The Interview-Crypto features interviews with financial experts who are part of major Crypto firms like Michael Anderson and Vance Spence along with NFT enthusiasts like Alexandre Dreyfus. The entire series is available on Real Vision, a financial education TV channel that releases new episodes daily, in the form of in-depth analyses, documentaries and interviews.
This episode of The Interview-Crypto is hosted by Piers Kicks, Head of Crypto at BITKRAFT and Venture Partner at Delphi Digital. He also hosts the Metaverse Musings podcast on Delphi Digital, a research-firm focused exclusively on crypto and digital assets. Piers’ fondness of games and cryptocurrencies since he was 13 led him to start the world’s first crypto native esports DAO called MetaClan along with some MetaCartel community leaders. He was also recently named as the newest board member of Blockchain Game Alliance, an organization dedicated to promoting blockchain within the gaming industry.
Featured in this episode is Gabby Dizon, CEO and Co-founder of Yield Guild Games (YGG) which recently announced a $4.6M investment led by venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) which is the first time that a16z has invested in a Filipino-led startup.
Piers and Gabby go into how playing games like Axie Infinity can be beneficial compared to standard games from a player’s standpoint. They also touch on the origin of YGG and Axie Infinity’s compounding success in the industry. This short snippet of the podcast focuses on what Yield Guild’s future plans are, and how it will revamp the gaming industry, which is worth $150 billion. Gabby also goes into detail on why Yield Guild decided to launch a token and what that entails for the community.
Bringing Traditional Games into the Metaverse - The Interview - Crypto - Featuring Gabby Dizon and Piers Kicks.
Piers (30:36): What is the grand vision in terms of Yield Guild’s role, and where are you guys in 5 or 10 years? I think a lot of people have a lot of questions around the sustainability of some of these ecosystems and how these economies are going to mature to really accommodate those kinds of numbers that we are talking about. Wonder if you can give some color to that?
Gabby (31:02): Yield Guild is called the “job board of the Metaverse” or the “Metaverse talent agency” and we want to be able to facilitate all sorts of jobs in these different games and virtual worlds. Whether you are playing Axie Infinity or you are creating digital clothing, avatars, levels, or if you are a blacksmith inside a role-playing game. We want to be able to facilitate all these jobs in different virtual worlds, no matter where you are from, as long as you have an internet connection and access to these worlds. And if there is a cost component maybe, because you have to buy an NFT, we want the Guild to be able to acquire these assets so that accessing or affording these assets will not be a barrier to players.
Piers (31:50): What is the path to getting towards that billion-player mark look like with these types of things? What do you need over the next 5 years in order to grow and really move towards that world? How can people help you on this mission, and what are you guys really searching for?
Gabby (32:10): I think getting to a billion players will happen a lot faster than anyone might think. We have already had this 0-1 moment with Axie Infinity, which zoomed from pretty much 15,000 to 500,000 players almost in the span of half a year and now a lot of different games are going online with different things to do that will appeal to a vast variety of people around the world. I think that variety is key because people don’t want to just play one game in the Metaverse. It appeals to people with different skill sets and different ways of coordinating. Having a good variety of games that cater to different skill sets, I think is important. We want to make this accessible by aggregating the users, by being able to invest in the assets, and I think over the next few years you are going to see these Metaverse-enabled games really take off.
Piers (33:10): Couldn’t agree more. I am excited for it all. It would be interesting then to explore what the next 6-12 months look like for you guys [Yield Guild] and what’s the core focus right now as this early community expands? I believe you guys are releasing your token so more people can get involved with the community as well soon. It would be great if you talked through some of that.
Gabby (33:33): We are really releasing the token because we want the Guild to be owned by our Guild members. And because we are a DAO, releasing a token allows our Guild members to earn or buy our token. Apart from selling the token, we have this notion called the “community mining program” where people can play games that are related to the games that we’ve invested in. We’re basically overlaying a meta quest system so that when people accomplish these quests, they can earn the YGG token, which in turn gives them a slice of ownership of the Guild. Apart from the amount that we are sharing to investors who can supply via community mining because we think that people being active in the Guild producing value is something that is very valuable to us, and we want them to have ownership of the game when they do it.
Piers (34:32): Makes sense. Can you maybe talk a bit more about the use case for the token in the Guild and the different ways that people might actually leverage that investment? Obviously, at a high level it’s a nice proxy, but there are more things that can be done with it. We’d love it if you could give some color there.
Gabby (34:50): We think of it as a governance and membership token. Having it means you are a member of the Guild, which means you will get access to the different games. Maybe exclusive items or promotions would be available only to Guild members, and you would need to be a token holder to receive that. We also think of the token as an index of the assets that we own in the entire Guild treasury, so owning a token gives you basically a proportional share to all the AUM and fees that the Guild is generating, so there is an economic component to it. Another thing is that on the governance side, having the governance token will allow you, later on, to vote on issues related to the direction of the Guild itself, which is slowly decentralizing the decision-making to the community.
Piers (35:47): Super exciting stuff. It would be interesting to explore from your perspective, we spoke about it earlier on, in terms of play-to-earn more broadly, this whole new genre of game and business model, if you like, but Yield Guild, specifically for you, what are the key challenges you are looking to solve at the moment, what are the headwinds on the roadmap that you are looking forward to working through and overcoming?
Gabby (36:15): Firstly, even though we raised money, it still costs a fair bit to acquire a lot of assets in the Metaverse. While we are doing this now, we’re being very aggressive in breeding Axie Infinity. For example, we are buying land. One of the things that we want to enable in the near future is to enable a lending market so that players who have a lot of NFTs can actually lend their NFTs to us and then we, in turn, can lend those to our player base so that they can use those NFTs, they can earn yield. The lender, the owners of these NFTs can earn yield and the Guild itself earns a small slice of that or even just operate, even if we didn’t buy those assets directly. Apart from that, we are really growing our scholar base in Axie Infinity by a lot, we are at around 3000 now, that’s around 3000 people whose lives are changing already. We want to be at over 10,000 by the end of the year, but how do we get to a million, 10 million? Those are the things that are on our minds.
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