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January Dev Diary - #006





gm Mortals! It’s your friendly Executive Producer checking in to share the state of the beta! In this month’s update, we recap the successes and learnings from 2022, an overview of what’s on the immediate horizon as we close our current cycle, C3, and a glimpse of what the year ahead may have in store. And most importantly, we’ll end with Justin Hulog’s gamefi trend predictions for 2023 on the latest episode of the Naavik podcast.

The Year In Review, In Numbers

While 2022 seemed like a ‘could’ve-been-better’ year for the macro market and crypto, Gods Unchained grew on almost all fronts! The most momentous win? We’ve grown even compared to the height of the bull run of 2021, which is a feat in itself.

Gods Unchained games:

  • In 2022, the number of GU games played increased by 𝟏𝟔𝟐% to a total of 𝟑𝟕.𝟖 million games played!!! That’s equivalent to the 8th largest European country in the world, Poland.
  • Last year, the 𝐓𝐎𝐓𝐀𝐋 𝐇𝐎𝐔𝐑𝐒 of GU gameplay increased by a whopping 𝟏𝟒𝟒% to 𝟏𝟏.𝟖 million 𝐡𝐨𝐮𝐫𝐬 played. That's equivalent to 𝟏,𝟑𝟒𝟕 𝐘𝐄𝐀𝐑𝐒 worth of gameplay
  • Lastly, we onboarded nearly 300K new players into the game, 298K new players to be precise, even after introducing our new rules on multi-accounts and bots. 

Gods Unchained NFTs (available from March 2021): 

  • In 2022, we saw a tremendous 𝟐𝟏𝟎% increase in in-game assets traded to a total of 𝟓.𝟕 million NFTs traded – that's the entire population of Singapore
  • Peak growth came from the number of NFT trades which stood at an astounding 9.1 million. That’s a 288% increase from the previous year
  • Our total volume traded was shy of 100M, closing in at $96.5 million, which accounts for a whopping 270% delta from 2021.

All these stats just go to prove players truly value digital ownership of their in-game assets by being able to trade them. 

Gods Unchained awards and nominations:

Besides these astounding numbers and proud wins, there are other core themes I’d like to call out. The first and foremost is web3 driven and owning the ethos and essence of that.

Focus on community

We hope you would’ve seen it firsthand with the numerous initiatives we undertook, ranging from receiving direction on the game directly from the Council of Mortals, our open call to all for content creation and participation with the Bounty Board, a 1 million reward at stake as a way to reward our most active community members with the Referral Program or the numerous campaign-led initiatives tied to various events (Halloween, new sets, etc,.). We genuinely believe in ‘building in public’ involving the community at each turn, and we’re so grateful to have members as enthusiastic as each of you along for the ride! 

Renewed transparency in-game

A pivotal moment was when Chris Clay penned an open letter to the community outlining our vision for the future that relied on openness which I think leads nicely into my next highlight. These monthly Dev Diaries. We hope they give you a glimpse of the game at a granular level so you understand what’s happening under the hood in real-time. We even began a Meet the Team series, broke down the mechanics behind the game’s balance, and have been upfront about game rules and our revised roadmap with the intention for you to understand the whys rather than only have the whens outlined. 

Launching features quicker

I’d like to highlight a few key initiatives that bring alive my point. The first was Daily Play & Earn, fulfilled in the new timeline of under a month that we set for ourselves mid-last year. Since then, we’ve had features go live almost every month; Shine Fusing, Manual Staking, new game modes, migration to L2, card back equipping, merch, and so much more! The team now follows a ‘test and iterate’ approach, which means we can quickly release a prototype and receive instrumental feedback from you, the community, that shapes the end version of that feature. Case in point – Community Clash. 

Web3 marketing and partnerships

As we endeavour to set the benchmark for a fun, sustainable web3 game economy that others can mimic, experimenting with mini-sets, bringing the lore to the marketplace, and capturing audiences from new markets that were previously untappable has been key. Gamestop was our biggest collaboration, but PlayitforwardDAO, NFTrades, Horizon Labs, Swissborg, Token Trove, Aqua, Rarible, etc., and others, bring our vision alive with tournaments, competitions, and more. Fun fact: In 2022, we had three esports events, and 243,000 minutes of live gameplay footage were watched throughout these three events.

