Gala Games: New Web3 game aggregation platform, how do traditional gamers shape the GameFi version of Steam?
Editor’s Note: In the market, each Team Project has different ideas about the manifestation of GameFi, which, together with the different hosting environments, has led to a wide variety of GameFi projects on the market. This article starts from the blockchain game aggregation platform, and through the in-depth analysis of the GameFi hosting environment, we can gain an intuitive understanding of the upstream ecology of GameFi development, which also helps us to explore GameFi on a deeper level.
When it comes to all kinds of blockchain games, Gala Games must be the project we can’t get around. In the past, Gala Games have brought us enough surprises.
How does Gala Games work?
Gala Games is a blockchain game aggregation platform where games and in-game assets (NFTs) are published on Ethereum. In the future, Gala Games plans to launch a gaming public chain that will be more friendly to game users and developers. Many people regard it as the Steam platform in the Web3 world.
According to data from OKLink, the GameFi market has enjoyed explosive growth in its daily activities in 2021, thanks to the explosion of the Play2Earn model. During this time, Gala Games is riding the momentum and is poised for significant growth in 2021.
GameFi Market Data
According to Gala Games’ official data, it has more than 1.3 million active users per month and more than 26,000 NFTs have been sold. However, after reaching new highs as the GameFi market cooled, the price of GALA tokens have gradually fallen back in November 2021. Although the performance of Gala Games token price is strongly correlated with the GameFi market, the P2E attribute of Gala Games’ games is not as strong. Just as what the team wrote on the official website, Gala Games’ requirements for games focus on “Fun First” more.
According to them, “We believe the blockchain should be invisible in our games. We use simple game mechanics that all players can enjoy, whether or not they consider themselves to be blockchain pros. “
Currently, Gala Games has 8 games confirmed to go live. Namely, they are Legends Reborn, Spider Tanks, Town Star, The Walking Dead: Empires, Mirandus, Legacy, Last Expedition, Echoes of Empire, and Fortified. These eight games cover a variety of game modes such as cards, strategy, RPG, MMORPG, fighting, simulation, FPS, TD, etc. The game content covers space, mid-world, zombie, punk, adventure, leisure, planting, and other styles. Among them, the simulation game, Town Star, has been officially operated, with the webpage as the front section for players to participate in playing. The remaining 7 games are in several stages of development, testing, and waiting for node voting.
In the following sections, this article will analyze the fundamentals and future development potential of Gala Games in detail, from the perspective of nodes, GALA tokens, game content, team, competition, and risk.
The decentralized node network is the foundation of Gala Games. Through Gala Games’ founding nodes, users can vote on which games will go live on Gala Games. For individual games, Gala Games also has game nodes, such as Town Star, to reduce the strain on Gala Games servers.
Gala Games has a constant cap of 50,000 founding nodes. According to the official data, there are already more than 16,000 player-run founding nodes that together support the Gala Games ecosystem.
In this regard, we can understand Gala Games as the main body, decentralizing the whole game network by decentralizing nodes. The main body, Gala Games, is responsible for providing operation, curation, marketing, and maintenance services for the whole decentralized network, which cover Gala Games Network, node software updates, maintenance development, etc., and ultimately promote the development of Gala Games Network, together with the community.
According to the official explanation, the Gala Games node network ecology consists of five parts, which are Gala Games main body service, in-game NFT, random assignment algorithm, public database, and nodes.
Gala Games Main Body Service
Gala Games is responsible for planning and executing all kinds of games on a governance basis regarding game levels (launching games, etc.). At the same time, Gala Games wants to welcome more game studios with an open ecology by providing them with toolkits to produce and publish NFTs. According to the official explanation, “Gala Games’ goal is to make it easy for any company to quickly and easily add their games to the Gala Games ecosystem and use the toolkit to generate standardized crypto packages, NFT libraries, and wallets to integrate into their games”. It can be assumed that the number of game studios determines the future development of the Gala Games ecosystem network and is one of the key metrics we use to evaluate the potential of Gala Games.
The Gala Games community has set up a public database through GALABASE.io. We can think of it as a blockchain browser. The function of the public database is to help the developer community engage in the Gala Games ecosystem more easily, through simple access to the game studios that are the main component of the Gala Games ecosystem developer community.
In addition, the public database is the backbone of its random assignment algorithm. We can also use it to check the support of different nodes for the Gala Games ecosystem. However, after testing, the public database GALABASE is mainly used for NFT queries, and the information about the contribution of Gala nodes is rather vague.
