Dapper Labs is affectionately known throughout the tech industry as the company that brought us CryptoKitties. These digital felines are ERC-721 non-fungible tokens (NFT) on the Ethereum blockchain and are collected much like Pokemon. Unlike Pokemon, each Cryptomonster (if you own a cat, you understand) has a real-world value attached.
This crypto-collectible game incorporates the tournament-style battles made popular in games like Hearthstone, Plants vs Zombies Heroes, and Marvel Strike Force. To understand how these mechanics work, let’s dive into the mechanics and evolution of modern PVP gaming.
The video game industry is huge (over $40 billion), and it’s one of the most competitive industries on the planet. Thousands of developers, publishers, manufacturers, and distributors are kicking and punching each other over gamers’ money, and gamers are spending even more to compete with each other.
Microtransactions, IP protection, anti-cheat, stat tracking, decentralized servers, and more have long been part of the video game ecosystems.
In fact, Sony and Microsoft (which helped push legacy companies like Sega out of the console business) are now teamed up to compete against Google in the next generation of gaming wars. It’s unclear where the loyalties of Valve’s powerful Steam marketplace will lie in this new environment, but Amazon’s Twitch platform will likely thrive across all platforms.
Meanwhile players are competing with each other for top scores, followers, fans, fame, and fortune. Doing so involves mastering a game’s rock-paper-scissor mechanics and building strategies, and Cheeze Wizards (not to be confused with the Cheese Wizards food trucks), which is currently in pre-sale until May 24, will likely follow similar mechanics in its summer 2019 launch.
Cheeze Wizards has two tiers of Wizards: Neutral and Elemental. Both are represented by NFTs.
Neutral Wizards are lower-tier characters, similar to gray, common, or minion characters in the above-mentioned games. Elemental Wizards are the higher-tier characters, which would be similar to green, uncommon characters. These characters typically have specialized powers, just like Pokemon.
These powers have control over elements like earth, fire, wind, water, and heart (enjoy), bringing the aforementioned rock-paper-scissor mechanics into play. Water is more powerful against earth, which is more powerful against wind, etc. And while heart was always lame in Captain Planet, everyone knows that the art of healing is key to winning any MMO dungeon raid.
As far as we know, Elemental Wizards are so far divided into Fire, Water, and Wind, although more elements may be released by year end.
Modern games typically have more than just two tiers of characters. Hearthstone, and PvZ, for example, have common, uncommon, rare, and epic. Marvel Strike Force, on the other hand, only has two, and uses team- and attribute-based mechanics to level the playing field.
It’ll be interesting to see how well this blockchain-based model holds up in a year when all eyes (and holiday money) will be focused directly on video games. Every time a home video game console is released, it’s instantly at the top of every top toy list for that year. If you don’t believe me, I defy you to find a top toy list for 2012, 2013, and 2017 that didn’t include the Wii U, PS4/Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch, respectively.
The pre-sale already raised 500 ETH, with over 3,083 Wizards summoned, including 1184 Neutrals, 604 Wind Wizards, 639 Water Wizards, and 656 Fire Wizards. It’s safe to say that Cheeze Wizards has conjured up a financial success for Dapper Labs.
The company is also hoping to create financial successes for players, offering a pot of 446.5 ETH (~$116,000 at time of writing) for its first tournament.
This is a long ways from the $1 million offered by Blizzard for April 2019’s Hearthstone World Championship, but Hearthstone has over 100 million players competing for that prize, whereas CryptoKitties has only a few hundred daily players.
If you’re a gamer with a lot of money burning a hole in your pocket, a Cheeze Wizard may be your ticket to earning enough money to buy both a new Xbox and PS5 this holiday season – unless you live in Canada or, Arkansas, Arizona, Kentucky, Maryland, South Carolina, and Tennessee, all of which preclude you from summoning your Cheese Wizard.