Mobile games are evolving in terms of visuals, technical complexity, and design, but their monetisation should evolve too. This is what Tegro, a new initiative by Siddharth Menon, co-founder and COO of WazirX, and Indian game development firm SuperGaming aims to achieve. Tegro is building a game marketplace for players that enables them to trade in-game assets and play with these game assets that essentially is powered by Non-fungible-tokens (NFTs).
For the uninitiated, Web3 is the next-generation of the Internet, one based on blockchain technology. It incorporates concepts like decentralisation and is fueled by cryptocurrency. Compared to the previous iteration of the internet, known as Web2 or Web2.0 where data and content is in the hands of a previous few companies, commonly labelled as ‘Big Tech’, Web3 is an attempt to empower end-users and decentralise control.
In an interview with indianexpress.com, Roby John, co-founder and COO of Tegro and Siddharth Menon, who is also co-founder and CEO of Tegro talks about the future of Web3 based games, and the challenges associated with it.
How will Web 3.0 facilitate gaming?
Siddharth Menon: The future of gaming will be shaped by Web3. We believe just as mobile and free-to-play were paradigm shifts for gaming, Web3 is the next evolution. Gamers today are familiar with in-app purchases in battle royale games like BGMI, but they don’t have value beyond the scope of the game. This is where crypto gaming helps.
It allows users to add value to their purchases. Store tokens, such as in-game products, are often stored on a distributed ledger atop a crypto network in crypto games. This distributed ledger, known as the blockchain, is what allows game products to be traded for cryptocurrency, which can subsequently be transferred to real money.
What are the challenges associated with the current gaming scenario? How is Tegro solving this?
Roby John: Consider video game microtransactions. They haven’t really evolved since the days of horse armour in Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion from 2006. They largely serve publisher interests (nothing wrong with that).
Now imagine if players could resell that horse armour or earn ongoing from the schematics of it by selling to other players? With Web3 + crypto + blockchain there is a way to make this happen in a frictionless, decentralised way without any dependency on one single platform. In-app purchases allow players to buy items like coins, extra lives, custom characters, outfits, accessories, etc., directly from the game. When applying this to crypto gaming, in-app purchases are carried out when players buy items using cryptocurrency or buying the crypto itself.
In contrast, in traditional games, assets are typically bought from a central developer owned store which makes the developers rich and not the players who play them. Moreover, in traditional games, the game life cycle cannot be controlled by players.
When companies decide to stop running a game and switch off its servers, rendering it unusable like we’ve seen with recent games such as Minecraft Earth and Harry Potter Wizards Unite to name a few, unused virtual properties are taken away by the company and the player will have no access over it. All ownership of any merchandise in the game belongs only to the company, not the player.
With Tegro, we’re building a safe game asset market for players and institutional grade traders. To do this Tegro will build a marketplace for players to trade complete with proper data points to make an informed decision and SDKs for developers to bring their economies to the marketplace.
What are the problems associated with Web3 gaming?
Siddharth Menon: At the moment, Web3 lacks good games that respect players’ time and effort. Barring a few exceptions, they also lack in gameplay, visuals, and any other department you usually judge a game by. In addition to this, they have poor game economies which aren’t designed to keep players coming back.
There’s zero visibility into asset activity — you really don’t know when to sell or when to buy as there’s no data to refer to. SuperGaming is building new crypto games that are in line with the sustainable economy that is the principle that Tegro is based on. And we will also be onboarding third party games on to Tegro helping them design more sustainable economies, and also offering SDKs and platforms that make it very easy for them to make their game a Web3 game and ready to be traded on any marketplace.