LINE Blockchain Monthly Newsletter: October 2022
Listening to the news about the recent crypto market, you might be thinking, “Did I make the right choice?” Change is happening very rapidly, but LINE blockchain is continuing to move forward with the belief and basis that we began with while we work to establish ourselves as a reliable platform. For LINE blockchain, October was a month full of small steps that were made each and every day. But even those seemingly small steps can come together to create big change, and we moved forth to earn the trust of the community in October. This newsletter is about the GAME DOSI team and how they are creating the game ecosystem of LINE blockchain. We hope this will help you learn about what kind of platform GAME DOSI is and how the future of games will come afterward.
The red autumn leaves are falling one by one, and soon it will be winter, when only bare branches remain. However, LINE blockchain plans to turn over a new leaf and return next month with news that will warm your heart regardless of the weather.
⎮ Highlights & Main News
Bithumb Staking product released
As the existing Bithumb Staking service was reorganized into Bithumb Plus, a new staking product LINK (LN) was released to commemorate the opening. Anyone who has completed a Bithumb Plus service application can sign up for LINK to easily receive the rewards.
- Operation Period: 2022.10.31–2023.1.31
- Minimum Holding Quantity: 0.3LN
- Related notice: Bithumb Plus Open and Link (LN) Staking Service Opening Notice
LINE NFT wins the “2022 Good Design Award” in the Japan International Design Contest
LINE NFT won a Good Design Award, one of the world’s top three design awards, in the BX Design category along with a Red Dot Design Award. NFTs are digital assets at heart, and as such, they’ve been expressed in the smallest digital unit: the pixel. On the wordmark that is formed by a straight line, a single pixel was expressed in a separated format. Service-related applications have been transformed into various forms of digital content and visual motifs.
JR West and East Japan Railways launch their 150th anniversary NFT
LINE NFT, LINE’s NFT marketplace in Japan, has launched a Shinkansen NFT and Historical Mark NFT to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the opening of JR Railway. Issued in various forms, the NFT can be set not only as a LINE NFT profile picture but also as a LINE Messenger profile picture used by approximately 93 million people in Japan.
[LINE Blockchain Interview]
The Web3 I create, the Blockchain you want, and the GAME DOSI we need by Ki-woong Han, the Lead of GameFi Lab
This is a space where users enjoy games and a platform that supports a game ecosystem that users create with Web3 and blockchain technology. There are high expectations for GAME DOSI to establish a healthy game ecosystem with the launch of DOSI as LINE accelerates its NFT business. Let us introduce the philosophy and background with which it began.
■ Hello Ki-woong. Please introduce yourself.
Hello. My name is Ki-woong Han, and I lead the GameFi Lab in LINE NEXT. We say ten years is an epoch, and it turns out I’ve been working in the Japanese and Korean game industries for two decades. At LINE NEXT, I’m challenging myself in the Web3 gaming market.
■ Could you tell us about the background behind the establishment of the GameFi Lab?
In 2020, I wanted to release a Web3-type blockchain game to the world. Although it didn’t get released as a Web3-type game, I realized something while preparing for a Web3 game for 3 years: the gaming landscape was changing to a form that was compatible with new technologies. In the past, playing a game was enough in and of itself. But that’s not the case anymore because gamers have learned that they can own the process and results, including their gameplay time, by converting them to NFTs.
Just last year, one blockchain game became a hot topic when they got more than 1 million concurrent users. This is including the number of bot players and platform visitors such as Steam, but still. The game still got the spotlight. I felt a lot of things when I saw this. “In the future, there really could be a real Web3-based blockchain game rather than a simple mining-type game.” Even in the blockchain market, money is being concentrated on the Web3 and game sections. I wanted to preoccupy this market, so I quickly created the GameFi Lab with the key members who had been researching the convergence of blockchain technology and games for 3 years.
■ What got you interested in blockchain games?
Over the two decades I’ve worked in the Korean and Japanese game industries, I’ve spent most of my time in the online and mobile game industries. Naturally, my perspective on games was based on the content service. This allowed me to find the contact point for online games and blockchain games.
To talk about blockchain games, I think we first have to talk about the concept of a metaverse. Everyone thinks that Web3 and the metaverse are connected. However, when it comes to defining “what is the metaverse,” there seem to be various definitions. I think the metaverse is the realization of a process where users live and search for entertainment in a virtual world rather than reality. There are many ways to implement that process. It could be a form of communication through an avatar, or it could be the process of creating and enjoying things in the virtual world.
Actually, this form already exists in online games. Gamers can enjoy games using virtual avatars. They can also earn rewards while playing games and engage in economic activities by trading these rewards with other gamers. It’s even possible to compete with other gamers to gain an advantage. Just like this, all actions we see in our society are incorporated into online games. So, the metaverse I defined is already in existence. I think blockchain technology expands the concept of the metaverse. It is a method to help the gamer possess their contributions to the network.
