Introducing YGG’s game subDAO, YGGSPL
YGG Splinterlands (YGGSPL) is a decentralized collective of YGG guild members that are actively participating in the play-to-earn trading card game Splinterlands. As a tokenized subDAO, YGGSPL is a fully community-owned and governed YGG gaming subDAO.
YGG’s DAO structure allows itself to establish a game-focused subDAO that can host a specific game’s assets and activities. The YGG treasury houses a wide selection of in-game assets from multiple game partners, allowing a YGG game subDAO to govern and manage YGG’s assets while increasing the yield-generating potential for the players. By deploying smart contracts and tokenizing ownership of the subDAO, the community can control in-game assets held in the DAO treasury.
Moreover, distributing ownership through tokens allows subDAO token holders and players to participate in the governance of these assets and rewards earned from productive play. YGG subDAO token holders may submit and vote on proposals for how to manage the assets and treasury in a way that will serve the best interests of the community. Two examples of subDAOs that are game-specific and led entirely by the community in those games are YGG-LOK, for League of Kingdoms, and YGGSPL, for Splinterlands.
In this article, we delve into what a “game-specific” subDAO is, YGG’s involvement in Splinterlands that led to the formation of YGGSPL, the community leading the subDAO, and its ongoing token sale that will put governance rights into the hands of YGGSPL community members.
YGG’s Game Partnership with Splinterlands
YGG took its first step into the fantasy world of Splinterlands in June 2021, when it acquired NFTs from the game, comprising of booster packs from the Untamed Edition, two Splinterlands Regions in the game’s upcoming Land Expansion, and access to Summoner’s Spellbook upgrades for the YGG community. In addition, the guild participated in the private token sale for Splinterlands’ planned governance token, Splintershards (SPS).
As one of YGG’s earliest game partners, Splinterlands offers gameplay that sees players collect cards, assemble their decks, and battle for prizes, pitting their monsters against each other using magic and special abilities. Splinterlands have shown a growing traction as one of the early play-to-earn games that has over 2 billion games played. Its in-game reward token is called Dark Energy Crystals (DEC) which can be earned from Ranked Battles in the game.
The game features a fully-fledged guild component that motivates guild members to coordinate for bigger rewards, making it a perfect addition to the YGG ecosystem of games. With this, DEC has a variety of utility, where players or members of guilds within the game must contribute DEC regularly to their Guild Halls and Arenas in order to level it up and earn greater bonuses and rewards.
By being one of YGG’s earliest game partners that has officially released, the game community in Splinterlands has teamed up to take the initiative to exercise the capabilities of a DAO and allow themselves to utilize these assets for the benefit of the DAO.
The YGGSPL SubDAO
The YGGSPL subDAO currently houses 295 guild members and 21 guild leaders with KnightAV, LastDragon, Jackal, Cydrake, Lorkus, and Woody as some of its core members who are leading the subDAO and the community at large. The YGGSPL subDAO started as an unofficially affiliated guild of players who were actively playing Splinterlands and were also community members within YGG, which eventually led to the formation of a tight-knit alliance of guild leaders raising funding in order to take over the custody and management of YGG’s in-game assets for Splinterlands.
Initially operated as a community-owned co-op instead of seeking direct support from YGG, the subDAO had set a strong foundation with core community members like YGGSPL community lead and YGG’s Head of Software Development, KnightAV, who has helped lead MMORPG guilds for the last 20 years in games like Everquest, World of Warcraft, Eve Online.
Being immersed in the decentralized crypto culture (Bitcoin) for much of the last 8 years, the concept of decentralized governance was not new to KnightAV. His understanding of how people operate together under a variety of circumstances in both paid and volunteer roles which helped him lay the groundwork for the subDAO and its operations.
The YGG Splinterlands player community has formed YGGSPL, in order for active guild members to obtain greater autonomy over the existing YGG Splinterlands assets. The ownership of the YGG Splinterlands subDAO is tokenized, where the YGGSPL governance tokens represent voting rights to direct the activities of the cryptocurrency wallet containing the Splinterlands lands, cards, unopened booster packs, and other assets controlled by YGGSPL.
