PWN loves what Cometh does: All of us at PWN have Cometh Spaceships (in fact, it’s a company benefit!). Josef and Steve were recently lucky enough to pick the brain of Jerome de Tychey, Cometh’s Founder and Galactic Councilor, in a Twitter Spaces session.
For those who aren’t already familiar with what Cometh does, Jerome started off the session by summing up what they’re about.
“Cometh is a software company developing infrastructure for the gaming industry,” said Jerome. “We’re currently in the rhythm of one game per year, and we’ve been doing that for two years.”
Cometh combines the two worlds of the NFT and DeFi ecosystems, between which there are lots of interesting potential interactions. Steve mentioned how the DeFi ecosystem can onboard the next billion users, and given that it’s possible to play Cometh’s games for free or using an NFT, they’re clearly in strong support of the NFT ecosystem’s growth.
In the session, Josef and Jerome discussed a number of questions related to Cometh’s strategy and current activities. Let’s recap.
When considering the GameFi vs. DeFi spaces, it’s important to note that games have their own audience, fans, and adopters.
Jerome commented, “When you look at the history of the gaming industry, it has been through a lot of pitfalls. There’s no longer CDs – we now download games on Steam. These changes have affected gamers a lot, who were often anti-change.”
Cometh found that by creating games with NFTs and decentralized assets, they discovered another way to create engagement with gamers and make the game revolve around the players themselves. Cometh Spaceships are great examples of this.
When it comes to scaling the company, it has been important to find a business model for Cometh that it can optimize for others. This is an ongoing initiative, and it’s something that their team has been working up to throughout this year and will continue doing for the foreseeable future. For now, building engaging, indie games is the main focus.
Jerome’s tip on building games? “Focus on making a game that’s fun – if it’s not fun without the blockchain, it won’t be fun with the blockchain either.”
Big studios and companies are getting in on the blockchain action, too – we can see that in brands like Ubisoft, Amazon, and Microsoft (whose acquisition of Blizzard Activision is a big deal in this regard). We can also see this trend when observing Facebook’s metaverse initiatives.
To this point, Jerome added, “Microsoft is a longtime supporter of blockchain, and they’re definitely thinking about industry applications within the gaming industry. They’re doing this publicly. With this in mind, I couldn’t imagine that they wouldn’t step into the NFT market as well.”
The takeaway here is that there’s no going back – once you start playing blockchain games, you don’t want to stop.
Jerome explained that initial backlash on blockchain in gaming had to do a lot with resistance to change and interoperability of assets both from the graphic engine and the intellectual property perspectives. More specifically, there has been concern related to including assets in mishmashed (and potentially infinite) contexts. For example, game designers likely feel doubtful about letting gamers use Mario in Elden Ring.
You need to have assets that are operable in a different engine. To be successful with this, it’s important to lean on open-source gaming communities.
The group discussed the fact that some games are especially good at making sure that gamers can create anything for any context. They’re able to play on that compatibility to acquire and engage more users. We can take Super Smash Bros. Melee and Roblox as good examples.
Regarding in-game economies, Jerome is interested to see where things will go. “For NFT collections, the idea of using a royalty-based model, it’s difficult to say how the user-generated content will fare. It’s a bit early to say, but I’m curious to keep watching where we’re going.”
For now, Cometh’s strategy is to stay as open as possible to their user’s ideas. They want to see them think outside the box when creating new in-game content.
As Cometh has released the new feature during EthCC (recording of the talk available here). The rental system relies on a carbon copy approach:
“Cometh Rental allows any cometh spaceship owner (lender) to rent spaceships to other players (borrower) on Layer2 and share mining rewards generated in-game. It allows Lenders to earn passive rewards on their spaceships. It allows Borrowers to earn more rewards by having more powerful ships to play with.”
One of Cometh’s motivations while building Cometh Rental was to allow for a connection to decentralized finance. It targets guilds and large collectors to be able to use their assets at scale. Another motivation was to make the protocol flexible enough to address the guild and large collector use cases, a borrowed spaceship can be sub-lended to another user within the constraints of the initial rental.
“We can do some estimates. Looking at the past two years, a lot of money was invested into gaming and blockchain (roughly $12 billion). Gaming is inherently easier to understand for users than DeFi is, so I anticipate that the adoption will happen much faster,” said Jerome.
Looking at this more specifically, Jerome predicts that the market for blockchain games in 2024 could be anywhere between $20 and $80 billion.
We’d like to give a big thank you to Jerome and the Cometh team for teaming up with us for this session.
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