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Important Announcement for Starship Guild Token Holders
Moving forward and returning capital to holders.
Last year Starship Guild had a meteoric rise. At our peak we had over 2,400 players generating over $600k in monthly revenue, helping change people’s lives across a number of countries, including Columbia, India, and the Philippines.
Off the back of that success we launched the mint for STAR in February of this year and raised close to $2,000,000 USD to scale our operations and invest in opportunities across blockchain gaming.
Unfortunately, blockchain gaming (along with the crypto market in general) has seen a catastrophic market pullback, with a lot of gaming asset prices falling 99%+.
This has caused many companies, DAOs, and guilds to cease operations, and historic capital loss.
We’ve written previously about blockchain gaming’s problems and potential futures.
We are now faced with a harsh reality. While we believe that blockchain gaming has a bright future, it’s likely much further out than most people realize.
In startups, being too early is the same as being wrong.
The business model that worked well for us in 2021 is no longer viable in 2022. We have worked incredibly hard in exploring many different avenues that we could pivot the guild into. But at this point the guild hasn’t found a business model that really works, and the probability of doing so in a reasonable timeframe is low. Continuing down the path of tokenizing the guild without a proper business model is foolish, and the best thing we can do now is return capital to holders.
The bright spot in all of this is that we’ve done a pretty good job in managing the treasury since the mint. We haven’t experienced any hacks or lost funds to questionable DeFi protocols or “treasury management solutions.”
Based on the liquid capital we have on hand, we’ll be able to give STAR token holders an approximate 90% refund on their original mint investment.
To give perspective, BTC and ETH are down ~50% since our mint, so while STAR is down slightly, it has outperformed the market considerably.
What’s next for Starship Guild?
We still have over 400 players in the guild, mostly playing Axie Infinity, and a few now playing BigTime. We’ll continue supporting these players for the foreseeable future, and experimenting with ways to make positive impacts in Blockchain Gaming with the assets, tools, and network the guild has developed.
Thoughts on Blockchain Gaming
For those interested investing in or creating blockchain games, these insights from our time in the field may be helpful.
The secret to unlock blockchain gaming is…
Create a game where a significant number of players:
Want to own the assets to experience the game
Actively want to trade to enhance their experience
It’s a very simple formula, but stupidly difficult to pull off.
Let’s break this down.
“Want to own the assets to experience the game”
It's important that PLAYERS want to own the assets, not investors. If players don't want to own the assets, you are going to get misaligned incentives where investors will speculate on the assets to make money (extracting value) and players will play the game to make money (extracting value), causing the entire ecosystem to collapse and trend to zero (example: pegaxy).
It's also important that players want ownership because they want to play the game, not because they want to earn. Otherwise, if players are there just to earn the game will again trend to zero as players focus on extracting value as quickly as they can (example: STEPN).
“Actively want to trade to enhance their experience”
Without trade you don't have an economy. Without an economy, why do you need a blockchain? If some kind of asset trading isn't a core part of your game then blockchains are probably not required.
“a significant number of players”
While AAA gaming gets a lot of focus, likely the next breakout hits will be mobile games, which allows access to a much larger player base across diverse regions (a lot more people have android phones than nvidia graphics cards, especially in developing nations).
The closest game yet
No blockchain game has really nailed all of these points. But the closest?
Most NFTs are not about appreciating art or underlying use cases. They are about playing the game of NFT trading and stacking ETH/Solana. This is why people often talk about the "meta" and "liquidity" of the NFT scene, because they are treating it like a giant adversarial game.
People dream of blockchain games with sophisticated economies in the vein of Runescape or Eve Online. But we're not there yet. At best we have something that looks closer to poker. At worst we have gamified ponzi schemes.
But it will get better. It will just take time.
I just want to close this letter out by saying thank you to all the token holders, players, and staff that believed in Starship Guild and helped us. I’m sorry we weren’t able to produce moonshot results for you, but I appreciate all of your patience and belief as we traversed the myriad of obstacles and market conditions that we faced over the last nine months.
Note: token redemptions will be kept live until December 31st, 2022