As the saying goes, “every tide has its ebb”. The recent NFT market seems to embody this speech precisely. The total value of NFT sales drastically dropped by more than 90% in April compared with the peak volume in January. It is no doubt that Metaverse, as one of the Web3 sectors driven by NFT and the cryptocurrency economy, is inevitably one of the contributors to this market condition. The craze of this play-to-earn model is shrunk and is prone to market volatility. The disappearance of the trend with fragile resilience in the market implies the foundation of the metaverse is still not stable enough to sustain people's curiosity and the intention to invest. Thanks to this cooling-off period, some Web3 terminological conceptions start to be recognized and discussed again— Social-FI and Game-FI — two important Web3 pillars that may re-provoke the interest of people towards the blueprint of Metaverse.
Game-Fi is still one of the hottest topics among the projects on blockchains with a total market cap of US $55.38 billion as of early 2022. Instead of being a new sector in the cryptocurrency economy, the concept of Game-Fi has been generated as early as 2017 with the game called Crypto Kitties, an ETH token-based game that allows players to breed and trade NFT cats. However, during that period, the tokenomic model has not applied to the gaming area while the design of the games was pretty simple and straightforward. As a result, the public was unaware of this potential industry until a catalyst emerged in 2019 to drive the whole industry forward. Mary Ma, the CSO of MixMarvel, proposed the term “Game-Fi” at the 2019 World Blockchain Conference, explaining the circulation of tokens and NFT towards the formation of financial gamification. Since then the concept of Game-Fi has frequently been utilized on blockchain projects. Game-Fi starts evolving and getting more mature with the adoption of tokenomic model, Di-Fi applications, play-to-earn mechanic enhancement, NFT ownerships, and design reinforcement… All these provide a profound driving force behind the Game-Fi protocol ecosystem to maximize the gaming experience and capital efficiency of players. After Axie Infinity blew up social media in 2020, a boom of Game-Fi projects came to the light, diversifying the play-to-earn models for all the new blockchain participants.
Nevertheless, due to a massive involvement in this nascent field within a short period, the market is flooded with a lot of shoddy projects. Everyone wants to get a piece of the pie, but there are always some rotten apples in the pack that disrupt the Game-FI ecosystem. Some of the dev teams, which are not familiar with the tokenomic economy and Game-Fi ecosystem, emphasize too much on attracting people’s investment and getting enormous revenue immediately but not the sustainability of the game ecosystem. A short vesting period of the team, insane APY rate, simple and repetitive NFT, and play-to-earn model… are some basic tricks that we have already known to screen out scamming projects. Under the consistent development of Game-Fi, these insincere projects have been knocked out in this competitive Game-Fi market while the remaining projects are not easy to be conspicuous from the existing Game-Fi framework. At least we still cannot discover a play-to-earn game that has the same level of hype as Axie Infinity before. In place of investigating the best play-to-earn mechanism for the future establishment of Game-Fi, adding a new financial structure to Game-Fi would be a wiser decision in altering the current situation.
Social-Fi, an integration between social networking and DeFi, has attracted the attention of more and more Web3 users. Every one of us realizes how powerful an influencer can be towards the people's behavior and economy. The price of Dogecoin could take a bullish turn just by a single Tweet from Elon Musk; the floor price of IreneDAO increased nearly 10 times just in a few days. These impressive phenomena and business opportunities provoke the interest of the Web3 dev team to further develop the social model through blockchain technology. In the traditional Web2 ecosystem, social media is mainly controlled by some tech giants like Meta and Twitter. They use algorithms to steer audiences' preferences while turning the contribution of the content creators into their profit. Aiming to challenge that monopolization and revenue distribution, Social-Fi leverages blockchain technology to decentralize the entire participation and empower full sovereignty of the content creation through monetizing the contents with token and NFT adoption. Creators now become the direct beneficiaries, with all financial rewards coming from supporters or viewers directly. The mutual distance between creators and audiences has also been shortened under the Web3 application, in other words, the engagement on Web3 is enormously amplified with the economic value contained. Under such perfect decentralized application ecosystems in Social-Fi, developers are trying to launch an independent Web3 social platform to attract Web3 users. SO-COL, Chillchat, and FreshCut are some representations of Web3 applications that target the content creator economy with the Social-Fi mechanism. Using NFT and social tokens as a contact point to enhance the ownership of content creation and engagement with the supporters.
Meanwhile, it is regrettable that most of the Web3 social media projects limit themselves within the framework of Social-Fi. There are not many projects that try to integrate this impressive Social-Fi model into Game-Fi. This concept is not well-nurtured among the Web3 users or even the developers. STEPN, a very popular run-to-earn project recently, has proposed the concept of integration between Social-Fi and Game-Fi. However, the detail of the Social-Fi model in STEPN has not been developed and disclosed yet. It seems that the Game-Fi module still being the priority for the Dev team when developing a Web3 game. I am not pointing out that it is an inappropriate establishment, but obviously, the development of Web3 play-to-earn game is not complemented by the Social-Fi model at the moment.
