In a candid interview, we sat down with Mik Mironov, Founder and CEO of RBL Labs, to learn about their Web3 game, LegendsOfCrypto.
Since the first video games were released in the early 1980s, video games have been constantly evolving. With so many different game genres and next-generation technologies at the helm, the evolution continues to inspire many people. Developers are now creating decentralized games in which players can vote on decisions, own in-game content, and even earn valuable crypto rewards in the form of tokens, cryptocurrencies, and NFTs. However, there have been ups and downs in Web3 gaming regarding regulations, marketing strategy, and mainstream acceptance. Despite the challenges, there have recently been watershed moments in the industry where big names leverage Web3 technology. There are Web3 developers who are creating exciting games that connect the virtual and real worlds in an inspiring way. RBL Labs is one such developer, alongside their flagship project, LegendsOfCrypto (LOCGame), a fun TCG with a twist.
In a candid interview, we sat down with Mik Mrionov, Founder and CEO of RBL Labs, to learn about their Web3 game, LegendsOfCrypto. The interview also sheds light on where Web3 games are headed in terms of appealing to mainstream audiences. Mik Mironov is a seasoned banker with a distinguished banking career. He is also a former AirBnB employee, a member of the Global ICO Transparency Alliance, and a founding partner of SMC Capital. Mik has been involved in blockchain projects since 2015, and their Web3 game LegendsOfCrypto is an exciting addition to the TCG genre.
LegendsOfCrypto Web3 TCG
LegendsOfCrypto isn't like most other card games. It's a Triad Battle card game that was made to be fun for both experienced gamers and people who have never played before. LegendsOfCrypto is better than mid-level TCGs like Gods Unchained on Web3 and Hearthstone on Web2 because it has the best of both worlds.
This game combines the fun and ease of a casual card game with a modern and interesting story. LegendsOfCrypto is easy to learn and fun to play, no matter how often or how little you play games. Besides, it is also made for a web2 audience with its new lore and unique LOCGame brand. It has humor that everyone can relate to and a story that mixes fantasy and real life. Men and women between the ages of 18 and 45 who want an immersive gaming experience are the community this game eyes to develop.
What makes LegendsOfCrypto (LOCGame) Unique?
LegendsOfCrypto Game is not only limited to the virtual world, but it is also available as a table game in the real world. The top NFT holders have the opportunity to acquire the LOCGame deck of cards. Another distinguishing feature of the game is that the developers did not clone Hearthstone, as many other TCGs do.
“Of course, we like Hearthstone ourselves, or Magic the Gathering for that matter, but there is an oversaturation of the same idea, we like our game to be simple yet fun, scalable, and strategy-like. We are currently at Season 0 of LOCGame and building Season 1 where players will have card progression, evolution, fusion, mutation, and many more,” Mik adds.
As we mention in our Roadmap, LOCGame plans to go mobile with a seamless onboarding experience for players. The idea is to reach a wider audience as mobile gaming is the future front of video games.
“You download it from Google or Apple Store, we create a wallet for you where you don’t even have to think about if there is a blockchain part attached to the game. Of course, when you get involved in the game then you will get to know that while having fun, and you can also earn.” Mik said. Talking about the card progression, Mik says, “This is the cornerstone of the scalable economy of the game, the progression of the cards within the game.”
Mik on Google’s stance pertaining to NFTs and blockchain
Mik Mironov: It is a tremendous update, like a present for us from Google. Furthermore, it signals a shift towards a more mainstream acceptance of Web3 games in general. It legitimizes the whole thing and makes it more appealing to gamers and investors because now we are living in a state of paradox. NFTs are quite accepted in Asia like Japan, China, Singapore, and Vietnam. The region is quite bullish on NFTs, especially in-game assets. In the West, it is quite the opposite, if you are involving NFTs in a game then the first reaction we get is that it's a scam. Like in Asia, NFTs are all about digital property rights like a certificate where you own something.
