To understand the Wordopoly proposition, it is worth discussing very quickly the concept of Augmented Reality (AR) gaming. Probably the best definition of the industry has been provided by techtarget.com which states that AR gaming is “the integration of game visual and audio content with the user’s environment in real time,” adding further that it “uses the existing environment and creates a playing field within it.”
Perhaps the most high profile example of AR gaming in recent years has been Pokémon GO, which was released in 2016 and became a world-wide hit, with players having to visit physical locations in the real world to claim prizes, form strategic partnerships and expand their sphere of influence within the Pokémon AR universe.
The Worldopoly proposition falls into the same niche. However, we see here a game that revolves around the concept of civilisation-building based on property ownership. The added ingredient being thrown into the mix by the game’s developers is that, by basing the game within a blockchain eco-system, WPT (the Worldopoly token) becomes an asset in the Worldopoly AR world used to effectuate sales and purchases of property.
If the game becomes a hit, it is not difficult to imagine, for example, the Worldopoly AR world’s Eiffel Tower becoming a prized possession. AR gaming is currently a $47 billion industry (figure for 2017, cited from white-paper), and it is into this lucrative and growing space that the Wordopoly team are hoping to make a breakthrough.
Whilst the project’s white-paper comes in at over forty pages, it nonetheless provides a flagrant lack of detail on the eventual Worldopoly platform itself. There is no reference, for instance, to the fact that this game is designed to be a civilisation-building game (which it is).
The white-paper appears, instead, to have preferred to focus on trends within the AR market itself as opposed to the specific characteristics related to gameplay. This may be a deliberate policy of the project team to protect the originality of the concept whilst it is still in development.
Interestingly, the WP also states that the developers’ plans are to build the platform with two technologies – firstly on the Ethereum blockchain, and secondly with DAG technology, namely Byteball.
Byteball falls into the family of IOTA-type solutions, in the sense of its being a non-blockchain technology that can offer some of the same advantages as the blockchain but in a manner where individual nodes on the network have much more say in how they can collaborate with other nodes.
The point of interest here for the Worldopoly proposition is that users will be offered a choice between the two platforms for entering into transactions with the rest of the network. The set-up will, however, remain transparent to the end user with cross-platform interoperability facilitated by a one-to-one translation mechanisms for tokens transacted across the two technologies.
Significant milestones in the roadmap include an exchange listing in August at the latest, a Beta release at around the same time and a first stable release of the game to both the App Store and Google PlayStore in or around November of 2018.
Thereafter, the roadmap largely consists of iterative improvements, the most important of which appears to be the release of a third-party SDK kit which is designed to give both technical users and advertisers the ability, among other things, to customise their Worldopoly properties. This aspect of the project’s development may be just as critical as any other to its eventual success.
There are two stand-out characteristics of the Worldopoly proposition from the perspective of its token value.
Firstly, with a Steemit-like concept of rewarding users for quality work performed within the Worldopoly AR world, it gives users a chance to enter into the crypto-economy without engaging in any kind of financial risk. Ultimately, users can get paid for services rendered which can subsequently be traded for other crypto-currencies and ultimately for cash itself.
That could lend the platform some very specific appeal, particularly if the gameplay itself is interesting – in that context, users will find themselves making money for doing something they ultimately enjoy.
Secondly, its advertising model. Wanderers within AR Worldopoly universe will be able to monetise their property by charging for advertising space. That, combined with the first element discussed above, appears to bring a strong economic dynamic to the WPT token.
Ten percent of the WPT tokens have been reserved for the team, with those tokens vested and released in stages over the first two year’s of the project in its post-ICO phase, to reassure investors of the team’s commitment to its own roadmap.
Swiss-based and following full KYC, the team is fully transparent and, as seen in the introductory video, they are happy to put themselves in front of a camera. The headline team incorporates over a dozen members, each of which are provided with full LinkedIn profiles.
This is a project that appears to hinge on two specific factors – the first, its ability (like any token sale) to attract sufficient investors to fund the project. Secondly, the project’s game-play.
The first is largely dependent on the team’s marketing capabilities. This does appear to be a project that is gaining attention across a number of prominent platforms in the ICO universe – ICOBench, Steemit, Youtube, Facebook, Twitter and Telegram.
Whilst the numbers are somewhat modest at this stage, it is nonetheless early days for the project. At the same time, those numbers appear to be the result of organic interest as opposed to airdropped bribes inducing people to manifest themselves on the various social networks in exchange for free tokens.
Our own feeling is that, if attractive game-play is achieved, then the rewards that accrue from playing the game bring a decent chance of achieving the kind of network effect that all blockchain-based projects require in order for the token to take value over the long-term.