■ What do you mean by helping the gamer possess their results?
Gamers have fun while playing the game, but there was no way to store the value of that fun. Items were not acknowledged with ownership. It was the same no matter how much money you spent. So, when the gamer closes the game, the results that the gamers were attached to lose value. Some users use the black market to trade items. But when you’re scammed by other users, nothing can be done about it. These were the disappointing aspects of Web1 and Web2 games. However, blockchain games are optimal for storing the value of the results and keeping the gamers motivated to play as key contents are recorded on the on-chain data.
Another big difference is that blockchain technology can add value to the process of the gamers’ efforts. Games did not provide any entertainment or benefit to the accumulated process of the gamers playing. If you’ve played 200,000 hours, then you’re just a person who has played 200,000 hours. However, since blockchain games record all the contributions to the network while playing for 200,000 hours, the value of playing time, billing scale, and mission achievement records are converted to NFTs (Non-Fungible Token) or FTs (Fungible Token) and recognized.
On top of that, you can also share your progress with other gamers. For example, based on the play history of the top users and the results obtained, it can offer help to new players, allowing them to enjoy the game. It’s basically the gamers, or their cyber friends, interacting in the virtual world to form the concept of the economic community.
■ The blockchain games released so far imitated P2E (Play to Earn) and received a lot of attention for some time but are struggling now. Why do you think that is?
Most of the P2E games were operated by selling the pre-issued tokens to the market by telling people “these tokens have value.” The developing company appealed that an advanced purchase is beneficial as the token costs only KRW 200 but there will only be 5 tokens released per hour. People believed the issuer and focused only on the mining of the tokens. They only focused on how many tokens they can get in an hour. However, the usability of the token was insufficient because the game content itself was not complete, and the benefits were just added without sufficient game considerations. The tokens were released continuously, however the options to use them didn’t increase when it came to content. Therefore, the value and cost of the tokens gradually decreased, adversely affecting the game economy. In the end, it became a Ponzi structure where only those who bought it at the beginning made a profit. That’s why I believe the greater value of Web3 needs to be specified in a way that exceeds that of 2nd-generation P2E.
** A Ponzi scheme is a type of financial scam promising high returns.
■ In which direction should blockchain games go?
Of course, I believe games should be given priority in Web3 as well. It is okay if blockchain technology is not exposed to users. All of the terms used in blockchain technology can be converted to game terms, such as FT for game money and NFT for characters or game items. Therefore, the direction of blockchain games should be focused on the people actually playing the game, not on the people who just mine to sell tokens on external exchanges not knowing where to use them. FTs should provide game content as a reward obtained by experiencing it, resulting in people being more immersed in the game.
I use the expression bootstrap a lot. I’m confident that a game that continues to expand NFT features whenever the content is consumed will be successful if the NFT is used as the key item in enjoying and expanding the content. It’s like providing a key every time you complete a mission; it can be applied to all types of games, but among the existing ones, I think it’s closer to an adventure or simulation game. The biggest advantage of these two game genres is the way they open up content one by one.
Let’s say we’re playing a world travel game. If your first mission is to travel to another country within Europe, you’ll be able to do it easily. But if you skip this and go straight to Australia, the difficulty level increases. You’ll have to build a good ship to cross the continent. To do that, you’ll have to get materials first. The number of materials you get from playing the game will not be enough. You’ll have to fill up the rest by trading with others. Once you get the materials and build the ship, you can make it to Australia somehow. However, there will be restrictions so that other missions are hard to clear. Like this, it’s structured so that it’s impossible to easily accomplish all the missions with only charges. Coming up with strategies while supplementing failures or weaknesses seems to be the biggest fun of the game.
Also, if all these processes are recorded transparently in the blockchain system and verified with user-authorized data, the sense of immersion will be exceptional. I believe it is necessary to utilize technology tailored to the game’s characteristics rather than promoting the technology itself.
■ Now let’s talk about GAME DOSI. What games will be featured on the GAME DOSI platform?
We are looking for games that have a suitable combination of blockchain technology and gameplay. GAME DOSI will include games where you can have fun and grow your value through gameplay. They will be games that provide the most entertainment for the users to obtain the key while playing the game. Users will be able to receive help from others whenever they encounter difficulties while playing the game. It is also possible to exchange what they lack with others or to accomplish missions together and receive rewards. In any case, GAME DOSI guarantees that whenever you consume content, you will have fun. We will also provide an environment that allows you to freely trade because we only sign contracts with those types of games (laughs).
■ GAME DOSI seems to be taking a different direction from the existing blockchain game platforms. It seems that because of this difference, there could be difficulties in introducing developers into the GAME DOSI ecosystem.
We usually say, “Let’s make it easy for developers to create blockchain games” and “Let’s enable users to intuitively be at the center of the game even if they don’t know anything about Web3 or blockchain technology.” Still, we are trying to maintain our philosophy.