This year, the goal is to double down on tried-and-tested strategies like these that worked to bring the masses on board. Most of the time, we’re so close to the game that we tend to get bogged down with the day-to-day. At times like these, yearly reviews, we get the chance to step back and assess the developments in-game, and as you can see, the numbers speak for themselves. I can’t wait to share some insights into what 2023 has to offer!

Upcoming Items

2023 roadmap planning and prioritizing take center stage

As we begin our next cycle, C1, in March, we’re doing much of the legwork to concentrate on building a roadmap that puts GU in the best position to succeed. The most important launches are mobile (closed alpha) and live ops. Other features include more game modes, enhancements to the Forge, mobile release on Android and Apple App stores etc. We’re still fine-tuning our revised roadmap and deliverables for the year. I hope to share an updated roadmap by our next cycle. 

Mobile continues to be front and center

The team is focused on delivering the closed Alpha before the end of this cycle, which ends at the end of February. By then, we will have a very early test build (sans the frills, bells, and whistles) out in the hands of a closed group of testers for inputs. As we mentioned in the unified mana update last week, two-way communication with the community is critical to help guide our development efforts, so please continue to share your input as we read every piece of feedback. 

Improved gameplay experience

The best games take years to build, and this year you will see a lot of progress in improving the UI/UX of the game. We’re building some key tools that will help the gameplay experience for the better, and once complete, it’ll take a lot less time to roll out. Once these core features are built, things such as progression (which you’ve been asking for), more game modes, and rewards can be worked on and launched much quicker than before. 

Better registration flow and game updates

We know to onboard more players, the easier the registration flow, the better. To that end, we’re working on new-and-improved flows that don’t cause as much friction to signup as now. Once we test the optimum flow, we’ll roll it out into the launcher for everyone to use. As we prepare for mobile’s release, the game UI is undergoing a rehaul. The Sanctum refresh and cosmetic changes to the combat log in-game are coming up soon. Stay tuned for a blog post soon. 

Interwoven and interactive lore

As always, we pride ourselves on our rich lore. This year, we’re trying to push the narrative of Eucos in unforeseen ways. You will learn more when the time is right, but for now, I can only say to push your mind's limits. Think about the benefits web3 offers; they may be your clue as to what is yet to unfold. We’re also experimenting with new ways to deliver the lore than standard blog posts. Could we take the community on a journey to unravel pieces of the lore as a team, or could they shape the lore based on their actions? Who knows? Time will tell! 

Token ecosystem grants and token transparency

$GODS is the center of the GUniverse. To strengthen its foothold in the game, we’re planning many more engaging and rewarding ways to receive $GODS tokens for contributing or participating in the ecosystem. Again, think beyond gameplay - our focus is on building a robust token economy around the game that’s sustainable, fair, and rewarding for players and collectors. The other area we’re investigating is a way to improve token visibility for the community, such that there’s a one-stop shop for all token-related information. 

Influencer marketing and partnerships galore

Last year, we created many new avenues for players to learn about Gods Unchained with collaborations. This time, we’re going even deeper into that rabbit hole. This year, you can expect many more mainstream influencers to promote Gods Unchained globally, from South Asia to Latin America and Europe. You could catch these influencers and their offerings across their social media channels, including TikTok! 

Experimentation squad’s focus on growth

Did you know that over 23.5k players worked towards a common goal - unlocking the Candy Chain for Winter Wanderlands in December? It was the single-most celebrated win in our community’s history as we saw everyone unite for a higher purpose - to receive an ‘Unexpected Gift.’ What if we applied these community-building strategies to grow the game too? We’re on an adventure, investigating how we can engage and distribute new content that brings the community together while harbouring a sense of belonging. We don’t know where this takes us yet, but we’re excited to explore! 

That’s all for this time. As promised, I’ll leave you this riveting watch on Justin Hulog’s web3 predictions for 2023 on Naavik’s podcast. Figure out where our next wave of players may come from yet?