Are you ready to revolutionize your gaming experience? Join us as we sit down with Majd Hailat, the founder and CEO of Altura, the next-generation NFT gaming platform that's bridging the gap between Web3 development and game development. Meshed opens up about the challenges of building infrastructure for an entirely new industry, navigating the volatile crypto market, and how Altura's API and SDKs are empowering game developers to easily create and distribute NFTs.
As we dive into the rapidly evolving world of Web3 gaming, we uncover the trends shaping the industry and discuss the value of partnerships like Altura's unity partnership. We also tackle the environmental concerns surrounding NFTs and how Altura is addressing these issues. But it doesn't stop there! We explore the benefits of Altura's white-label NFT marketplaces and the monetization opportunities they offer for game developers. Don't miss this fascinating conversation with Majd Hailat as we unveil the future of NFT gaming and the role of Altura in this thrilling space.
This episode was recorded through a StreamYard call on May 31, 2023. Read the blog article here: https://webdrie.net/web3-gaming-and-nfts-alturas-revolution-with-majd-hailat/
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Web3 technology has a lot of incredible use cases in video games. It allows developers to make way more money through different monetization options. It allows users to own and freely trade their own assets. And the biggest issue with Web3 gaming is that it's very hard to build Web3 games.Joeri:
Hello everyone and welcome to the Web3 CMO St ories Podcast, Season 3, Episode 3. My name is Joeri Billast and I'm your podcast host, and today I'm so excited to be joined by Majd. Majd, how are you? Fantastic, how are you, Joeri? I'm good man. It's a sunny day in Belgium so that always gives me a lot of positive energy. So, guys, if you don't know Majd, I hope that I will pronounce his name correctly. Majd Hailat is the founder and CEO of Altura, that's a that's next-generation gaming platform that empowers game developers to mint, distribute and transact smart NFTs. So these sounds are really very interesting, Majd. That's also the reason that I invited you to the podcast.Majd:
Yeah, absolutely So. In a nutshell, altura is a suite of tools and services. It's an infrastructure company that allows game developers to seamlessly integrate Web3 into their games. So Web3 technology has a lot of incredible use cases in video games. It allows developers to make way more money through different monetization options. It allows users to own and freely trade their own assets. And the biggest issue with Web3 gaming is that it's very hard to build Web3 games. The reason for this is because Web3 development smart contracts, validity, blockchain that's all one paradigm, and game development is a completely different paradigm. So game developers are really good at building games, but aren't necessarily crypto or Web3 people, and Altura's role is to sort of bridge the two together. So if you're a game developer that has been building games for decades using Altura, you can build a Web3 game very easily with the type of tools and code that you're familiar with. So I'm the founder and CEO at Altura. I've been working on Altura for the past two years And in our two years we've been working with over 100 different studios to help them integrate Web3. We've amassed a massive community of over 130,000 individuals. We've had over 40,000 users actually use our systems And we've recently secured some massive partnership with some AAA studios that we're excited to be presenting soon, or some very large Web2 companies. I'm basically a gamer at heart. I've been playing video games since high school And that's sort of what led to the inspiration of Altura and made me want to put this technology out there. I studied computer engineering and through my schooling I've learned how to become a software engineer. I've been coding for over six years And this company is sort of the intersection of all of my different interests, so Web3 and crypto, programming and software engineering and, of course, gaming.Joeri:
Wow, yeah, that makes sense. It seemed like all the pieces of the puzzle come together with your choice to build the platform that is Altura, actually. But I guess when you build something new then there are challenges of course. Can you explain a bit about some of the challenges that you met and how? what did you do actually to overcome those challenges while building the platform?Majd:
Absolutely fantastic question. So one of the biggest challenges we've encountered is we're building infrastructure for a very new industry. We don't know exactly how this industry is going to play out. We don't know particularly what the game developers or at least initially we didn't have a fantastic idea of what these game developers wanted or how Web3 would be used in gaming. So in a lot of ways we kind of had to pave the road for what Web3 infrastructure and gaming looks like. We've had to sort of come up with our creative design solutions and there hasn't sort of been any work done before us. So we really were pioneering the way for a completely new industry and building this infrastructure, and I would say that was definitely a challenge. But we've come a long way and we've got to better understand the needs of our game developers and our customers, and now we're very confident in the product that we're putting out there. So another massive challenge is just the swings of the crypto industry. I mean crypto is incredibly volatile. We see massive bull markets and massive, very brutal bear markets And it's quite difficult to run a company in such a volatile industry, especially with funding constantly expanding and contracting, and people's morale needs to be kind of kept positive. So that's definitely been a challenge.Joeri:
Yeah, every new business constantly challenges, but it also comes with amazing things that you are building and the results that you are seeing. Some of the results of what you're offering are maybe the creation and distribution of NFTs easier for those people that develop games. So how does that work? Can you explain a bit?Majd:
Interesting. So there are, of course, the solutions that you're offering and those new possibilities, but of course, people need to know that you exist, that Altura exists. Just before we are now recording this podcast, I saw that you are active on Twitter Spaces. Is that something that you do to get the word out about your brand, or are there other actions that you are taking, with your marketing with your communication? That's also interesting to know, of course.Majd:
