the industry, we believe Game-Fi industry needs a detox, from yield oriented to community oriented. We think that’s where Game-Fi truley better than than traditional games, and STEPN aims to build a community inclduing both crypto native and non-crypto crowd.