The initial acquisition of assets by YGG to be controlled by the YGGSPL subDAO include:
● 6,250 Untamed Booster Packs (5 cards per pack)
● 2 Splinterlands Regions (18 keeps and 1,980 regular plots)
The future revenue and rewards earned utilizing subDAO assets will also go to the YGGSPL treasury wallet, which is under the control of the active token-holding community that drafts proposals on Snapshot for the subDAO to decide upon. For example, $YGGSPL token holders can put forward a proposal to use a portion of community reserve (15% $YGGSPL) to purchase more booster packs, reward content creators producing educational content, or fund a tournament prize. Already, they have passed a proposal to rent the contents of booster packs in order to generate cash flow to fund tournaments or other community-led events.
With this token utility, YGGSPL is considered a subDAO, with truly decentralized governance, where token holders have a say in how the subDAO can operate. The subDAO’s current goal is to make it easy for existing in-game guilds within Splinterlands to join YGGSPL as a group and begin participating to eventually earn and own the YGGSPL token.
As of April 1, 2022, the subDAO has generated US$228.,748 from token sales and 6,536 DEC/day from renting game assets with183,179 DEC in the YGGSPL vault. Furthermore, the assets in the treasury have a current market value (April 4, 2022) of US$902,621.
Building a SubDAO
KnightAV has been able to act as a bridge to show this proof of concept in action, while also motivating guild members to take up responsibilities within the subDAO community. Moreover, the subDAO council consists of early Splinterlands players and committed members who are passionate to make YGGSPL a success.
The in-game guild system available in Splinterlands is the core of the YGGSPL subDAO’s operations, which is made up of a collection of 21 in-game guilds with more always looking to join. Each guild represents 15–30 players playing together for the benefit of their respective guilds. These are self-contained functional units, each pursuing their own strategies and goals that have broader alignment with the subDAO.
Prior to becoming an official subDAO, the YGGSPL community didn’t have a lot of momentum or incentives set in place to hold the player base. KnightAV even recalls paying people in his guild out-of-pocket, with no rewards or revenue share, to get them to do their daily quests, believing this would secure him an edge in the game on guild progression (which is bounded by time as much as by skill). This also gave him insight into whether a guild could function on a small scale (with 10–20 people) in Splinterlands before making any attempt at scaling.
According to KnightAV, having a smaller community of subDAO participants has certain advantages, one being that participants are more intentional about their choice to get involved. “People are there because they really want to be there, as opposed to being there just for monetary incentives,” he says. “When everybody is engaged themselves, there’s a lot more people pitching in to do stuff than in the ’workers and bosses’ model.”
Since those early days, a number of the subDAO’s long-time members have become YGGSPL guild leaders themselves.
In addition to governance, subDAO members serve as the main drivers for content creation, recruitment, game strategy/analysis, and member education.
LastDragon, who is a community lead at YGGSPL and a community leader in the YGG Discord, and a frequent host of YGG’s community streams, considers the entire subDAO experience “life-changing” in many ways. “Having a front-row seat to the YGGSPL subDAO process and seeing a successful subDAO model play out in front of my eyes has been something I will forever be grateful for,” he says.
YGGSPL Token and Governance
YGGSPL is aiming to be a great example of a decentralized subDAO model in action, although it has not been without some difficulties. One major challenge was finding a way to guide the voting shares into the hands of like-minded people with shared values that match the goals of the subDAO. YGGSPL’s core team members have since spent months building the whitelist and trying to get a reasonable starting distribution that would set a good foundation for identifying the community members, and collecting token purchase commitments before minting those initial tokens.
The YGGSPL subDAO has opted for multiple rounds of the sale in the form of a whitelisted community sale, a broadened YGG guild badge holders whitelist sale, and a completely public price discovery sale (using a liquidity bootstrapping pool).
Tokens sold during the first two rounds act as untransferable tokens used for voting rights and can only be sold until after the public price discovery sale has concluded to ensure that these initial tokens are held by long-term believers in the subDAO.
How to Be a Part of YGGSPL
The easiest way to become a part of the YGGSPL subDAO is to find a YGG guild in Splinterlands and join it. Alongside that, to get recruited or meet YGGSPL members on the YGG Discord, make sure to check out the #splinterlands-guilds-and-scholarship-info channel.
To participate in the governance of the YGGSPL subDAO, one can acquire the YGGSPL token during the upcoming public sale. More details about this will be announced soon.