Google opening its doors to NFTs and blockchain will have a strong impact. It means a wider audience, and ease of use, where you can buy LOCGame packs with just a click of a button through Google Play. We are super happy with this announcement, it will ultimately help to onboard people more rapidly, monetize better, and propel mainstream adoption.
Furthermore, it is a watershed moment for Web3 games, signaling a shift toward mainstream acceptance of blockchain-based digital assets. This move essentially lowers one of the biggest barriers to entry. It enables a smoother onboarding experience for new players who are unfamiliar with blockchain technology.
For Web3 games in general:
Legitimization: Having the backing of a platform as significant as Google Play adds credibility to Web3 games, making them more appealing to both players and investors.
For LOCGame specifically:
-Wider Audience: Google Play is one of the largest distribution platforms for mobile apps, and its acceptance of NFTs opens up a massive potential user base that was previously hard to tap into.
-Ease of Access: It simplifies the process for non-crypto natives to acquire and trade NFTs, providing a more seamless experience.
-Rapid Onboarding: Given that our game is mobile-friendly, this update will significantly simplify the onboarding process for new players, leading to increased user acquisition.
-Monetization: As NFTs play a crucial role in our game mechanics, being able to trade them on Google Play will likely boost in-game purchases and trading.
-Mainstream Appeal: This can serve as a gateway to introduce mainstream gamers to LOCGame, who might otherwise be hesitant to explore Web3 games.
-Strategic Partnerships: It opens the door for potential collaborations with other apps and services featured on Google Play, which could be mutually beneficial.
In summary, Google Play's recent update is a significant step forward in the quest for mainstream adoption of Web3 games. For LOCGame, this is an excellent opportunity to capture a broader audience while simplifying NFT transactions, contributing to user growth and revenue.
Web3 Games Reaching Mainstream Audience
Mik was spot on when giving his insights on Web3 going mainstream by highlighting the challenges and rising opportunities. “The crypto industry is amazing. Yes, it may be a wild wild west but the people working in it are smart, young, driven, and fun. Besides, the narrative of play-to-earn with players in the driving seat makes it more interesting. The gamers are no longer passive observers in it, there are DAOs where players vote and take part in decision-making."
Mik Mironov: I believe that Web3 games are not quite there yet with regard to breaking into mainstream consciousness. On the positive side, we've seen a few milestones that indicate growing interest:
-More fun-to-play and quality games: Some Web3 games have started to offer engaging experiences that rival traditional games, blurring the lines between Web2 and Web3 gaming.
-Arrival of the major players: Epic Games and the Epic Games store, EA Web3 gaming incubator, huge interest from traditional investors like A16z.
However, there are still significant hurdles to clear:
-Ease of Use: Onboarding non-crypto natives is a significant barrier. The process of setting up wallets, understanding gas fees, etc., can be overwhelming. This is improving with SDKs and other solutions.
-Scalability of blockchain tech: High transaction fees and slow speeds on some blockchains are a barrier to a smooth gaming experience.
-Regulation: Unclear regulations around NFTs and digital assets can create hesitance both for developers and players. Regulation in Europe (MICA) can prevent web3 studios from building.
For 2023-2024, I would like to see:
-Quantum leap - adoption by platforms like Steam.
-Better Web2/Web3 wallet solution: More seamless ways for people to get started, without needing to understand the complexities of blockchain.
-Mainstream Collaborations: Partnerships and investments with established Web2 gaming companies could bring both expertise and audiences into the Web3 space.
NFTs as Entry Barrier
Mik Mironov: We use NFTs as an entry barrier for a very specific reason. While we are building, and the game has bugs in the initial stages, we want fewer people to experience it. We don’t want extra players in certain phases of the game. But, three months ago we launched the Free-to-play version of the game. You get a beginner's deck that allows you to play and finish the story mode, play PvP mode, and more. When you compete with someone having NFT deck of cards, their stats are higher and you will lose unless you are skilled.