Yeah, fantastic question. So we have a lot of different processes that we use to go to market, to market our product, to sell our product. We have a sales team, a very active sales team that goes out there and actually gets in calls with game developers to actually articulate the value of our product. And so we have sales and business development. We also go to a lot of conferences. So we were at the game developers conference, the biggest game development conference in the world. We've went there for the last two years and we've had a booth there that's been a fantastic opportunity to speak with and learn from game developers. And, of course, finally, we do a lot of marketing. So we're very active. We try and do as many podcasts, amas, and Twitter Spaces as possible to talk about our products. And we do other marketing initiatives like ads, SEO, etc.Joeri:
So actually the whole bunch of possible initiatives that you're doing, like you would also do for Web2, I would guess, Yeah, those events, those are always interesting to learn from others, to talk to people, to get those ideas, to maybe get on stage and get questions. Another thing that I know that's important for you guys it's partnerships. Can you talk a bit about the partnerships that you have or that you are perhaps Negotiating at the moment?Majd:
So a lot of our partners are actually gaming companies that are using our platform. We present them as partners there their customers But they're also partners, and we like to say that they're partners because not only are we providing them value by offering them our Product suite better you know, build Web3 games But they're also helping us learn from them about the industry and telling us what they need, and so we see this as a partnership where there's a lot of exchange of value. So I would say the bulk of our partners are gaming companies, from, you know, indie-sized studios to much larger games with venture backing and, you know, teams of 50 plus that are using our products. Other kinds of partnerships are blockchain partnerships, so we love working with massive blockchains. Recently, we announced a very large partnership with Kronos, and now we'd be integrating their blockchain and the other half of the partnership is that they'd be providing a Hundred million dollar grant fund to game developers that are building on the Kronos blockchain. So that was very sort of value filled Partnership that resulted in a win for the game developers, a win for Altura and a win for crypto com, as they had Altura's infrastructure On their blockchain. We also recently announced a partnership with Telos, another incredible blockchain for our game developers. In general, we try and partner with companies that we feel can provide value to Altura And value to the gaming companies that are building on top of Altura.Joeri:
Right, and so if you're talking about providing value both ways, there should, of course, be a way to measure the value, and we have like a system in place, analytics or something else to show you know. But what is this value?Majd:
Hmm, I guess a lot of the value from these partnerships is abstract, and the best way that we gauge this value is just by talking to the Customers that are using our products and the products of the companies that we're partnering with, and if we find that these customers are benefiting and it's making their lives easier, we consider that a success.Joeri:
Okay, like, just not something really like that you can measure, but you feel like and you see that everyone is happy. It is a win-win partnership, I would imagine. Now the market you mentioned is challenging. There are a lot of people who need to learn, but there is also, while we are learning, the market is moving. New things are happening in a tree space. It's like you know, in one week or in a few months, so many things can happen. So what are now The changes or trends that you are seeing happening right now in the market, and is it influencing the strategy of your business?Majd:
Hmm, fantastic question. So I would say we're trending towards much higher quality games being produced, and I'm going to speak particularly about the Web 3 gaming industry, since that's kind of my world. So over the last two years, we've seen a lot of mediocre and not so fantastic Web 3 games come out, and the reason for that is because these projects started off as an NFT collection or a token and then tried to build a game around that to satisfy their communities And that kind of just results in a weird sort of game that isn't focused on being a really good game but sort of focused on trying to add value to an NFT collection. We believe over the coming years we're going to see really high quality games that are being built by actual game developers and people that have been building games for decades and are focused on building a really good game with a crypto or Web 3 element within that game. So in general, we see the industry trending towards real value, real products that consumers in the masses will actually enjoy playing and experiencing, and less on sort of like fidgety, sort of fun crypto, tokenomic kind of games. We also believe that infrastructure is a huge, major component towards the development of this industry we just see that infrastructure is getting quite competitive and a lot of players are coming out there to try and support these applications and games that are being produced right now. So, in general, I think the space is headed in the right direction I believe that this value is going to be manifested in many different ways, and it doesn't particularly look like the market just going up constantly, but instead, it looks like actual game developers and proper developers putting quality out there.Joeri:
Right And some of the, I would say because there are some concerns in the market. Of course, there is a bear market. It won't stay in the bear market forever But a few other concerns are like environmental issues, like people asking self- questions, or the blockchain. It's a lot of energy. Do you have like big business initiatives around that?Majd:
So we definitely hear the concerns of people talking about blockchains and their energy consumption. I believe the space as a whole is aware of this problem, and we are trending toward more efficient blockchains. So what we're doing is we're supporting a wide variety of blockchains, some of which consume very little energy and have a very low carbon footprint. So one of those, for example, is Telos. I believe the transaction on Telos is so minuscule they don't consume much power every year, and there are other blockchains that we're aware of. We have also committed to actually offsetting our carbon footprint. This was a commitment that we made when we partnered with Unity a while back, and so I believe the space as a whole. There are going to be blockchains that continue to consume power, like Bitcoin, but there are going to be alternatives for applications that want to have less carbon emission.Joeri:
