Highlights From Bitrue x Gala Games “Ask Me Anything” Session on Twitter Space
11th May 2023 — In another installation of Bitrue’s “Ask Me Anything” session on Twitter Space, we invited a special guest, Jason “BitBender” Brink, the President of Blockchain Gala Games to share some insights about the highly anticipated project. Gala is a gaming and NFT platform that aims to build an ecosystem of blockchain games, which operates on both Ethereum and BSC. The platform offers various features including a platform for NFT games (Gala Games) and an NFT marketplace (Gala Store). Users are able to play games, trade NFTs, and participate in network governance and consensus.
In case you missed it, we have compiled the main gist of the AMA session in the Q&As below.
Q1. Can you briefly introduce yourself and the team behind Gala Games?
Sure. So, my name is Jason, I’ve been in Blockchain for a long freaking time and I am the president of Blockchain at Gala Games. And a lot of you guys already know us. You know who we are, you know what we do. I’m even seeing some Gala logos. People are aware that we do blockchain gaming and that we work on advancing the concept of player ownership in the gaming space. We believe that in the near future, there’s going to be a convergence between Web2 and Web3 gaming and that there is just going to be gaming. And we want to be in a position to help onboard the next couple of billion users. And so that sort of sets the stage for everything that we’re doing right now.
Q2. On the ‘About’ page on your website, it says ‘Community Rules.’ Can you elaborate more on that?
Our community does rule! We have what I personally think is the best community out there, and I see a couple of them here. Since our very inception, we’ve had an extremely active Discord and we engage with that Discord and we take feedback from them and we talk about what we’re planning on doing and we run things past them. In a very real sense, the community of those that operate founders’ nodes actually has a governance role within the ecosystem. But yeah, our community is number one for us, and that’s why we spend so much time talking to people.
Q3. Would you say the community backs Gala Games?
This is true of everybody in the Web3 space. Without community, you don’t have anything. Without community, you may have a cool idea, even you guys as an exchange, this is one of the things that I do like about you, is you do have some pretty loyal users. But if you guys didn’t have community, you wouldn’t have an exchange either. It’s necessary and it enhances everyone’s ability to work together when they feel like they’re part of a bigger family. And that’s what it’s about for us.
Q4. Can you explain more about Gala Games’ features? How does it benefit the entire Web3 gaming ecosystem? Earlier on, you mentioned ‘true ownership of in-game assets’, can you tell us more about that?
Sure. Some of it’s pretty straightforward and simple. In-game assets, you have NFTs that are connected to a specific game. We’ve got over 50 games currently in development right now. These are all sorts of high-end type games. We don’t do like the typical kind of crappy Web3 game. I mean, we make real games. When you talk about the ecosystem and what are our “features”, I think that our features stem from us having really amazing people who are building really amazing games. We are somewhat unique in the space in that if you were to go and look at the experience that the leaders in our company have, it’s pretty much unparalleled. You’ve got people like our CEO, Eric Schiermeyer, who’s one of the co-founders of Zynga, which I’m sure everybody is familiar with.
We’ve got on that same sort of prestige level in terms of doing stuff. We’ve got John Osvald, former EA Head of Mobile Products. We’ve got Mark Skaggs who is literally the guy that created FarmVille. We’ve got all of these amazing people who are building amazing titles. One of my favorite titles that we’re working on is a title known as Last Expedition. And the team that is working on Last Expedition is headed up by a guy named Phil Wattenbarger and he was one of the guys that was involved in the leadership behind Halo Infinite and the last Call of Duty. We have some really amazing experts in the field that are working on building this stuff. And that’s, I think, one of the things that really differentiates us because we have Web2 experts that are now building Web3 games. And I think that’s a cool thing to have.
Q5. Currently, how is the GameFi sector doing and how will it improve in the long run and in the short term?
We’re in an interesting spot. We talk about the GameFi sector and things like that because during the last bull run, there was a lot of discussion of GameFi, but I don’t think that you really had any actual games. And so the emphasis was very much on the ‘Fi’ part of that rather than the ‘Game’ part. Now, today, you’re starting to get more actual games in the space, which is something that I’m super excited about. Now, we’re obviously, definitely doing our part in pushing out some amazing stuff that everyone can jump in and play. For example, right now, you can go to our website at https://app.gala.games to download and play a game called Champions Arena, which is one of the coolest, smoothest, most highly polished games. It’s a mobile title, amazingly highly polished. You can download either an Android APK or get it on Apple’s Test Flight, I think they call it out. I don’t have Apple products so I don’t know the exact name of the software, but I think it’s Test Flight. That seems right. But yeah, you can download and play that right now and you’ll see the quality that we’re talking about, that we’re promoting.