The blockchain games that swept the world last year were mostly run by tokens. No matter how much we explained that we were going to establish such a platform, more developers were interested in issuing and selling tokens. However, this year, the situation started to change as users recognized that the token price was too inflated compared to the value of the game content. Now, we are having more collaboration chances even with the developers who hesitated to work with us before.
Actually, I think everyone was worried. The P2E craze was all over the place. Maybe that was just a social experiment. The experiment on P2E seems to be over now. What users want is not tokens; the game has to be a game, and at the center of it is NFTs, which allow users to fully own the outcome of their gameplay. Maybe that’s why the term P2O (Play To Own) has entered into use recently. It seems like a bigger opportunity is coming as we focus and stick to our philosophy rather than swaying on certain terms. I was really happy when a development company said, “We remembered what you said and decided to come back.”
■ What kind of platform do you want GAME DOSI to become?
“Gamer First, Web3 Next.”
I want it to become a platform like a bar table in a cocktail bar. The bar table is a long table between the bartender and the customer. Communication takes place with this bar table in between. The bartender makes a cocktail at the bar table and the customer feels satisfied drinking the cocktail. However, customers do not always just have a drink and leave. Sometimes they have emotional interactions by sharing their lives with the bartender. In this process, mutual trust is formed as they exchange information with each other openly.
I hope that GAME DOSI becomes a medium through which developers and gamers can communicate directly and build trust like the bar table. Currently, it is difficult for developers to directly hear the voices of gamers. Usually, the publisher or the platform stores the gameplay data while the developer discusses it with the publisher and decides on the direction of the updates. Even though developers also analyze gameplay data, they come up with an update decision with the publisher when they don’t provide the service themselves. The Web3 games of GAME DOSI aim to enable gamers to help the developers directly understand the process of expanding the gameplay and to provide support so that an immediate response is available. In other words, through gameplay, the data is accumulated in the blockchain.
In addition, we are trying to provide gamers a window to directly communicate with the developers along with the network participation rights instead of just providing economic benefits. In the past, gamers could only play a game once the content update was planned and carried out. We would like to help users who have contributed to the network make their voices heard when it comes to creating content. Like this, our goal is to have GAME DOSI serve as a bridge between the developers and gamers so that a trust bond can be formed. After all, at the end of the day, the developers and users will be the ones creating the game, not GAME DOSI.
■ Do you have any plans to utilize LINK on the GAME DOSI platform?
Well, it is still our plan, and taking this into consideration, all items obtained while playing a game in GAME DOSI will be actively traded according to the needs of users. In addition to the payment methods and brokerage fees used at this time, we are thinking of linking the token economy generated in each game with LINK. We expect LINK to result in a virtuous cycle that creates continuous demand along with the success of the games.
■ Do you have anything to add?
I don’t think there’s such a thing as the concept of perfection when it comes to enjoying games. What the market wants and what the public wants will always be changing, and everyone has different standards when it comes to fun. No matter how many focus tests are conducted, once it exceeds 100,000 or 200,000 people, it becomes impossible to predict whether the game will be successful or not. That’s why there will be no perfect game and experiments will continue. Of course, there must be no economic damage to anyone. Currently, games supplement the areas where they’re lacking through patches, but it’s difficult for game companies to explain to users why changes are made because the consideration process is not revealed. The structure, as a result, always left some room for users to complain about whether or not the developers did a great job or not whenever there was a patch. After all, a patch changes the strategy through which the players approach the game.
Web1 and Web2 games communicated unilaterally, saying “The modification was due to reports from a large number of users.” However, Web3 games can justify that the patches by the developers are based on data as the users’ play results are stored as data. Sometimes, users may even be involved in the process. GAME DOSI will take advantage of these aspects to provide games that are actually fun while doing its best to support gamers and developers to create a Web3 gaming world. We will continue to release various news, including support programs for developers, so we would appreciate your interest and support in the future.
⎮ LINK Overview
❖ Data is based on the last day of each month.
■ LN Market Cap: 224.29mn USD
■ LN Price: 35.22 USD
■ Monthly Trading Volume: 441.55mn USD
■ Circulation: 6,369,250 LN
■ Officially Listed Exchanges: BITFRONT, LINE BITMAX, Bithumb, MEXC Global, Gate.io, Huobi Global
Follow LINE Blockchain on Twitter or Facebook for the latest news and updates. A monthly newsletter is issued on the 10th of each month or the following business day in the event of a weekend or holiday. Advance notice will be made through social channels should any delay, omission or other issues occur.
**This newsletter is issued by LINE TECH PLUS (LTP), which operates LINE Blockchain.
**Disclaimer: LINE TECH PLUS informs the business and services related to the LINE Blockchain ecosystem as an operator of LINE Blockchain Mainnet and the LINK issuer. Please note that the business entities differ by service.