Back to the beginning of the question, to sustain the development of metaverse and offer an attractive blueprint to people, parallel development of Social-Fi and Game-Fi is critical. Not only the immersive technology advancement, but the integration of the sense of physical connection and virtual interaction alongside blockchain technology is indispensable to getting people's involvement. The coexistence of Social-Fi and Game-Fi is not as difficult as one might think. The valuable content creation and engagement are key elements for Social-Fi to merge with Game-Fi. It is not necessary to establish the third or the fourth token for the Social-Fi application in the game. An appropriate Social-Fi deployment on top of the existing token utility can intensify the play-to-earn mechanism, assisting the superiority in the competitive Game-Fi market. If players can gain their revenue effectively through the play-to-earn mechanism while being a content creators within the game ecosystem and monetizing their interaction with their audiences, that will be a good start to the evolution of the Game-Fi sector.
It just so happens that Antmons has demonstrated an impressive example of the integration between Social-Fi and Game-Fi. Similar to the gameplay of Brawl Star and Thetan Arena, Antmons is a blockchain-based multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) on KuCoin Community Chain and Binance Smart Chain. Their ultimate vision is to establish a play-to-earn Gami-Fi platform where there will be MOBAs, card strategies, and car gunfights in Antmons Metaverse. Within the MOBAs, players need to use the insect-related NFT Heros to form a team or set up guilds to fight for more trophies and unlock treasure boxes. In terms of the play-to-earn mechanism, an outstanding token pool battle is designed for players to bet and stake a certain amount of in-game tokens before each matchup to increase the prize pool for the winners. The algorithm will match the opponents following the player's rank range and the amount paid in each challenge. After the 10% commission fee is deducted by the platform for burning and maintaining the daily rewards pool, winners can get the losing side’s token.
Besides the interesting play-to-earn attribute, Antmons metaverse proposes a real-time live streaming mechanic which turns the players into content creators passively and the audiences can use their token to buy interactive gifts in real-time to support the team or even increase the number of monsters that the players oppose. In return for the contribution of the community’s interaction and engagement, the token consumed by the audiences to purchase interactive gifts can be shared by two sides after the match. Through these Social-Fi elements, players can act like streamers or gaming creators to draw profits from their popularity and effort. The audiences can even bet the result of each match, increasing the participation and the sense of engagement in the Antmons metaverse.
In the meantime, Antmons introduces a new concept of Meta NFT into its play-to-earn ecosystem to accomplish the goal of Content-Fi (a component of Social-Fi) in Game-FI. Content-Fi shares a similar idea with Social-Fi but emphasizes more the nature of content creation in the decentralized economy. However, before we discuss the Meta NFT, we should acknowledge that position of NFTs in Game-Fi is for the purpose of generating market value and attracting players to invest their money and time in the gaming ecosystem. Players are actually experiencing a game path prepared by the game dev team. As a decentralized economy, the current application of NFT in Game-Fi is kind of centralized by a single creator. In fact, the existence of NFT is a very flexible medium to connect the decentralized economic model with the game ecosystem. Literally, “NFT” is just a term to the Web3 users, what’s more, the value that is added and interpreted by people on that specific NFT. When unlocking more potential application scenarios of NFT in Game-Fi, more values and experience can be acquired during the play-to-earn immersion.
In light of this notion, Antmons proposed the Meta NFT to decentralize the NFT application to the users while utilizing the Content-Fi to keep boosting the values of NFT development in-game. Instead of a “traditional” NFT, Meta NFT is a set of descriptive data that is used to describe and define NFTs in different categories and art forms. Players can use the tokens to trade and upgrade their Meta NFT under the Antmons metaverse and display them in various content forms. Furthermore, the Meta NFT could provide superior experiences in different gameplay content, facilitating the performance of players during the battle so as to receive more rewards and viewers’ support. If the existing Meta NFT standard doesn’t have the attribute standard required by the content developer, the content-providing party can extend the attribute definition of the Meta NFT standard by including more attribute types in the standard to cover more games categories. This decentralized NFT content model profoundly enhances the incentive of self-contribution and stimulates the content creator economy in Game-Fi. Not only target to attract new players, but Antmons also redefines the definition of NFT to retain the current supporters, giving them a decentralized gaming experience and sovereignty to contribute to the game ecosystem willingly and actively.
It is very crucial for the team to think out of the box in order to stand out in this competitive Game-Fi market. The incredible integration of Game-Fi, Social-Fi, and Content-Fi in Antmons should be highly credited to the professional team behind the Antmons metaverse. Micheal Hin, the CEO of Antmons, has an extensive experience in the gaming industry with expertise in data engineering in the Internet advertising business, hardcore game product development, and market operations. Before forming Antmons Entertainment, Micheal was in charge of the operation of Clash of Clans and Supercell and was a core member of the Roblox publishing team to help the establishment of the Roblox data platform and the launch of Roblox. He has demonstrated a strong experience in contextualization and commercialization of high-quality game production, reinforcing the philosophy of Antmons’s paly-to-earn model. Besides, the CTO and CMO of Antmons Entertainment also have an excellent portfolio in algorithm design/ R&D and marketing respectively. Jackie Volavong has a profound experience in algorithm design in the commercialization department and R&D of large-scale business commercialization strategy while Amelia Choi worked as chief marketing officer and content operations director with more than one million fans across her social media.
As an ideal metaverse development, the conjunction of Game-FI and Social-Fi is inevitable to bring out an immersive, decentralized social experience to the users. Antmons has equipped these prerequisites and we are very anticipating the continuous improvement of Antmons in building a comprehensive metaverse with the perfect integration of Game-Fi and Social-Fi while disrupting the current development of Web3 sectors.