Asia Blockchain Review recently spoke to Matias Nisenson, Co-Founder and CEO of Experimental, one of the first gaming studios in the world to leverage blockchain technologies. Nisenson spoke about pushing the boundaries of technology, offering amateur players a way to earn through gaming, the success of CryptoWars, and his vision for the future of gaming.
Asia Blockchain Review: Can you tell us about the idea for CryptoWars and some of the feedback from players?
Matias Nisenson: CryptoWars is the first strategy game on earth to be fully decentralized — it runs on the Loom network (a sidechain for Ethereum). We decided to develop this as an experiment, to show how something really complex could actually run on the blockchain. Users went crazy for it and started playing it every day. At some point, we decided it should be turned into a company, and that’s how Experimental was born.
Nowadays, we host CryptoWars tournaments every single weekend with awesome crypto prizes in DAI! There are no registration fees, keeping CryptoWars absolutely Free to Play. It’s a great way to attract new users of cryptocurrency. The users have to create a village, build buildings, mine resources, and summon an army to go to war with other players! It’s super exciting!
ABR: How will skill-based blockchain games help worldwide amateur players make a living?
MN: I’m proud to say this is already happening. We actually tweeted out a message we received from one of our users this week from Venezuela (a country with hyperinflation, where the national currency is worth nothing). He was thanking us because the money he won on the last CryptoWars tournament represented three months of wages. He was skilled enough to win a tournament, and thanks to his effort on a single weekend, he could pay his bills for the following three months.
I believe games can be a form of work, but they have to be skill based, with no randomness at all. Gambling is not sustainable — gaming is.
ABR: What are some of the challenges in developing blockchain-based games? How have you tackled these issues?
MN: The first challenge was technological. We’re pushing the boundaries of what can be done with blockchain technologies. Everyone told us it was impossible to scale a game like CryptoWars if it was going to run fully on-chain, and here we are! There’s still a lot of work to do, but we’re moving forward as fast as possible.
The next challenge is UX (user experience). Crypto is still hard to understand, has too many new concepts, and the software is just not user-friendly enough. We’re all working towards a more friendly crypto environment, so all non-tech savvy users can join the revolution!
ABR: What is Experimental doing differently from other players in the gaming industry?
MN: We’re building real games — not collectibles, no pre-sales, actual games. As previously mentioned, we don’t include randomness in any part of our game, so what we’re building is closer to an e-sport, where strategy and skills are key to achieving a good result.
We’re a team of entrepreneurs, gamers, developers, artists, and designers — all blockchain enthusiasts working towards one clear goal: massive adoption of crypto through gaming. Our games are fun to play. Users get addicted and play several hours a day!
ABR: What are some of the features/projects that we can expect to see from Experimental this year?
MN: You can expect to see CryptoWars growing in quality and quantity. We’re bettering the whole experience while also adding some new amazing features the users were rooting for. CryptoWars is not a small game — it’s a whole universe with lots of complexity, and a 10-person team is working to make it even more fun and addictive than what it is today.
We’re also super excited about DEFI (decentralized finance) in Blockchain gaming. We’re working closely with MakerDAO to develop some new cool experiences that were not possible a few months ago. One example is letting users stake cryptocurrency to get boosts or assets in-game. Our priority is that CryptoWars has to be Free to Play and not Pay to Win, so these two values are being taken into account during development.
ABR: What is the potential for the gaming industry in Southeast Asia? Are there any countries that we should keep an eye out for?
MN: Asia is the continent with the most adoption for blockchain gaming, and specifically, the south loves it! We’re looking forward to translating our game and content to all Asian languages to get more users from the region.
ABR: How is blockchain transforming the gaming industry?
MN: Blockchain is slowly making its way into the gaming industry, just like a virus. More and more developers and businesspeople are understanding the potential of this technology and all the benefits it can bring to users.
Users have been disadvantaged for too long. We’re talking about a multi-billion dollar industry that’s being revolutionized one asset at a time.
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