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“We are aiming to provide a MMORPG-style experience”: Pixels founder talks about Chapter 2

source-logo  cryptobriefing.com 17 June 2024 23:42, UTC

Ronin-based game Pixels is gearing up for its Chapter 2, which will introduce various changes to the game. According to a recent report by data aggregator DappRadar, Pixels registered 22.3 million unique active users in May, making Ronin the largest blockchain for gaming by daily active wallets in the same period.

Luke Barwikowski, founder of Pixels, shared with Crypto Briefing what Chapter 2 aims to accomplish and what is next for Ronin’s main title.

Crypto Briefing – What do Pixels aim to accomplish with the new mechanics that will be introduced in Chapter 2?

Luke Barwikowski – I think there are a couple hundred changes that we’re making to the game. So it’s a really big update compared to what we’ve done before. And a lot of the focus is on systems changes. So how the game plays day-to-day, it really plays like a whole different game. The intention behind it was to basically make the game feel more like an MMO, where progression, skill levels, getting better types of resources, better types of tools, and all of that matter a lot more.

It shouldn’t be too unfamiliar from most games that you play when it comes to Ragnarok Online, Runescape, or any normal MMO. So one of the big changes around that, like we’ve combined some of the skill levels, we’ve added in hundreds of new industries and they’re all tiered.

So now you kind of have to work your way up the tiers. We’ve created a new single-player experience, so your day-to-day experience on your farm is a lot more important inside of the game. They can get bigger, you can upgrade them, and you can place new types of resource generators on them. You have to go and collect new tools.

Basically, the game makes a lot more sense than it did before. We love the whole game. A lot of people do too. This is a completely different game when it comes to the systems that we’re releasing. The playtesting so far has been pretty positive. We like the reactions, but yeah, tons of changes.

Crypto Briefing – You mentioned that the focus is to turn Pixels into a more MMO-based experience. However, recent MMORPGs have been struggling to keep their player bases. Doesn’t that scare you?

Luke Barwikowski – I’m not too worried about that. One of the big things that we’re tweaking around is how we structure rewards inside of the game. Our end goal and what we want to do is that we want to give out more rewards to real users who are further through the game, so the progression was pretty necessary to implement if we wanted to have that achieved.

What that means is there should be further incentive inside of the game to level up and grind and do all the things that you want to do. The stuff that people already have been doing inside of the game. And they’re going to get more rewarded directly for that now. Or at least that’s the goal and what we’re trying to accomplish.

We have a competitive advantage against normal MMOs because we’re play-to-earn. So it’s a little bit different than a typical MMO. The model that we’re thinking about is more like free-to-play, so it’s free to play and earn, right?

We’re trying to build out a new business model and a new user acquisition model. That’s the core of the stuff that we’re building here. But the gameplay, the fun aspect of it, this is all core to it. This is the most important part. But then behind the scenes, we’re trying to build out competitive advantages that basically make it hard for a Web2 game to compete with us in the long run. So we’re trying to dial in this side of things.

Crypto Briefing – Gaming studios that build with Ronin have a lot of praise for their ecosystem and how easy it is to connect games. Are you guys planning more collaborations with other Ronin-based games?

Luke Barwikowski – We have our skins interoperability, which is extremely popular. It’s gotten so popular that there are new skin communities and new NFT avatar communities forming just from Pixels players, which is such a cool thing to see.

We’ve gotten to the point where there are communities here that form their own Web3 communities. But then when it comes to interoperability with other ecosystems as well, we have some cool stuff planned with that. I can’t leak some of that, but we want to be working with the biggest Web3 games that are out there. And it’s interesting because we have a pretty strong position now when it comes to partnerships, and most people want to work with us, which is cool.

Some teams are down to experiment with some new cool things, so you’re going to see some stuff in the next month or two. I don’t want to spoil the details on it, but these are some of the big Web3 games that you know and have heard of. And our goal when we’re thinking about interoperability is we want something creative, we want something attention-grabbing, and we want something actually cool.

What I don’t like is the cross promotions that are made, like “get this NFT and then maybe get an airdrop.” We don’t like the normal Web3 meta. What we try to do at Pixels is to set new meta that gets attention, and that’s cool, that’s something unique.

Crypto Briefing – By other ecosystems, do you mean other networks or other blockchains? Are you guys planning to migrate from Ronin?

Luke Barwikowski – I’m more interested in other applications. And then there’s another ecosystem or two that we’re experimenting with, but we’re really loyal to Ronin. I’m so thankful for what the Ronin team has done, it’s been an amazing symbiotic relationship between us two. The better that Ronan does, the better that we do. The better that we do, the better that Ronan does. That’s the kind of relationship I look for with any partner, essentially.

I love the win-win scenarios. I love the things where it helps both of us grow. And there’s an incentive alignment between both of us as well. We’re in this position now where we actually have a big exposure to a decent-sized audience that we can bring to Web2 people, where there’s pretty interesting value added with them. We’ve been talking to some brands, celebrities, things like that. We might do some fun stuff. One of the models that I take a lot of inspiration from is the Call of Duty model, where they’ll bring in celebrities like 21 Savage or Nicki Minaj and do a skin with them. We might try to do something like that here and there, too.

On leaving Ronin, there’s no reason for us to move. I love that team. We get so much value out of just being with that team, and I’m value-aligned with that team, too. I think I have so much respect for the founders of Sky Mavis and Axie Infinity, and I’m so thankful to have them in my corner.

So I don’t want to ruin any of that relationship. One thing that people have been asking a lot is Pixels chain. Would we ever do that? And I will just shut that down now. I don’t think that’s something we’re interested in at all. What I am more focused on for Pixels is we have a huge opportunity in front of us to build out a huge gaming company.

I don’t want to distract the team from something else, and I think there’s enough blockchains out there. What I care about now is building on the application layer and expanding that. That’s where the real opportunity lies. It’s hard. It’s not easy to do, but we want to do hard things.

We want to go and build and innovate. It’s more fun to go and beyond that side of things right now than to do something like a node sale or launch another blockchain. So, yeah, you’re going to see us innovating there.