Now here is the million-dollar question; Fun-to-play or Pay-to-win? We plan to strike a balance between the two, but in reality, our game is a mix of three. Free-to-play, play-to-earn, and pay-to-win. We plan to balance all three and especially pay-to-win using leagues. The cards you have purchased will only help in certain leagues and not the lower leagues. I believe that the first thing that comes ahead of all is that the game needs to be fun to play.
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FAQ: Exploring LegendsOfCrypto and Web3 Gaming
Q1: What is LegendsOfCrypto (LOCGame)?
- A1: LegendsOfCrypto, abbreviated as LOCGame, is a unique Triad Battle card game developed by RBL Labs. It blends accessibility, humor, and engaging storytelling to provide an enjoyable gaming experience for both experienced gamers and newcomers. LOCGame offers both virtual and physical gameplay, making it stand out in the Web3 gaming landscape.
Q2: What sets LegendsOfCrypto apart from other card games?
- A2: LegendsOfCrypto distinguishes itself by combining the accessibility and fun of a casual card game with a modern and engaging storyline. It offers a unique blend of free-to-play, play-to-earn, and pay-to-win elements, with a strong emphasis on ensuring that the game remains fun to play.
Q3: How is LegendsOfCrypto available in both virtual and physical forms?
- A3: LegendsOfCrypto offers a tabletop version of the game for top NFT holders, allowing players to acquire a physical deck of LOCGame cards. This integration of physical and digital gameplay enhances the player experience and bridges the gap between virtual and real-world gaming.
Q4: What are the plans for LegendsOfCrypto's future development?
- A4: The development roadmap for LOCGame includes plans to expand to mobile platforms, making the game accessible to a wider audience. The game will continue to incorporate blockchain and NFTs into its progression system, enabling players to enjoy a scalable and immersive gaming experience.
Q5: How significant is Google Play's acceptance of NFTs and blockchain for LegendsOfCrypto and Web3 gaming in general?
- A5: Google Play's acceptance of NFTs and blockchain technology is a pivotal development for both LegendsOfCrypto and the broader Web3 gaming industry. It legitimizes the technology, simplifies NFT transactions, expands the user base, and paves the way for mainstream adoption.
Q6: What challenges and opportunities are associated with Web3 gaming, as discussed in the interview?
- A6: Mik Mrionov, CEO of RBL Labs, highlighted various challenges and opportunities in the Web3 gaming industry. Challenges include ease of use for non-crypto users, blockchain scalability issues, and regulatory uncertainties. Opportunities include the potential for mainstream adoption, collaborations between Web2 and Web3 gaming companies, and improved wallet solutions.
Q7: How does LegendsOfCrypto use NFTs in its gameplay?
- A7: LegendsOfCrypto employs NFTs as an entry barrier during the game's development phases. The presence of NFTs affects player progression and competitiveness. The game seeks to strike a balance between free-to-play, play-to-earn, and pay-to-win elements, ensuring that the primary focus remains on delivering an enjoyable gaming experience.
Q8: What can we expect from the Web3 gaming industry in 2023?
- A8: In 2023, the Web3 gaming industry aims for a quantum leap in adoption, potentially through platforms like Steam. Improved Web2/Web3 wallet solutions, mainstream collaborations, and a more seamless onboarding process for non-crypto users are anticipated developments.
Q9: How can I get started with LegendsOfCrypto (LOCGame)?
- A9: To get started with LegendsOfCrypto, you can visit their official website or download the game from Google Play (when available). The game is designed to be accessible and enjoyable for players of all levels of experience, from newcomers to seasoned gamers.
Q10: Where can I learn more about LegendsOfCrypto and stay updated on its developments?
- A10: To stay informed about LegendsOfCrypto (LOCGame) and its latest updates, you can visit the official website of RBL Labs and follow their social media channels. Additionally, you can refer to the original interview for in-depth insights into the game and the Web3 gaming industry.