The VGO Manifesto

Much has been said about VGO since our launch — from us, from our partners, from the community, from our ardent supporters, and from our critics. To say the least, it’s been a hectic and exciting last few months as we’ve brought VGO from an idea born in the aftermath of the 7 day trade hold, to a fully-fledged project already used by tens of thousands of people around the world in just weeks.

We’re here to share with you our vision for VGO, both what it is now and what the future holds for our project.

We want our community to understand how your support and involvement is integral to shaping VGO’s future, we want game publishers and developers to learn what VGO items mean for the future of video games, and we want our critics to see that our project goes far beyond what’s on the surface that you see today.

At its heart, VGO is a community-driven project that allows players to truly own and control their digital items. The future of VGO is a global video gaming platform where games are based around the in-game items, not where the items are based around the games (as it’s always been).

As we rapidly approach a future where ownership of digital items is becoming more and more mainstream (ie: cryptocurrency instead of Euros, Dragon Lores worth $61k, digital files instead of physical records), we strongly believe that changing the way that digital items are created, owned, and shared is vital in shaping what that future looks like. Yes, it’s different from how the world works today, but we at VGO believe that the industry is at a critical transformation from publisher-led to community-controlled gaming, and we intend to lead our part of it.

That’s why, today, we’d like to share our complete vision with you all in this manifesto.

VGO + the community = ❤:

Since the start, VGO has been a community driven project. The first sentences of our very first announcement were: “Welcome, traders. We are VGO, and we’re here to put skins trading back into the hands of the community.”

The community is a major component of what VGO is and will become. Nearly every VGO item design was created by community designers. All vCase.gg sites are community-made, using the open source code that we provided, which means the community’s entrepreneurs share in the revenue, instead of us operating the only such site (to do that would make us no different from any other game publisher, and that’s why we shut down vCase.gg after just 7 days, and are giving the code away on GitHub). We have sponsored streamers and YouTubers, from those with 100 subscribers to those with over 2 million subscribers.

VGO Case 3 Legendary skin — designed by community member Clegfx

All in all, we estimate that we have paid out around $250,000 to the community since we launched just three weeks ago on June 19, 2018. The community gives their support, their art, their coding and web design skills, their videos and streams — and we give back.

At this point, it’s appropriate to give a heartfelt THANK YOU to the community who has helped us grow, and whose support we rely on to continue to build the tools that will enable you to build out the VGO project as you wish to see it.

We pledge to continue to support the community — from continuing to reward hard work and support, to taking your suggestions into consideration, to working non-stop to create the best product and platform possible.

What VGO means for gamers:

We’ve said it before — what you see on VGO now is just the beginning of what we have planned. Probably the biggest criticism of VGO is that you can’t use the items in-game (you can’t play baseball with baseball cards either, but plenty of people collect those… but anyway). It was recently announced that FPS game The Forge Arena will incorporate VGO skins into the game, where you can use your VGO items to battle other players just like in other popular games. But it doesn’t just stop with one game — we are actively working with other game developers and publishers to create a entire ecosystem for VGO items.

Here’s how — and why.

VGO is being built on an item-centric gaming platform. What does that mean? It means that most platforms put video game publishers at the center, but with VGO, virtual item owners are the primary focus. Why has no one done this yet? Because the platform that we’re building on, the Worldwide Asset eXchange™, is the first of its kind. And VGO is the first project to build upon it.

Ok so seriously, what does that mean to a video gamer or item trader?

Wouldn’t you want to be able to use your hard-earned skins in more than one game? That’s what you’ll be able to do with VGO.

You truly own your VGO skins, and will be able to use them in ANY game that integrates with the WAX Publisher API. Since your skins don’t belong to one single game, your skins aren’t locked inside any one single game. Your skins and digital items are your property, and you can transfer them to the games that you want to use them in.

For those who have VGO skins now, think of them as pre-buying them for use in future video games. Together — you, us, WAX, and a global network of game publishers — are building an item-centric gaming future.

What VGO means for video game developers and publishers:

While gaming is more popular than ever, it’s getting harder and harder for indie game developers to gain traction, while the mega publishers roll out hit title after title. The business of making games is slowly becoming a monopoly for large studios who have multi-million dollar marketing budgets while their game gains enough popularity to become profitable. But plenty of indie games out there are, well, pretty awesome.

If your dream is to create a video game, accomplishing that goal today is harder than ever.

But we believe that the indie game developers are critical to the future of video games. So how do we help make that happen?

Gamers want games to play, and game developers need gamers to play them. VGO brings the two together.

Imagine having one centralized inventory, and being able to use all your skins across a multitude of games.

Developers win because by integrating VGO, they automatically tap into a huge network of existing gamers who can trade their items instantly into the game’s inventory with WAX ExpressTrade.

Gamers win because, well, we want more games to play, and we want our items to stay with us when we play them instead of being stuck in one game.

Players with VGO skins will likely want the opportunity to use their skins in more than one game. If a game developer allows video gamers to use their VGO skins, then at a minimum that game will attract players who already have VGO items to try out the game.

AWP | Oracle

And speaking of customer acquisition, with free to play games, very few players — 1% to 4% on average — even buys an in-game item like a skin. So for game developers who think it would be against their financial interests to allow players to bring their VGO skins into the game instead of buying their in-game items, it’s not actually much of an issue since at least 96% aren’t buying their in-game items anyway. But having MORE players certainly enhances the playing experience for everyone. So just bringing more customers whether they spend money on a particular game’s in-game items or not, is valuable, especially considering VGO item owners are already skin traders and collectors.

Developers still build the games that they have in the past. But now they have a built-in, ready-made audience. It’s a brand new user acquisition strategy. We expect that lots of players would love to use their hard-earned $500 knife or rare rifle skin in other games since it gives more utility to something valuable. And even if players in these games don’t buy the game’s skins, if the game incorporates VGO skins then the game developer still wins by getting new users to play the game.

Why have items that can only be used in one game, especially since you have to pay for them? If players are given a choice between a standard game, versus a game that allows them to bring in and play with their favorite skins, we believe that players are almost certainly going to first try the game where they can bring their existing skins and that they are far more likely to try out a game that allows that.

Conclusion:

There’s much more to VGO than what you see today. We’re happy to share our vision with the community. We truly appreciate your support over the last few weeks and months, and eagerly look forward to working with you to grow the project according to our vision — and yours.

Let us know what you think on twitter.