Founding Nodes and NFT
The benefits of becoming a Gala Founding Node are twofold:
1. The founding nodes can vote on the games to be launched on the platform.
2. The founding node receives revenue from running Gala Games and games (Town Star).
In addition, the NFTs of new games are airdropped to the founding nodes using a random allocation algorithm. NFTs from new games are provided by game studios and traded in Gala Games’ store.
Apart from voting, while becoming a Gala Founding Node requires the provision of equipment such as a computer, as mentioned above, it is not clear exactly what you need to contribute to become a Gala Node, and no specific information is disclosed to the public. Moreover, the active node data in its database was updated until March.
It is possible that the Gala founding nodes will only manifest more of their functions in the future when more games go online.
Node owner @Alchemy believes that “the node sale is a disguised fundraising tactic by the project, and the project itself has said that it is selling nodes to avoid US regulatory risks. There are still 10,000 nodes for sale. How much can the project owner sell them for? About $750 million.
GALA is a native ERC Utility Token of the Gala Games ecosystem, currently available across-chain to BSC, with a total volume of 50 billion and a current circulation of 6.98 billion. The current market capitalization of GALA is $1.7 billion, with a market cap ranking of 63.
It is reported that the GALA token is not ICO, and has been landed on Binance, Coinbase, Crypto.com, OKX, Kucoin, Gate.io, Uniswap, and many other exchanges, covering GALA/BNB, GALA/USD, GALA/USDT, GALA/ETH, and many other trading pairs.
Gala Games nodes can earn daily points by running the node for 6 hours and then redeeming the points for GALA token rewards. The more points you earn, the more shares you will receive in the daily GALA token distribution. In addition to running a node, inviting users to join a node and inviting them to run a node for more than 6 hours will also reward the inviter with points.
Each year on July 21, the amount of GALA tokens allocated is halved — the less GALA is dumped over time, but the longer the payback period to become a node. Also, Gala Games is not raising money — as it turns out, the founding nodes of Gala Games are actually the investors in Gala Games. Through founding nodes and node sales, Gala Games has secured enough capital to sustain their growth, and as of January 11, Gala Games had earned $510 million and 8,681.8 ETH in node sales, according to the First VIP.
In addition, Gala Games has another source of revenue: Gold Membership subscriptions. Gold members have priority access to information, special NFT rewards, first access to game testing opportunities, and more.
GALA tokens act as a payment medium for everything in the Gala Games ecosystem, including nodes, gold memberships, NFT sales in the store, and more. This is the main empowerment of the GALA token. Later, after Gala Games launches Project GYRI (the public chain project of Gala ecosystem), GALA tokens may act as Gas tokens in it.
In the future, in addition to serving as an important medium of exchange in the Gala Games ecosystem, GALA tokens will also be an important means for early Gala Games investors, the founding nodes of Gala, to recover their investment costs.
If the price of GALA tokens does not meet expectations, it will take longer for new Gala nodes to recoup their costs, weaken the desire of potential investors to become nodes and prevent Gala Games from having sufficient funds to operate over the years. Of course, Gala Games is still well-funded as of today, and on February 8, it confirmed that it will allocate $5 billion over the next year to expand its NFT and other products. Of that, $200 million is expected to go to games NFT, $1 billion to studio music NFT, $1 billion to movie NFT, and Gala theme park NFT will receive the remaining $1 billion.
The growth of the number of nodes will also become an important KPI for Gala Games. Only by continuously promoting the development of Gala Games’ own ecosystem and raising investors’ expectations of the value of GALA tokens will we be able to attract more nodes and players to participate. This is a positive feedback loop.
The only game that Gala Games has live as of now is Town Star (Spider Tanks is still in beta), a Play2Earn blockchain game built on the web.
It is a simulation game that allows players to build a dynamic town system by building a series of infrastructures such as farms, ranches, lumberyards, factories, hiring workers, factory processing, and selling resources. Although Town Star is a web-based game, the game mechanics are very comprehensive and free to play with no barriers.
For the basic GameFi players, Town Star is difficult and has a certain threshold to start. Although not as complex as traditional simulation games, players will need to spend effort and time to familiarize themselves with the game process.
First of all, players need to understand the role and cost of workers, materials, and infrastructure, and balance the development until all kinds of resources can support the processing needs of the refinery. Among them, gasoline is the most important resource in the game, we need gasoline to run cars to sell their goods for profit. The game cannot be purchased, but only through the refinery to obtain gasoline. Once there is not enough gasoline and we can’t produce it, the game enters a death cycle — we have to start another game.
The Play2Earn model in gaming is not the traditional GameFi marketplace model of DeFi gamification. Traditional GameFi is a combination of NFT and FT (homogenized tokens) to give participants some tastes of gaming experience, but it is still essentially DeFi, whereas Town Star lives up to Gala Games’ original vision of “Fun First” by placing more emphasis on the player experience — even if the player can’t get a quick financial benefit.
