Philippine Web3 Festival: Leveraging SubDAOs for Effective Onboarding
In this panel discussion, YGG regional subDAOs gather to talk about their focus and strategy for player onboarding in their respective regions.
The inaugural Philippine Web3 Festival was a week-long event that showcased the future of web3 in the country by bringing together a variety of blockchain games, guilds, NFT projects, and crypto Venture Capitalists at the epicenter of web3 adoption, the Philippines. The event also featured an esports tournament with a US$120,000 prize pool, a hackathon, and a flagship conference with renowned thought leaders to celebrate Filipino innovation and creativity.
The panel was moderated by Jen Bilango, Corporate Strategy and Growth Lead at BlockchainSpace, an education hub that empowers play-to-earn communities and provides access to capital as well as financial tools for web3 gaming guilds all around the world.
The panelists represented YGG subDAOs - a specialized economy that forms part of the main YGG DAO, from all over the world including Irene Umar, co-founder and Indonesia Country Manager of YGG SEA, Christy Choi, founder of SKYGG, (South Korea), Abhishek Anand, Business Head at IndiGG, (India), and Akio Tanaka, Core Member at YGG Japan.
Together they discussed their strategies for bringing about web3 adoption in the context of their specific regions and how they plan on onboarding and empowering web2 gamers through esports, education and more.
The following is an excerpt from the second day of the Philippine Web3 Festival. Watch the full recording here.
Jen (2:42:13): One of the key things that people are asking about guilds now is how they are differentiating themselves. Can you share with us the differentiation between your subDAOs?
Akio (2:42:44): YGG Japan invests in YGG and all of its subDAOs, and we are all building communities with a different twist. YGG Japan brings something very different, because unlike how YGG started here in the Philippines, Japan is not part of the developing country ecosystem. It's a more mature gaming ecosystem, but we do have many casual gamers who spend money. Japan has around 50 million casual gamers, and in terms of the gaming market, it's in the top three along with the US and China. Japan also ranks first in terms of ARPU (average revenue per user) so we have many users who are willing to spend money.
To put that into perspective, Japan’s game spending is around seven times all the Southeast Asian countries together, so we are not trying to force the play-to-earn model here since it probably won’t work directly, but we are trying to figure out how to bring the power of all this game spending and entertainment culture that we have in Japan — which is somewhat close to Korea, but Korea also has a very strong culture of esports. We are not focused on esports, but we are trying to bring hyper-casual gamers in Japan to the blockchain space.
Abhishek (2:44:35): I was just sitting outside and speaking with Christy and others, and everyone asked me, “How can we ever beat India’s numbers?” since it's non-comparable with all the other markets, and I think we would effectively be seeing a digital renaissance happening in the country. We have the largest number of smartphone users, about 750 million, we have the cheapest data available in the world, about 600 million internet users, about 500 million gamers, and about 400 million are consuming data on mobile.
That is the scale we are speaking about, and we have seen this over the last three to four years, that gaming is becoming the primary form of entertainment for people in smaller cities because they don’t have outlets to entertain themselves. All they have is a smartphone and internet, and they are gaming on their phones, they are becoming part of communities, there is a sense of belongingness. And on top of that, India is a very status-driven society that becomes a core fabric of it. So being able to level up in society through gaming is becoming a key driver, which is effectively what IndiGG stands for.
We are building a network state with 500 million gamers, where we are bringing their gaming identities on-chain, we are creating reputational layers around it, and we are reaching out to global game developers and we are giving them access to on-chain, curated, relevant data for them to engage users and onboard them into the system. That is what we are building. We are building a beautiful core pillar with gamers, we are building micro-communities around it, we are building an exhaustive tech stack around matchmaking between games and gamers, empowering our community and creating a clear pathway for global game developers to leverage the distribution rails that we are building, and we have come a long way.
We have about 1 million active gamers, and we are taking a more straightforward approach. India is about concurrency and DAU, MAU and every game needs matchmaking, but we are also seeing India contributing to ARPU. And when there is clear sight of earning opportunities and things that can put food on the table, the revenue monetization is going up.
Christy (2:48:11): Since we cannot compete in quantity, we wanted to compete in quality, and I was thinking about what makes the most powerful gaming guild. Obviously, if we can’t compete in the number of users, we thought, how do we bring the most avid users? Perhaps the best in playing games and those who spend the most time in gaming.
That’s what we call, in web2, the esports players. Korea is the country of esports — we even coined the term from the beginning. Jihoz talked about the “StarCraft moment” back in the early 2000s that made Korea very strong in gaming. So we are a country of gamers and there are a lot of game giants here, and we have a lot of these players who are playing professionally and have 500,000 followers and a fan base of millions. And we thought, how do we engage or bring in these esports players to be part of a gaming guild, and how do we bring in the web2 gamers that follow these esports players? That is the vision SKYGG has.
We want to support the esports community. Our strategy is we are here because we love gaming, and we are going to support the web3 and web2 gaming community with the help of SKYGG ambassadors who are professional players. The jersey that I'm wearing is the esports jersey for our team that is competing in Overwatch 2 and Rainbow Six Siege. So we are starting to support and onboard professional esports players to actually lead the gaming guild — and not just that, but we are also starting to host different tournaments for esports games, and we are working with different games to build one that is esports-applicable.
We are also working with individual game publishers, and with the help of esports players, building the esports component and embedding it into the game from day one. We do have a strong penetration rate for gamers, and also every single blockchain company wants to build a Korean team to penetrate the retail market in Korea because we have such a high penetration rate in terms of crypto, so combining the two will be the strategy for SKYGG.
Irene (2:51:52): So Southeast Asia is very simple. We call ourselves the friendly face for everyone who wants to enter the Metaverse, and for the past 10 years, I have been trying to demystify to everyone that gaming is not bad for the community. And when we start with play-to-earn and gaming guilds, I see that the opportunity is even bigger here. YGG SEA will continue to be the friendly face not just for gamers but also academicians — that is why, back in December, we signed the first deal ever with universities on why gaming needs to be part of universities in Indonesia. Because we feel there needs to be a merger.
We are at the stage where creating a wallet is difficult, and that is why YGG SEA is here, and we have seen results where people did not have a bank account and their first account was a Ronin wallet. Second of all, we see that when you are in the Metaverse, people don’t ask you what you do or where you come from, and this lets us open up opportunities to everyone.
I bring you back to the beginning of esports, when everyone was looking for pro players only, and come forward the next few years, there was a talent crunch. We see the same thing in the Metaverse. Games are the way for people to come into the Metaverse, and there are a lot of opportunities here, but they need the first step to come in, and that's what YGG SEA is doing. That's why when we go to games, we always focus on “How can we help you reach out to the grassroots community?”
Today, we are in the bear market, but in terms of scholarship numbers, YGG SEA continues to grow because more than 90% of our community members are new to crypto. Their first interaction with the Metaverse is through YGG SEA. We all say that Southeast Asia is an emerging market and that web3 is the future, but who is giving that opportunity to enter the Metaverse? That is where YGG SEA would like to stand, and that is why we focus on education and accessibility, so that when there is a talent crunch, we have the talent.
You can watch the full discussion on YouTube.