I think if this space is to succeed, we have to focus more and more on the gaming experiences, creating amazing game experiences for users, and focusing less on tokens and prices and things like that. That area is okay for some people because gaming has always been sort of a whale-driven industry. So there’s definitely room for it. But you can’t make that the number one thing that you focus on or it’s not going to work.
Q6. You mentioned there are more than 50 games in development right now. Can I know some of the challenges and opportunities that Gala Games is facing in the GameFi industry?
I think it’s a nexus of a couple of different issues. Okay? The first is users. I was on a Twitter Space yesterday and some guy said he’s not convinced that there is actually a Web3 gaming community. And it’s not just the same 10 guys trading crap back and forth on secondary markets and obviously, that’s an exaggeration. But to an extent, he’s not wrong. There isn’t a huge number of Web3 game players out there. There’s a whole bunch of Degens who like to buy NFTs, but not as many of them actually play the game. And that’s a supercritical component for us. You’ve got to play. And so one of our big challenges is, okay, so how do we actually onboard these users? How do we make it simple enough for you to jump into a game and start playing without having to go through a whole bunch of really high-friction blockchain stuff? And then how do we get you on as an actual user that’s interacting with the blockchain and then walk you through the experience of what that means going forward in the future at some future date? So that’s one of the big challenges.
Earlier on, I said gaming has always been a whale-driven business. Let me explain what that means. And it’s actually interesting because this is something that most people don’t know. So let’s just look at Web2 gaming, for example. Now, have you ever spent money on a Web2 game? Bought Gems. Bought a Power-Up? Okay, so did you know that you are one of 5% of the players? It used to be 3%. I think it’s about 5% now. Only about 5% of players in the free-to-play space ever pay anything. So 95% of your users are not paying users. Okay, so you can have these massively, huge DAU numbers. But from a business perspective that’s like meh, it doesn’t actually do a whole heck of a lot other than cost server cycles. Now, the next part of this is that when you went and spent money in a game, how much did you spend? Are you the guy that buys the small packet of gems or are you the one that drops $500? Now, the crazy thing is that, like, 0.5% of players generate 80% of the revenue for traditional Web2 games in Web2 free-to-play games. When I say it is a whale-driven business, it’s very much a whale-driven business because what you’re looking for is the person that is going to want to play your game competitively with their friends and will put in thousands and thousands and thousands of dollars to do so. And when you look at it from this perspective and the way that the Web3 gaming ecosystem works out, it is still, to a certain extent, a whale-driven business. Because one of the things that we discovered, is that if you sell super cheap NFTs, okay, somebody’s going to come and buy all of the NFTs and then it’s like one person holds all of them, if you sell expensive NFTs, then what you’re going to get is you’re going to get more people holding them and maybe not sell out. Okay? And so the question is, obviously there are middle points and different solutions that you can put in place, like a certain number of purchases per account and things like this. But these are all technical implementations that require additional engineering, lift, and stuff like that. So it’s a really interesting thing because you do definitely want whales to come in and play your game because those whales are the ones that end up running businesses in the game. But at the same time, you want to onboard a bunch of people who just want to play the game because you need users to make the game awesome for everybody. And so finding that happy medium is really a fascinating balance.
Q7. What are the different methods Gala Games use to onboard whales and normal users?
Sorry, I was reading a silly post on Discord there for a second. Originally, when we first started doing all of this, the idea that there would be mobile Web3 gamers was kind of not a thing. Okay? Pretty much was impossible, was not going to happen. The App stores were like, screw you guys. And in fact, one of the impedances behind setting up Gala was that Michael McCarthy wanted to give everyone who played his game (which was on Apple), wanted to give everyone a free truck NFT, and Apple wouldn’t let him. So we pivoted at that point in time to primarily looking at PC games. Now, the problem with that is that PC gamers are an entirely different type of audience than mobile gamers, okay? They’re much more serious, they’re much more dedicated to the sort of art of the game, if you will. They’re purists. And you can see this anytime a game company does something that’s slightly innovative, PC gamers will be like, “Pfft, this is terrible, this is the worst thing ever”. Right? And so they’re not usually so quick to adopt new things, okay? Now over the past few months, it’s become clear that the anti-blockchain stance, that the mobile phone stores and whatnot, the Play Store and the Apple Store and things like that, that stance is softening. And so we’re leaning extremely heavily into the mobile space because we believe that it is via mobile games that we will be able to onboard these users.
Once you’ve got them onboarded, then you’re able to sort of walk them through the entire path to coming into Web3. You start off with somebody playing a game like Meow Match, right? It’s a casual match 3 game, super easy, super simple. You’ve played games like it before and then you get to the point where, okay, you’ve earned yourself a special cat. Now, do you want this cat? Do you want to keep this cat and have this cat always be yours? Well then, here. Go through a series of missions that teach you about blockchain, okay? It’s like a FTUE, right? First-time user experience. It’s like a FTUE for blockchain. And that’s something that we want to see integrated more and more in the future where you’re going to see things like that in Spider Tanks, you’re going to see things like that and Meow Match, Dragon Strike, and all of the other portfolio games that are going to be coming to mobile here within the next year or so.