Town Star’s Play2Earn model focuses on three areas:
● Daily Challenges: tokens are awarded for completing daily challenges.
● Gala Power: Gala Power is set up to encourage players to hold GALA tokens and TOWN tokens — the number of both determines the player’s Gala Power level. The higher the Gala Power level, the more NFTs the player can earn in Town Coin.
● Season Pass: With the Season Pass NFT, players can complete matches within a set time frame to earn TOWN token rewards.
Indeed, Town Star also provides paid content (NFT) to help players master higher-earning efficiency. These paid contents (NFT) can also be traded freely in the marketplace. Players can buy those NFTs in the Gala Games store. The rarer the NFT, the more efficient the player can earn TOWN.
TOWN tokens purchased by players through playing the game or on third-party exchanges have three uses:
● Purchasing TownCoin’s exclusive NFT items.
● Using TownCoin for in-game upgrades and benefits.
● Holding TownCoin allows you to earn higher Gala Power levels.
In addition to earning TOWN tokens through Play2Earn, another way to earn TOWN tokens is to become a Town Star operating node. Node operators receive TOWN tokens in daily distributions as a reward for operating their Town Star founder nodes.
In fact, we can see Gala Games’ approach to eco-gaming in the Town Star example. Just like the “Fun First” we mentioned above, the games in the Gala Games ecosystem are more likely to evolve towards a “regular players enjoy the game and professional players earn bounties” model, more like Contest2Earn than Play2Earn.
This is another reason why Gala Games was identified as a Web2.5 product in the above sections. A fun game will not only reach crypto users but will also attract more general players and act as a bridge between Web2 and Web3. Also, non-crypto players can create their own crypto wallets (still need to record the helper word) through Gala Games’ email registration, without the need to download wallet software like Metamask. This somewhat lowers the threshold for players to know about the blockchain/crypto world.
Gala Games Ecosystem NFT VOX
VOX NFT is an NFT based on the Gala Games ecosystem, with a total initial run of 8888 pieces. VOX NFT can be used within games in the Gala Games ecosystem. For example, it can be pledged at Town Star for TOWN token rewards.
The second series of VOX Collectibles: Mirandus, inspired by the MMORPG, is now available.
In the future, it will act as an Avatar in the Gala Games Metaverse, after it is launched. Metaverse participants will also be able to earn VOX Coin through VOX NFT, which will be applied to the Metaverse or exchanged for other cryptocurrencies.
Founder and the Team
As mentioned in the Gala Games Medium profile, Gala Games was founded by Eric Schiermeyer, former co-founder of Zynga, Wright Thurston, one of the first miners in cryptocurrency and holder of several patents on blockchain technology, and Michael McCarthy, the creative director behind such popular games as Farmville 2.
Among other things, Eric Schiermeyer serves as the CEO of Gala Games. Prior to founding Gala Games, he was co-founder of Zynga. As a game company, Zynga has released many popular web/mobile games such as Farmville, Farmville 2, and Zynga Poker.
Farmville2 is a 3D upgrade of the first generation. And Zynga Poker is a mobile game with poker as the game content.
Eric Schiermeyer has no experience developing large-scale games. As a result, games like Farmville show more of their ability on the marketing level. But blockchain games are still in their infancy period of development, and the watering down of big 3A games will give more room for lightweight games to grow.
In addition to the main founders, John Osvald, the director of games, also worked at Zynga, where he worked on game design. His experience has largely focused on games, having worked at EA, Carnivore Inc., and other companies, where he focused on the mobile games segment.
T. Elliot Cannon was the director of Gala Games’ first game, Town Star, and has 27 years of experience in the game industry, having worked on games such as Unreal Engine, Unreal Tournament, Crysis, and Doom. In February of this year, T. Elliot Cannon has started working on the next Gala Games game.
Gala Music is hoping to build a more decentralized music network for artists and fans alike, and will also expand the reach of the network through node sales, where players can run nodes to play each song NFT. By listening to it, node operators, NFT owners, artists, and listeners can all be rewarded with Listen2Earn. The aforementioned Project GYRI is also one of the key underpinnings of Gala Music.
At present, Gala Music has partnered with Snoop Dogg.
Gala Recent News
● The launch of the Gala Games ecological public chain Project GYRI in the coming weeks;
● Gala Games is partnering with the GRIT team for the upcoming launch of the Wild West Battle Royale game GRIT: A Wild West Royale.
