Exclusive Interview: Cosmic Champs Rockets Toward New NFT Drop & Beta Test by@justin-roberti

Exclusive Interview: Cosmic Champs Rockets Toward New NFT Drop & Beta Test

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NFTs and games are a nearly perfect match of digital ownership with utility – as long as the game is worth playing. Cosmic Champs CEO Matty Blanchard: "There's a lot of excitement around the community and there have been some really good sales on the secondary market since those that missed the first round have had a bit of FOMO. There's probably less trading of the token and fewer people willing to stake their tokens because we have staking rewards through Yieldly.
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Justin Roberti

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Interview with Cosmic Champ's CEO on the upcoming launch of what will be Algorand's first live-action 3D game.

Conditions have been less than ideal for new GameFi projects as prices plummet in crypto and NFTs, but Cosmic Champs is whirring heroically through the game-osphere, keeping audiences pumped with NFT drops to promote its upcoming Beta test. NFTs and games are a nearly perfect match of digital ownership with utility – as long as the game is worth playing. But in order to navigate to product launch, the project must navigate tricky market conditions and continue to push utility for its NFTs and tokens as it pushes toward launch on its established timeline.


We spoke with Cosmic Champs CEO Matty Blanchard about the challenges they have faced and how they keep an active, positively participating community in a Bear Market that shows no immediate signs of relenting.


Souce: CosmicChamps.com

Souce: CosmicChamps.com


How does this second NFT drop fit in with your overall strategy?


"In our first NFT drop, we released 50 NFTs, and we had 50 people randomly selected from the waitlist participate. That was the test round, we wanted to make sure that the marketplace which had just launched... We wanted to make sure it works properly. That went smoothly so now we've got the main round coming up on Wednesday. So that will be about 350 whitelist places with about 1,000 NFTs. There's a lot of excitement around the community and there have been some really good sales on the secondary market since those that missed the first round have had a bit of FOMO. So at the moment, things are going really well. Despite the market conditions, there's a lot of excitement within the community."

Has the hype cooled with the market?


"Our social channels are doing just as well as they were a month or two ago. But people are more reluctant to put their money into the markets. So there's probably less trading of the token and fewer people willing to stake their tokens because we have staking rewards through Yieldly. For the first month, we had a huge level of engagement… But that's to be expected. There's much more uncertainty and volatility in the market, and holding tokens is riskier given market conditions."

Is yield farming still an effective way to engage a community?


"Staking rewards and yield farming is a great way to incentivize things in the short term, especially early on in the project's lifecycle, when there isn't a huge amount of utility for the token, and you can't launch a project or a token with the complete range of utility. We're using staking and yield farming as a way of rewarding people for engaging with a token in these early stages. But it's not something that we see as the long-term utility of the token. It's something that gets people in there and gets them engaged now. That greater utility that we add is going to reward those who were early with the token, and then give them more uses for the token later."


Aren't the ideas of a utility token and a token that delivers speculative value diametrically opposed?


"They can be. It depends. Our token hasn't had a lot of utility just yet, because we've just launched it, and the game isn't out yet. But that will change once the game comes out. The token serves a purpose in the ecosystem, so you want to have a relatively stable price. So far, we haven't seen a huge spike in the price… We're not offering a 5,000% or 2,000% return. So, it's not an outrageously large number that's going to bring in that kind of speculation."

What advice do you have for other GameFi projects that have been relying on the NFT or DeFi wave?


"Who knows how long the bear market is going to last? I think to survive, you really need to be adding utility quickly to your projects. So those NFTs and tokens actually need to have a purpose – not just a speculative tool. I think those projects that are looking for speculative investors will probably have a much shorter lifespan because the market might continue downwards. I think adding that utility as close as you can to the launch of the token or NFTs is a great idea. But also, I would say managing your funding in a really efficient way is very important right now. Use your funding wisely. There are a lot of sharks out there in this space who promise the world and charge a premium because you're in crypto… It's very easy to burn through your money in this space."

Do you think there's anything that needs to change fundamentally about the attitude of the retail investor audience?


"Well, sometimes there's a pump and dump mentality. It's very hard to build up a community of people that really believe in the vision. I think we've got a really strong community of people who have the trust that they've built in us as a team. They see the vision of our project, and they are willing to wait… It is really hard to develop that when your typical retail investor in the crypto space is chasing short-term gains."

What makes your community different? Is it because they're focused on the game?


"Ultimately, everyone is interested in the gains. But they also believe in the game. That's the beauty of having a game like ours, there is a lot of utility for the token and the NFT. So the people in our community believe in the vision, and the potential of the game, and they seem to be participating in everything released so far. So they participated with the token and the staking, and now the yield farming, they participated with the first round of the NFTs. With the second round of NFTS, those people are really eager to participate in the game Beta when it launches next month. The game is a powerful tool that has brought people in and allowed them to have a bit more patience."


Has the timeline for development been impacted at all by the down market?


"Not significantly. There have been some small shifts to the timeline, but nothing major. We're talking weeks, not months."


How can people play the game?

"Well, that would be through participating in the NFT sale. While the primary sales are completely allocated, the whitelist is closed. So they can't participate in that if they're not already on the waitlist. But there's a secondary market. So if you want to get involved with the game as soon as possible, then that would mean buying one of the NFTs on the secondary market and waiting until the beta launches in the next three to four weeks. So when that launches, that NFT is your ticket or key to gain access to the beta."


What are you bringing with this game that's new to Algorand?


"Yeah, so there's a few other gaming projects on our brand. But we offer 3D NFTs and we will probably be the first real-time game to launch on Algorand."

Do you have any advice for buyers and projects in the GameFi space?


"Yeah, I think, focus on the fundamentals. Don't chase the pump and dumps. Put your money into the projects that you believe in and that offer true utility, and have a great vision. I think they're the projects that have the best chances of making it through this market and having a really successful future."


Summary

Cosmic Champs is launching its second NFT run of 1,000 NFTs on Wednesday, July 6, 2022, on Algogems NFT marketplace, where they have a custom storefront. Algogems allows users to view secondary sales and ongoing auctions for Cosmic Champs' first NFT drop.


The floor price for NFTs from their first drop seems to be less than $500.


There are cheaper ways to buy into a Beta, but I see this project as a step in the right direction for GameFi. One detail not to be ignored is that they clearly have a game. In addition, the concept art is good and they chose a specific art style that didn't fall into the photo-realistic pit of endless effort. They are developing in Unity for a mobile-first game, which is a really solid choice for a gaming engine with an established ecosystem and solid track record for stability.

Soon, a project will crack the code and become a global sensation with Play-to-Earn mechanics. Perhaps it is more likely to come in the form of NFT Fortnite than a new title from a smaller game publisher, but I respect Cosmic Champ's approach in hiring real game devs and tying NFTs to gameplay and hope that other GameFi projects follow their example.


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by Justin Roberti @justin-roberti.Writer/producer-gaming, tech, web culture, fintech, crypto, & nerd lore #benzinga #hackernoon #thegrowthmanifestopodcast
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