The name “Yumerium” derives from the Korean words for dream, “Yume”, and place “Rium”. This Korean ICO plans to hasten the evolution of the gaming industry by giving gamers, then, the ability to earn tokens from doing something they will naturally enjoy – playing games and engaging with game developers’ content.
The idea is that these tokens can then be spent on items useful within the Yumerium gaming eco-system or sold outside of that eco-system for other crypto-currencies such as Bitcoin.
The ICO will first fund the creation of games to run within the Yumerium platform. Once that platform is up and running, it will then be opened up to third party developers through a suite of SDK kits.
Concept and White Paper
Though the white-paper is attractive and engaging, and offers a good overview of the market opportunity and Yumerium’s proposed solution, it is a little light on detail. More detail-minded investors may find themselves wishing that there was a deeper explanation on how the company proposes to implement the technical side of its plans.
To understand the Yumerium proposition it is necessary to look briefly at the development of the gaming experience. The last decade has seen a movement from “pay-to-pay” games to “free-to-play”. Yumerium hope to further this evolution and introduce “earn-to-play” gaming.
Pay-to-play games entail up front payment before a user can play the game.
Free-to-play games do not require advance payment before starting the game, but users often have to pay to advance within the game experience.
Yumerium founder Jikhan Jung also founded GalaNet, an online gaming portal which, according to the white paper, “ran the first free-to-play game publisher gPotato in US.” Now Jung, through Yumerium, plans on the leading the next step in game development: earn-to-play. Under this model users can pay or earn money during and after playing the game.
Problems with the existing system
Well known to gamers, though perhaps little known outside of that community, is that items won or earned in games are often sold on trading sites, particularly in Korea. However, these 3rd party sites are less than ideal due to the potential for fraud and the lack of security in transactions.
Any current payment system built by a centralised entity will own the transaction and suffer the usual problems: high fees, long transaction times, minimum payments, lack of transparency and so on.
The second market inefficiency Yumerium’s creators hope to adress is the issue of reviews and properly rewarding the gaming community for activities which promote games. According to a Nielsen survey from 2009, consumers trust recommendations from friends more than all the other ways they might find out about a product or service.
Though some influencers within the gaming community have managed to leverage that influence for financial reward, most people are left uncompensated. Without receiving an obvious benefit for sharing their views on a product, most will not bother.
Yumerium hope that they can capitalise on an enormous market, predicted to be $128 billion by 2020, and popularise their earn-to-pay model with their own games, and then the games of selected partners.
The Yumerium Solution
The key to making Yumerium work is getting everyone’s incentives aligned so that it makes sense to use the platform. The team argue that Yumerium will be used in several distinct ways as part of the greater ecosystem.
Acquisition and Engagement:
New games to the platform will be allocated YUM tokens from the seeding fund. This YUM may then be earned by gamers through playing the game, reviewing it or sharing it. The earned YUM may then be exchanged for game money or used in any Yumerium-supported game.
Developers of games can use YUM to offer a bonus for user engagement or distribute it through airdrops or bounty programmes.
Gaming community that rewards users:
There are various ways that game developers will be able to use YUM to increase engagement with their games. These include rewarding gamers who share their opinions with others, or paying users in YUM for watching promotional videos, leaving reviews or sharing information through social networks.
Crowdfunded game production is now an established part of the gaming landscape. According to the white-paper, more than 2,000 games were crowdfunded in 2016, with half of those raising more than $0.5 million.
Yumerium hope to develop this within the Yumerium community. By running a campaign within the platform, developers can earn YUM for their marketing efforts.
The Yumerium platform will take YUM, but also plans to add BTC and ETH payment options. By eliminating third party payment processors, payments should be quicker, cheaper and more transparent.
Unlike many ICOs, Yumerium has a straightforward and easy to grasp timeline. It also manages to resist going too far into the future in its predictions, a good sign of a realistic attitude to product development.
2017 saw the founding of Subdream Studios and the launch of 3 games. This year Yumerium plan to complete their private and public sales in the first half of the year, then in Q3 launch their games with Yumerium support.
Once that is achieved, it will launch CryptoMine, the first game specifically developed around the use of Yumerium. If successful then Q4 should see the launch of games from partners and limited 3rd party support. Widespread adoption and more 3rd party games are expected for the beginning of next year.
The ICO comes out of Subdream Studios, a game development studio and parent company of Subdream Labs as well as Korean VR arcade operation VR Plus and token exchange Hurbit.
As previously mentioned, the white-paper is lighter on detail than most high profile ICOs. This has the appeal of making the idea more easily digestible, but there are times when more detail would be preferable. Describing the team is one of those occasions.
The white-paper does not provide biographies for any of its team, just photos and names. Though some of these are shown with LinkedIn logos, there are no links from the site or white paper to team members’ LinkedIn profiles.
This is the kind of thing that may put off some potential investors, which is a shame, as this is a high level and experienced team. CEO and founder Jikhan Jung has a wealth of experience within the sector, as do the rest of the founders. They have also done a good job bringing in talent from outside of the Subdream Studios core.
As is often the case with ICOs the team has a strong technical background, but is perhaps a little light on marketing experience. However, their advisors are a diverse group, including entrepreneurs who should be able to make up for any shortfall in marketing experience.
The advisory group also includes COOs and corporate officers, always a reassuring sign that an ICO recognises that the day-to-day running of a business is as important as a good idea and strong technology.
Token and Token Value
Yumerium’s YUM token is priced at $0.1 and the token sale is hard capped at 316,906,850 YUM (i.e. $31,690,685). Payment is accepted in ETH and BTC.
The public pre sale starts on May 23rd with a discount rate starting at 30%.
Of the total supply of YUM, 50% will be made available in the token sale, with 20% going to the founders and advisors, 20% for network seeding and 10% held in reserve.
Funds raised will be split with 50% going towards the development of new games, described in the white paper as “critical for battle testing the system for a broad adoption later”, 20% for marketing and the remainder going to the Yumerian system: 10% for development and 15% for operation. The remaining 5% is reserved for legal costs.
This ICO is present in all the usual places – Facebook, Twitter and Telegram – and one less common one showing its Korean roots, Kakao. In all channels there are signs of healthy activity and organic, active engagement.
The inclusion of an elevator pitch is a nice touch, but really amounts to the slides from a presentation. It would have been useful to have to have included a video showing the presentation being given.
The white paper itself has a few mistakes in its English, which though understandable from a largely Korean team, could have been easily rectified by hiring a native English speaker from its campaign budget. One gets the feeling reading the proposition that both product and token offering are primarily aimed at the East Asian market.
This lack of attention to marketing extends somewhat to the composition of the team. However, this is by no means solely a group of engineers. There is real and important business experience running throughout.
This kind of product and ICO requires the network effects of mass adoption to be a success. As such it needs to capture as many people as possible as quickly as possible. With 20% of the funds raised going to a marketing and community fund, it is clear that Yumerium is well aware of this need to capture users. The white paper refers to the fund as “critical for bringing new gamers into the community.”
Compared to many wildly-ambitious ICO projects, the Yumerium proposition is rather modest. Half of funds raised are earmarked for game development, and the team acknowledges that at each stage of development the platform will need to be stress-tested by users before the next phase is possible. The roadmap also refuses to look any further down the line than one calendar year, which is a prudent approach for such a rapidly changing industry.
The technical problems of the project seem by no means seem insurmountable for a team with this amount of experience. That leaves the ability to capture a market as the main determiner of Yumerium’s success. The parent company’s existing audience and customer base, as well as the funds set aside for community building, should give the ICO a good chance of building up a critical mass of initial users.