Gala Social Media Data
● Twitter Followers 328.2K
● Discord Members 148.8K
Short-term Growth Expectations
● Launch of Spider Tanks
● Launch of Project GYRI public chain
As a game aggregation platform, Gala Games also has many competitors, such as Axie Infinity, which started the era of GameFi Play2Earn, or Immutable X, which is dedicated to building NFT Layer2.
Comparison with Axie Infinity
To solve the problems of scalability and high cost of Ether, Axie Infinity has built a sidechain of Ether, Ronin, for gamers to use. In addition to solving the pain points of Ether itself, Ronin also integrates a payment gateway to facilitate players’ access to funds. Ronin can be considered as the foundation of Axie Infinity’s success.
With the weakness of Play2Earn, Axie Infinity’s development focus is more on building the sidechain Ronin rather than exploring more game content/mechanics. With the launch of Katana, a decentralized exchange on Ronin, investor attention has shifted from GameFi to DeFi, and Katana provides new empowerment for SLPs (Axie Infinity’s reward pass for players) — simply forming an SLP/ETH LPs can investors participate in liquidity mining with Ronin’s native pass, RON. Following the launch, on December 3, 2021, Ronin reached a record high of $1.5 billion in locked-in funds.
However, the Ronin network is relatively centralized under the PoA (Proof-of-Authority) consensus, and Sky Mavis plans to make more new games only when Ronin is more developed and stable.
As mentioned above, Gala Games is also testing and looking to launch a public chain project called Project GYRI. Unlike Axie Infinity, Gala Games’ GYRI is the first blockchain to address the needs that game developers face in their games. According to the official statement, “We have never wavered from our stance of “games first, blockchain second”.
In addition, with the eight games, Gala Games is promoting simultaneously, Gala Games’ game ecosystem will be very competitive by then. The new challengers will also emerge from the unknown blockchain games to challenge Axie Infinity’s leadership.
Comparison with Immutable X
Similar to Project GYRI launched by Gala Games, Immutable X is a Layer2 dedicated to providing infrastructure services for games and NFTs.
Immutable X wants to start addressing the main challenges facing the current Ethernet NFT ecosystem.：
● Long confirmation times (transactions take minutes to confirm).；
● Gas expense；
● Liquidity (most NFTs never make a transaction)；
● Developer experience (NFT project teams spend more time on technology development than on project improvement)；
● Environmental impacts (barriers to mainstream adoption).
These are the most pressing needs of the Ethernet NFT market today. Immutable X took these needs as a starting point and worked with StarkWare to build Immutable X as an NFT-friendly Layer2 using ZK-Rolllup technology.
While Immutable X hopes to take on the NFT ecosystem of Ether, the reality is that only enough interest will attract an influx of more liquidity money — despite the infrastructure having enough advantages. Much of the initial growth of the ecosystem came from the incentives of the official foundation, and only if more great blockchain games are built on Immutable X will Immutable X have a chance for longer-term growth.
This is where Gala Games differs from many blockchain infrastructure development ideas; Gala Games is more like a Web2.5 product, consisting of centralized entities and decentralized nodes that use games as a base to develop various tools and infrastructure to satisfy game developers.
We cannot arbitrarily say which is better or worse than Immutable X, but on the game level alone, Gala Games’ operational and marketing mindset is undoubtedly successful. Immutable X, on the other hand, still needs time to settle down and develop after launching its infrastructure services.
Firstly, unlike other Web3 projects, Gala Games’ code and whitepaper are not open sources, and Gala Games is more like a Web2 company.
Secondly, Gala Games’ current games do not meet the demand of crypto players to make money, for example, Town Star has a payback cycle of a few days, a week, or a month compared to other GameFi. According to statistics, Town Star has a payback cycle of over a year. A small volume game cannot satisfy the immersive experiences players want, which means players cannot spend time in a small game for a long time. Perhaps this will change with the later launch of the game.
Third, whether Project GYRI public chain can meet the expectations of game developers is also a potentially risky point. If Project GYRI doesn’t perform as well as it should, it could turn off more developers — a serious threat to the development of the Gala Games ecosystem.
In essence, Gala Games’ success is inextricably linked to the founders’ extensive game development and marketing experience, which has played a huge role in Gala Games’ node sales and game operations. Users attracted by Gala Games eco-games will also be retained in Gala Games’ community and social media, and the short-term traffic demand for new game launches will be quickly met.
As a medium of exchange in the Gala Games ecosystem, GALA tokens are rich in consumption and application scenarios, and thus can be effectively supported by the ecosystem’s users. NFTs in the Gala Games ecosystem also gain greater liquidity than NFTs in other ecosystems — Gala NFTs can be used in all kinds of games in the ecosystem.