“We’ve achieved a lot in the first year but now we need to tackle the elephant in the room – if gaming is going to be the first killer to on ramp people for mass adoption, then we have to make blockchain gaming more like video gaming,” says Ingram.
“Blockchain is all about owning assets and that they can’t be taken away from you unless you leave your private keys at a bus stop. This is the point that enables a subtle shift from publisher first economies to player first.”
Ingram makes a distinction between Play2Earn (P2E) and blockchain gaming. It’s not the same according to him.
“P2E risks focusing on grinding in video gaming – the place where you need to kill multiple monsters or repeat actions to move up to the next level. It’s very different and no one plays video games just to grind.”
But the fact that rewards or assets earned or won in the game actually belong to the player is what is moving blockchain gaming in the right direction.
“The problem is that blockchain is dictating the gaming and not the other way around. Indeed, many blockchain games seem to be glorified ways to sell NFTs. And what about those limited NFT runs – how does the 10,001st player get to play?”
Ingram prefers the concept of mining by play – where the size of the game is not limited by an artificial limit.
“We need a new stack on top of blockchain for gaming – it’s not the same as decentralised finance. For example, gameplay is not about sovereignty and approving transactions. It’s about fun.”
And to be honest, the idea of MetaMask popping up and charging gas fees before a player can loot a monster is farcical. As Ingram says – it’s just not good game play.
Ingram argues vocabulary is also important – some of which are interchangeable like auctions and marketplaces. Others like game currencies need to be translated into tokens.
And then there is the cost. Most gamers will fork out $80 for a AAA game but 0.1 Eth is a bit dear.
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“So now in addition to cost, we have funny onboarding requirements like gamers need to set up a MetaMask account, fund it, save their private keys – this is not mainstream gaming, this is blockchain and it needs to change if there is to be any true mainstream adoption.”
Ingram is not knocking P2E but he stresses it is not the same as video gaming or even a gateway to blockchain gaming.
“P2E is a perfectly legitimate industry sector. In fact, it’s a bit of a blockbuster that came out of nowhere, but it’s not without its dangers. When you start talking about income streams then the SEC is going to get interested and ask why people are promoting the sale of unlicensed securities.”
So, what is Lepricon and its new CEO going to do about this scenario?
According to Ingram, Lepricon is pivoting; some third-party plans did not work out, but lots of good stuff got done – in particular, building its own gasless blockchain on solidity, basically a side chain to Ethereum. Building a private blockchain meant it didn’t need to use gas to reward nodes. That is also why the LP3 token is not the coin of the blockchain but a token on it. Currently Leprichain is moving to a development testbed and Lepricon is moving most of its commercial activity to Binance Smart Chain or BNB.
“And in Web3 it’s tough being a public company and a start-up at the same time. It’s a quirk of Web3 that we play out our mistakes and successes in a very public manner. But moving the games to BNB makes sense as a) it cuts out the number of steps to play and b) that is where the customers are.”
Ingram stripped down the roadmap and can now point to three new features going live very soon; a pack generator which can batch mint composable NFTs which has not been done before and is essentially DLC for blockchain, FansPredict, which is a peer-to-peer prediction platform but while in its alpha format will not include user generated content but will morph into branded platforms in time and finally offering staking programs for LP3 holders on its own DeFi platform.
Also in the wings is the Shamrock Protocol where rewards are given for participating, like frequent flyer airmiles for crypto.
“It’s not P2E but Play And Earn. Indeed, there are other ways to consume content and we are developing an idea of Consume and Earn where there are many ways to get rewards which can be measured digitally both on and off the platform.”
Ultimately Ingram feels under his stewardship this is less a new direction than a honed vision where everything was built before. “We have the team, a revised roadmap and are putting the train on the rails – The vision is in some ways narrower, but the opportunity is far larger.”
Lepricon – reimagining the possibilities for play through blockchain technology