Active Games LLC, a Russian based games developer, is conducting an initial coin offering (ICO) to fund the expansion of Lordmancer 2, a free to play massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) for mobile devices.
The ICO commenced on 7 November 2017 and the company’s ‘LordCoin’ tokens are available on the Ethereum blockchain. A pre-ICO sale was held for five days during August 2017.
The Lordmancer 2 game is a swords and sorcery MMORGP designed for IOS and Android devices. It is available in beta testing mode on Android following a soft launch in Russia earlier this year. The Lordmancer 2 ICO is being undertaken to fund the game’s development including the expansion of the fantasy world. The funds raised will also be used to support the international rollout of the game through marketing.
— Lordmancer II (@LordmancerI) November 7, 2017
As a relatively recent development, ICOs can be extremely high-risk for investors because of their uncertain status. Currently, the ICO is perhaps best understood as a form of crowdfunding that uses the blockchain and cryptocurrencies instead of fundraising using IPOs or other types of investment.
Lordmancer 2 is the follow-up to Lordmancer 1, a swords and sorcery Java MMORPG game. The ICO white paper describes the new game’s features as:
- Turn based battles
- Real-time player-versus-player interaction
- Vast, expanding game world
- Open market in-game economy for players
- Clash of clans for territory by capturing castles and resource mines.
Players can also mine the LordCoin inside the game and use the coins for certain types of in-game trading and purchases. The LordCoin can also be taken out of the game and sold for cryptocurrency.
While Lordmancer 2 will be free-to-play, users will be able to make in-app purchases and trades. The Lordmancer 2 white paper outlines in some detail how players will buy LordCoins. It also outlines the type of content that will only be sold for LordCoins:
- Unique player skins
- Legendary weapons and items
- In-game islands
- Internal player-to-player trades.
As outlined in the white paper, the developers will take a commission from each LordCoin transaction within the game. The studio plans to retain a percentage of the commission to cover operational costs and burn the rest of each spent token. It appears that the intention here is to boost demand for LordCoin by burning a percentage from every token transacted within the game. This may also increase the value of the coin.
However, LordCoin is not the only accepted currency inside the game. There are two other currencies that can be used for in-game purchases. The white paper does not provide a lot of specific detail about how these three currencies will interact with one another within the game’s internal market.
It is common for in-house markets for game content to exist within other MMORPGs. However, these markets may not be supported by the individual game publishers. As such, trade in these in-house markets can exist in a type of legal limbo that may be open to fraudulent behaviour.
The Lordmancer 2 white paper discusses the presence of these illegitimate markets within different MMOROGs. The paper also outlines some supports for users who are unfamiliar with cryptocurrencies to buy LordCoin within the game.
The ICO roadmap outlines the planned global rollout of the game during 2018. A soft launch is South East Asia is scheduled for the first quarter of 2018 with a global launch in the following quarters. The next phase would see the game released in South East Asia and South America. The developers also note that the target audience for the game is male players aged between 15 and 35.
In 2016, Lordmancer 2 was one of the games selected for induction into the Global Top Round (GTR) accelerator programme which aims to support smaller independent game developers to take their content global. Participation in the programme gives developers access to advisors, support and feedback from global gaming professionals. Lordmancer 2 and its ICO has also been covered within gaming media outlets including Kotaku.
The global gaming market is a mass media industry with enormous reach. In 2016, the games industry was estimated to have had annual revenues of more than 90 billion dollars. NewZoo, a gaming research firm, estimates that globally over two billion people play games either occasionally or regularly. The studio expects initial global revenue of around 10 million dollars a month.
The full white paper can be read here.