Q8. What are some of your favorite games in Gala Games? There’s Town Star, Legacy, Spider Tanks, Superior, Champions Arena, and more. Which is your favorite and how do these games work?
Oh, my goodness. And I’ve said this many times, one of my personal favorites is Last Expedition. It’s an extremely fun 4v4v4v4 extraction shooter, where you essentially drop onto an alien planet. It’s all in UE5. You drop onto an alien planet and you have to fight the planet and other teams to extract the core. Super, super cool. Very, very high production values. The art that they’re creating, the models that they’re creating. I’ve got a model of a porcupine that I’m trying to print. I’m getting ready to take another crack at that today. It’s just an incredibly beautiful model. There’s just so much really cool stuff. There are other games. As I said, we’ve got about 50 games. I think that the ones that I’m most excited about are Last Expedition, the Walking Dead Empires, which are all very exciting. It’s super fun. The base building mechanic is really cool. Just watch out for those d*** walkers that explode. They f*** me up every single time. We have the new version of Townstar, Townstar Forever. That’s just kind of getting out there right now and got people in there playing that. Spider Tanks is another one that I absolutely love, and I need to make some time to just freaking play the game for a little bit. Echoes of Empire, super cool. I’m looking forward to that. I mean, there’s just so much, there’s so much coming. Champions Arena. Legends Reborn. Like I said, definitely try Champions Arena. It’s super fun.
Q9. With a few months left in 2023, is there anything that will be coming out this year, in 2023?
We’ve got a few more months. I don’t want to give any names for what’s coming out, but there’s stuff that’s coming out sooner than people expect. There’s stuff just before anyone gets insanely excited. No, that’s not Mirandus. Mirandus is not coming out sooner than anybody expects because I don’t want to get the rumor mill started there. There’s a game that’s been announced, but that still very few people are tracking that I think they’re going to be happy to see sooner rather than later. Even sooner rather than later. It’s creeping up on us. Pretty good here. We’ve got a bunch of other things that are going to be coming right now. We’ve got a list of games that are essentially lined up and we’re doing the blockchain channel integration for each of them in turn and getting things turned on. So I think that you’re going to see these things start coming faster and faster as the year progresses. Some titles are going to be just PC, some titles are going to be PC and mobile, some of those will have crossplay, and some of them won’t. But yeah, there’s a lot going on there.
Q10. Getting into the recent news, Gala is updating their token to their Gala v2 token. Are there any updates you can share with our community?
Sure. So, basically, the update for the token essentially makes it so that the token does some things that are absolutely necessary for the future growth of the ecosystem and the deployment of our L1. Most importantly, it tracks burns correctly. Our current contract does not correctly handle burns, the new contract does and we definitely need that feature because one of the big challenges that you have with bridges is that most bridges that exist in the space are collateralized bridges, which means that there are a big gigantic bucket of tokens waiting at one end for somebody to try to steal and we don’t want to do that. We have burning bridges. That’s one major component. It’s also much more secure and it’s upgradable going forward into the future so we don’t ever have to do this again. So that’s basically what’s happening with the token. And I’m happy to note that Bitrue is supporting this, as is a bunch of other exchanges in the space. And yeah, that’s what’s going on.
Q11. Getting deeper into the token, can you tell us more about the governance vote and the Mint and Burn system?
Sure. The governance vote doesn’t actually have anything to do with the token. The governance vote has to do with the founders’ nodes. So if you have a founder’s node, there are governance proposals that get put up and you have the ability to make sure that you can contribute to your vote and go ahead and choose the direction that you want to see the ecosystem go in. We’ve got a few different votes that are sort of coming out right now. One of them just ended earlier this week and that was about changing the halving schedule from date-based halving to a supply-based halving, which just makes much more sense. And so yeah, going forward into the future we’re going to have even more of these going forward.
Q12. What is the timeline like for Gala Games in 2023? What are the upcoming plans Gala Games have for the year?
What are our plans for 2023? Man, it’s a steady stream of releases and launches and play tests and there’s so freaking much going on. We published a vision paper at the beginning of the year and we’ve done pretty well in sticking to that. There are a few things that are a little behind schedule because of this v2 upgrade and things like that. But yeah, there’s just so freaking much coming. I would invite everybody to come and join our Discord at galagames.chat and go get Gala Gold. And I think that you’ll be very happy with that because you’ll be able to jump in and actually engage with us on a lot of different things and our Discord.