Introducing Stash

Introducing Stash πŸ›†: NFT Gaming. Made Easy.

News Jul 5, 2022

Today, we are more than happy to unveil Stash πŸ›†, the NFT platform enabling easy access to gaming items through renting and lending.

Let's touch upon three subjects for a comprehensive overview:

  • Brief Overview of Web2 Gaming
  • Web3 Gaming or the Backend Revolution
  • Why We Are Building Stash πŸ›†?

In other words

  • Where we are and what is the problem?
  • What happened?
  • What are we doing about it?

TLDR

  • First Access: Blockchain gaming needs ease of access an onboarding to be a meaningful player segment. Seamless NFT rentals and web2-adjacent user experiences are the keys to ensure users are onboarded.
  • User Retention & LTV: Current ecosystem is filled with traders who are looking to extract value from game economies and this is only normal. The industry is in building mode for higher quality "gameplay-first" games. We either need to bring in high LTV users or transform the current negative LTV users into high LTV users.
  • Focus on Gameplay: Building a game is difficult in every sense of the word, whether it is a complex token economy or a hypercasual game. Too many studios in web3 pay too much attention to economics which steals time from building the gameplay. Companies like Stash πŸ›† are here to help you with infrastructure, finances, growth and rentals. Do not spend time reinventing the wheel.

Brief Overview of Web2 Gaming

Today, gaming market is estimated to be larger than Hollywood and the music industry combined. A couple numbers to visualize that:

The market is basically comprised of three revenue sources. This holds particularly accurate for mobile:

  • In-app purchases
  • Advertisements
  • Content & IP

In-app purchases are a kind of license or digital item license by the studio granted to the consumer usually for a limited time period. Basically, those are what you get for buying those 10 Gold bars for $20 at Candy Crush.

Considering the best of best retention rates among these games, which is 15-20% max at Day 30, and that spending users being 1-5% of the total users in the game; in large part constitute a market size estimated to be a minimum of US$ 200 Bn.

Now consider what happens if that conversion rate were to shoot up to 40-50%

Let that sink in for a second.

Why is the in-app purchase conversion rate so low?

There are basically three primary reasons why a player does not make an in-app purchase:

  • He simply does not care to play the game in a more premium way.
  • The price of the item is expensive and he cannot afford it or does not want to afford it (that is why a lot of subscription based apps offer trial periods).
  • He knows he will quit the game in 7-30 days so he does not want to spend money into a black hole for a license which he will never own.
* ~90 of the in-app purchases originate from either USA, Europe or Japan. Hence, spending a regular $3-5 is not possible for even the most hardcore gamers

Web3 Gaming or the Backend Revolution

"Let there be NFTs"

Then came NFTs. All the hype with art collections, gifs and videos selling for a lot of dough on Opensea, apparently doing nothing with no function. However, when used in the right context, the function and the benefit of NFTs were obvious. It could give immutable and financial ownership rights for a digital item to a buyer.

This offered a backend revolution in whole of gaming that could create waves in user experience and consequentially a huge bump in conversion rates of users.

Why We Are Building Stash πŸ›†?

Going into 2022, as with everyone, it was a hype to see all these games launch with NFTs; Axie Infinity, Cyball, Pegaxy... So, myself and a couple of friends decided to try them out. However, each NFT cost tens of dollars if not thousands in some cases. That was when I heard about guilds and scholarships. These startups called β€œguilds” were lending NFTs for free to gamers like me and sharing the token rewards earned from these games. It was pretty cool.

However, this required the gamers to:

  • be active on Discord
  • fill an application form
  • Wait and wait
  • Get ordered around on which game to play with which NFTs

The Problem(s)

To recap in a more utility-oriented language, there are several problems with the current blockchain gaming ecosystem today.

  1. Access & Scale

We know that mobile gaming has been huge for many years now and still growing very fast. So let’s compare Cyball which is a new popular blockchain game with a mobile game. We should also include the largest blockchain game there is, Axie Infinity.

