Placing innovation at the core of its business since inception, KamaGames embarked on a marketing-based exercise in 2018 designed to test the waters of the blockchain and cryptocurrency space.
Via the launch of its KamaGames Token, the company emphasised a primary ambition of rewarding existing players, and to further drive its attraction for new users.
Establishing a different set of goals to a traditional ICO, with a target of attracting investors’ money not even on the radar, a concept was built to ensure that players would stay, hold the tokens and receive bonus chips on a daily basis.
Amongst the numerous issues of fraud, misrepresentation and a wider lack of understanding, KamaGames found that a large number of individuals only wished to utilise the token to make a quick buck.
A number of complications involved within the whole process was a primary concern of only a “miserable number of people” found to be interested in making payments via cryptocurrencies, aside from a “very small, very vocal percentage” of players.
Andrey Kuznetsov, CEO of KamaGames, elaborated on some the issues concerning crypto payments, “So when we started, we had a number of questions we wanted to answer. Firstly, to see what the actual demand was by giving people the opportunity to pay with crypto, and see what happens. If they decided to take to it and if there was a big demand, we’d think about a potential long term implementation of such a payment solution into our products”.
“Secondly we wanted to try to attract some new players, outside of our usual, conventional user acquisition channels. We had carried out some early research and found similarities to those people buying cryptocurrencies and investing in them and our existing player base”.
“We also wanted to offer something new to our existing players, mostly to improve retention, improve loyalty, improve engagement. This was the main reason why the token was designed the way it was.”
At the early stages of the token sale it was clear that attempts to engage lapsed players didn’t work as well as discovering that If something is taking too long, or is too complicated, people are quickly going to switch off.
Further issues came in the form of misrepresentation and a lack of understanding, with Kuznetsov explaining, “The vast majority of people do not want to actually use these so called utility tokens. They buy them to sell later on an exchange to make a quick profit. If you call yourself an investor, why would you invest in the company, and then rush to sell your stake, whatever it is in a month or in a week.
“Individuals do not want to actually use the tokens for their intended purpose”
“You’re not an investor, you’re a trader, if you’re not researching anything about the company, you’re not even trying to understand the value of what you are trying to invest in, so you are purely playing a pricing game.
“Looking at the wider so called utility token market, individuals do not want to actually use the tokens for their intended purpose, they simply want to trade them. This is one of the reasons why there are so many legal complications associated with utility tokens and their uses.
“We have been against anyone trying to resell any of our tokens on exchanges or to speculate it anyway. We didn’t want it, we weren’t able to afford to do it because of the risks and potential legal consequences that could impact us as a sustainable and growing business.
“We didn’t sell that many tokens, we had around 30,000 participants in total across the entire project but if we had done this token sale a year ago, I am almost 100% sure we would have sold as much as we wanted.
“There are also potential issues with technical delays … we really couldn’t afford to take that type of risk”.”
“That said, if that had happened, I also think we would have had a whole new set of challenges to deal with because even despite having all the explanations and information given to them time and time again, both our players and our new users that were not familiar with crypto, were not only put off by the complexity of the whole set up process such as creating a wallet, linking it to an account etc, but were also opposed to revealing their identity during the KYC stage as of course they were only buying simple virtual currency for the game rather than a financial asset”.
Finally, a number of discoveries were also found when looking at the prospect of developing a game specifically for blockchain, one of which was the possibility of KamaGames’ trust potentially coming in question: “We definitely researched the possibility of creating a game on blockchain itself, but we faced a number of issues.
“First of all, it was just technically impossible, because we have more than 1.5 million transactions per minute in Pokerist and the number is growing. At that time there was no blockchain known to us that could handle that volume. There are also potential issues with technical delays and considering our genre and audience we really couldn’t afford to take that type of risk.
“A further concern was that of our RNG in that if we were to put it on blockchain it could become much more predictable, and somebody will always blame us that we are not fully transparent, not fully decentralised and so why do it”.