How RadMule Labs Will Tokenize the $70.3 Billion Mobile Games Market
You spend nearly a year developing what you think can be one of the best mobile games out there. You submit it to the iOS and Android stores as a free-to-play app because you know people are unlikely to pay for mobile games. All is going well until you find out that users aren’t making in-app purchases. You would give anything for a balanced in-game economy and monetization strategy.
You’re not alone: finding a balanced in-game economy and monetization strategy is very hard for a mobile game. Ulas Bilgenoglu, Co-Founder and CEO of RadMule Labs, one of OST’s Partner Companies developing mobile games knows this well and says “if you find out that one percent of players make in-app purchases, you’re in a good shape.” Ulas has a background in working with mobile applications over the past six years. He also created several small games himself. Games have always been a passion for Ulas, as he started coding and playing games at age 10. Creating a game studio was always a goal from a very young age, but Ulas couldn’t find time or the right chance to do so. In 2015, he saw an opportunity and went for it! He started the RadMule Labs game studio to build mobile games.
RadMule Labs is a Turkey-based mobile application development company, capable of delivering results for iOS, Android and Windows 8 platforms. RadMule Labs also works with the best graphical design teams for prospective clients. The company focuses on new mediums: mobile is their core focus, while trying blockchain-based games. RadMule Labs works on game design, game economy, and monetization strategies.
“I see free-to-play as a challenge for the developer because making money from a free-to-play game economy is really not easy” — Ulas Bilgenoglu, Co-Founder & CEO
RadMule Labs is working to find a balance between monetization and value, implementing a monetization strategy and preventing players from being bored or leaving the game. It’s a difficult balance to achieve, but if value is placed in front of players, they will pay for it.
The Gaming Industry
The largest and most rapidly growing part of the gaming industry is mobile games. Newzoo predicts that 2.3 billion gamers across the globe will spend $137.9 billion on games in 2018. They expect $70.3 Billion of that to be from mobile games. Traditionally, the gaming industry includes PC and console games, usually referred to as triplay. In recent years, there’s been a big movement of in-app games, allowing small studios to launch their games and release them on platforms like the PlayStation Store or Scheme for PC. The same idea has disrupted the mobile space. Apple and Android introduced stores with paid and free apps. Previously, game studios were heavily dependent on the publisher in order to publish a game. It would usually involve bigger teams and bigger budgets. Small teams are now able to build something and launch it in the app store.
The free-to-play game model has become very popular with the introduction of free apps. The idea came from South Korea and PC games. It became a widely used strategy for mobile games because paying upfront is a significant barrier for many users. Users don’t want to pay upfront and commit to mobile games. They rather spend on console games that are generally large productions with detailed graphics and a longer game-play experience.
In order to develop a successful free-to-play game, value perceived by players must be significant enough to warrant in-app purchases. Users are often discouraged when the use of in-app purchases are required, non-transferable, or contained within a single game economy. Transferable in-app purchases can help solve for this, allowing for players to use previously purchased digital assets on multiple games. This provides liquidity and warrants owning unique digital assets as they can be transferred or sold at any time.
Tokenizing Mobile Games
RadMule Labs hopes to create a shared token economy between games. This will allow users to use their in-app purchases across different games. Blockchain will allow users to own any digital asset they purchase, removing the need for a game studio to manage assets.
“What we had in mind before OST was to build this ourselves for our game studio, but then we came across OST KIT. It’s much better and expands our game economy’s reach much wider because we don’t have to be contained as a single studio now. We can use branded tokens under OST and they can be shared between games.” — Ulas Bilgenoglu
RadMule Labs is currently working on a game that will serve as a case study for tokenization on OST. They plan to use a branded token across all games. Even if any other game studio creates tokens on OST, they can actually be exchanged between RadMule’s tokens and the game studio’s tokens. The first game that they’re working on with OST is called Pony Racer, a horse racing game in which users have a small ranch that they can use to train their horses. Users can race their horses and earn tokens. Similar to Crypto Kitties, horses will be able to breed, creating unique digital assets.
RadMule Labs was part of the OST KIT Alpha III: Developers POC challenge. Their proof of concept includes all types of transactions.
- Branded tokens will be airdropped from the company to new players, providing them with currency to start with.
- Tokens and digital assets can be transacted between users.
- Users earn branded tokens when their horses win races.
- Users can spend branded tokens to buy horses that increase their chances of winning.
- Users can spend branded tokens to train their horses to improve race outcomes.
- Users can spend tokens as entrance fees to join races.
Tokens can be used for upgrades and purchases on items to be used in game play. Users will be able to buy, trade, and sell their assets between other users. In a game economy, everything is usually transacted in the economy inside the game, but with blockchain and digital assets, users can transact outside of the game economy. Game tournaments can also be audited and verified on the blockchain.
Ulas Bilgenoglu sat down with José Mota to talk about the early beginnings of RadMule Labs, how a token economy will provide digital asset liquidity and why he chose to work with OST.
OST blockchain infrastructure empowers new economies for mainstream businesses and emerging DApps. OST leads development of the OpenST Protocol, a framework for tokenizing businesses. In September 2018 OST introduced the OpenST Mosaic Protocol for running meta-blockchains to scale Ethereum applications to billions of users. OST KIT is a full-stack suite of developer tools, APIs and SDKs for managing blockchain economies. OST partners reach more than 300 million end-users. OST has offices in Berlin, New York, Hong Kong, and Pune. OST is backed by leading institutional equity investors including Tencent, Greycroft, Vectr Ventures, and 500 Startups.