Downloads / Signups (last 30 days in June) Cyball Axie Infinity Plants vs. Zombiesβ„’
53,000 82,500 500,000
We should note: Plants vs Zombies is the 200th largest mobile game in the market.

Considering the size of downloads, there still is a huge gap in terms of exposure of blockchain games to the regular users and gamers despite the general hype in the market that the user numbers are rapidly increasing. We still have a lot of way to go here.

2. Lack of High Lifetime Value Users

Currently most of the crypto games get their users from emerging or frontier markets who are predominantly playing the games not for "play" component but for the "earn" component. They do not really care which games they are playing as long as they are able to earn a meaningful income from these games. That is why it is prevalent and easy, particularly by guilds, to impose which games will be played with which particular NFT assets. The guilds’ job is to optimize the earnings by ensuring that the energy levels in a particular game are being spent on a daily basis so that the maximum value can be extracted from the game.

None of the users that play with the NFTs actually own or get to own a NFT. Thinking from a web2 perspective, those NFTs correspond to in-app purchases and those purchases are driven by positive LTV users originating from USA, Europe and Japan.

3. Game Studios Turning into Fintechs & Central Banks

Currently, here is how the blockchain gaming ecosystem works:

The game developers or studios develop a game and mint NFTs for enabling blockchain features of the game. Basically, the NFT games need 2 things to go off:

  • Users
  • Upfront capital for development

Hence, the studios reach out to guilds, who have raised half a billion dollars from VCs in the last year alone to invest into new Play-to-Earn games and play them. The guilds, having the leverage and the power in this relationship, only buy the NFTs on a private over-the-counter sale with substantial discounts from the NFT’s launch price usually with no lock-ups as well.

The guilds having an average # of scholars of 10-20k people promise to provide these players to seed the game itself. However, what is lost in hindsight is that, the guilds are usually invested in 10+ games already. This means that although they promise to play the games, they do not have the necessary scale of users to play those games. Therefore, what ends up happening is that guilds dump the NFTs either when:

  • the NFTs launch on a public sale and guilds can get a return equal to the discount they got in the private sale
  • or when the game goes through a rough patch of token price depreciation

This leaves the game out in the open with an exodus of users and depreciation of the token prices as well as the NFTs value. The studios are then inclined to keep the guilds inside by building guild management tools and deflation mechanisms instead of focusing on what is important: Gameplay.

Solution

At Stash πŸ›†, we run a rental and lending marketplace and a protocol for NFT games and users.

The reason is that, we believe these 3 problems essentially intersect in one place: Easy access to games for true gamers.

  • NFTs are expensive. Even if they get much cheaper, a regular user wants to try out the game before committing to a purchase. Through rentals, the users can try out or play the games either free or with very low cost. We also reward users with the same NFTs they have been playing with.
  • It is difficult to get onboarded into crypto for average Joe. Opening a Metamask, going to a DEX, connecting to a game and transacting with confidence are things that deteriorate user experience. With the tutorials and in-person support, we are educating anyone and everyone while promoting the games for the first places to go to.
  • Making a game is difficult. In web2, it is more of an art than science which also holds true for web3. We deal with rental and marketplace infrastructure for games so that studios find the time for what they were meant to do: Build great gameplay.

We are very excited about our launch as well as the upcoming features we are working to launch left and right.

stash | Easy Gaming with NFTs
stash is the NFT gaming marketplace where you can rent assets to play and lend assets to earn passive income from games. Explore the best games out there and chat with fellow players

The most valuable asset we have is feedback from our community and users. Please notify us of your requests or feedbacks.

Kampsite: Feature Requests, Feedback + Suggestions Board
Application feedback management

You don't wanna do good old web2 your whole life? Jump into a new adventure with us.

Stash πŸ›† | Join Us
We believe crypto gaming is an immense backend revolution in gaming. We started Stash to enable free & easy access to crypto gaming for those who matter: Users.

Join our community to be one of the first one to hear about new features and public launch:

Join the Stash πŸ›† Discord Server!
Rent NFTs for use or lend your NFTs to other members for a share of earnings | 97 members

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