In early 2021, popular YouTuber and social media influencer Paul Logan announced his involvement as a sponsor and spokesperson for a mobile game called Cryptozoo. The game, which promised players the ability to collect and trade virtual creatures called “cryptos,” quickly gained attention and anticipation among Logan’s large fan base (23 million followers on Youtube) under the slogan of “A really fun game that makes you money”.
Some of the reasons that backed Logan’s speech were:
- A strong dev team
- Unique hand-drawn art (lately shown to be poor photoshop work)
- Logan’s backing of a million dollars in development and his marketing support
Users were allowed to buy a crypto token called $ZOO, the in-game currency used to buy Egg NFTs, having a breeding system where you could raise and mix different razes, each with their unique characteristics and abilities. The game also promised regular updates and new content to keep players engaged.
The NFTs could also be used to invest in passive yield, getting back additional $ZOO tokens based on rarity. The NFTs could eventually be burned to release accrued $ZOO tokens that could be reinvested back into the system or used to cash out.
However, shortly after its release, Cryptozoo received widespread criticism for its poor gameplay, lack of content, and numerous technical issues. Players also reported that the in-game purchases and the trading system did not function properly, and that customer support was unresponsive, nosediving the token by over 60%.
With the promise of easy money, the $ZOO token skyrocketed in value and reached a $2 Billion market cap with tens of millions in trading volume per day.
Many players who had spent money on the game felt they had been misled by Logan’s promotion and felt betrayed by the influencer, and many in the gaming community began to speak out against the game and Logan’s involvement with it.
As a result of the negative backlash, Logan issued a public apology and stated that he had been misled about the game’s development and quality. He also announced that he would be stepping down as a sponsor and spokesperson for Cryptozoo LLC.
The company behind the game, Cryptozoo LLC, also issued a statement acknowledging the game’s shortcomings and promising to make improvements, but many felt that the damage had already been done, and the game failed to recover.
In recent articles published in Vulture, it is exposed that Logan and the head comité had some reserves regarding team token sale, not allowing sell the tokens if the drop in value would be superior to 3% overall and 6% in a day. This, in other words, could be rated as market manipulation, and reach the peak of perversion when we realize that this “small misunderstanding” gave back to Paul a total income of $6 million.
Let’s see what we can learn about project management to succeed where CryptoZoo fails. In Nova we believe that history prevents humans to commit again the same mistakes:
- Influencers are temporary but effective in the short term, while development is a process characterised by sudden difficulties and delays. If you decide to include an influencer in your presidential desk, ensure that he has an idea about gaming development and his/her intentions about investing in your project.
- Not having a finished product, or at least an alpha/beta version fully functional. In crypto 2 weeks could be the difference between success and failure, things move fast, and on-chain integration is demanding to say the least. Most of the studio developers still do not have an employee specialised in on-chain integration, and even if they have, maybe not in all the target networks that a project needs. So, which could be the intention of a fancy trailer with promises without gameplay? Speculation.
- Could the value proposal of a GameFi title be based only on tokens and NFTs? Short answer, no. It was a common mistake of early “metaverse innovators”, but as long as crypto moves fast, this won’t work anymore. The ecosystem has to be designed for being durable and produces value despite the pumps and drops on the community base.
- Not having a B plan in case of a market crash. Crypto is about bull and bear seasons. A company that cannot sustain the development of its project during at least two bear markets, is a company that bornt death.
- Poor on-chain integration. Several networks have their incubators to help developers with the integration of blockchain technologies, in Nova we work with Stacks and Boba Networks to ensure high quality and fluid functionalities in the game, avoiding the unexpected situation that would require an entire “customer service”, that likely won’t solve any issue that would appear due to former neglections.
If you wanna succeed, you need to understand when, where and why your competitors failed, have the diligence to overcome those mistakes and polish your product till you would be able to sell it even to your relatives.
In Nova, we had it clear, first the product, then the launching.
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