All right, you mentioned Unity. Yeah, the CMO, it's the CMO stories. Web3 CMO Stories podcast. The CMO of Unity was also on my show not so long ago. Yes, yes, yes, It was also one of the most listened episodes, I would say So just that you know and just that my listeners know that the episode is still out there. Also, with Altura, you enable game builders to launch white-label their NFT market places. Maybe can you talk a bit about the benefits of that.Majd:
Yeah, absolutely So. Game developers want a seamless experience for their players When their players want to buy, sell or trade an asset from their game. They don't want to go to a completely new website and have to sort through a bunch of different NFT collections to find the asset that they want to sell for that game. So what Altura's white label marketplace allows developers to do is put up a fresh marketplace in five minutes, just by clicking a few buttons, and then they can fully customize the user interface of that to match their game's art style. So they can change the banner, the background, the footer, the colors, the fonts, et cetera. They can also add a custom domain. So instead of having to go to openc. com, you could go to, for example, marketplace. minecraft. com, and it's a continuation of the game's flow and branding. Our marketplaces also allow game developers to use their own tokens for transactions. So, for example, if a game has their own token, you can make that the primary token of the marketplace, such that your users have to buy, sell and trade NFTs in that token. So it continues to sort of build into the ecosystem, whereas other marketplaces sort of push players outside of the ecosystem, if that makes sense.Joeri:
Yeah, so yesMajd:
Yeah, absolutely So. Monetization is a huge benefit that Web3 introduces for game developers, and the reason for this is because, instead of just selling an asset upfront to a player, like most Web2 games do, you can sell the asset initially and then you can continue to take a royalty and a fee on the secondary markets. And it turns out that when you open up a secondary market for digital assets, the revenue to be generated from secondary market transactions actually eclipses the initial sale revenue by a significant amount. So what Web3 and Altura allows these game developers to do is really tap into that potential monetization streams that secondary markets allow for. So Altura's white label is a sort of a product that can help with that, as it allows these developers to have their own marketplace and, of course, they can benefit from the fees that they collect on those market places.Joeri:
Okay, and so for game developers that are looking to integrate blockchain and NFTs into their games, what advice would you give them? Should they directly look at this monetization part? Should they wait? What is, the best practice?Majd:
So my advice would be to build, focus on building a really good game. So don't start by thinking about monetization initially. Think about how to create a compelling story, narrative and experience for your players and really focus on building a fantastic game initially. A huge trap that so many game developers fall into is starting with a monetization option and then trying to build a game around that monetization strategy, whereas if you were to build a really high quality games that players love, monetizing that game will become incredibly easy afterwards. The second piece of advice I would say is if you want to build a Web3 game, absolutely do not do it from scratch. It'll take you way more time and money than is required. Look into using existing tools and infrastructure out there, like Altura.Joeri:
Actually, you know, Majd is the same as with my podcast. I didn't start my podcast with the idea of monetizing it. It was just I started it trying to make my podcast better and better every episode, trying to build an audience And then, based on that, looking to monetize it. Okay, there have been a few guests that have paid me to skip the line. There has been a sponsor now here for one episode, metastarq actually But yeah, it's something that I was not building it to monetize it, but it comes later. So I think that's a really good lesson. even if you are into gaming, if you are into podcasting or whatever business or you know, continue that you are building, not start directly. you know financial points. So I said you were doing Twitter spaces, so if people want to know more about you, they want to know more about Altura. where would you like to send them?Majd:
So definitely follow Altura on Twitter. That's where you're going to get up-to-date and and consistent information. So that's @ A L T U R A NFT. Follow myself on Twitter. I talk about all things that update with Altura things that you can expect to see, so sort of a little more like behind the scenes, extra information, and I'm sure you'll link my Twitter handle down below And also join Altura's Discord. That can be found on Altura's landing page. It's a great way to communicate and talk with the rest of Alturas community and ask the team for anything that you'd like to know.Joeri:
Great. I just, you know, heard the Discord sound on the background. What a coincidence at the moment that you said Discord. You know, yeah, discord is a really good place, you know, to connect and to see who is behind you know the company and just asking those questions. Also, you mentioned Twitter spaces is a good place for that. Of course, like every time when I do a podcast episode, there is also a blog article. There are show notes. you will find the show notes in the description of this podcast episode, with also all the social links that matched, as mentioned, as well as this website. So thank you so much, Majd. It was really interesting to listen to you because there are not so many people from the gaming industry that from the gaming side that came on the podcast. So thank you so much, absolutely.Majd:
Thank you so much, Joeri, for having me. It was a pleasure.Joeri:
So, guys, again an interesting episode and concerning and really interesting topic, also because gaming is really an industry where a lot of things are moving when it comes to Web 3. In other episodes, we talked about the metaverse, which is actually also coming from the gaming industry. So thank you so much for listening. If you want to follow Metsch, you know where to find him. If you think that this episode is interesting for people around you maybe they are in the gaming, maybe they are not into gaming feel free to share it with them. Also, if you are not yet following the podcast, i think now is a good moment to hit the subscribe button And, of course, i would like to see you back for the next podcast episode. Take care Bye. Web 3 can take your best to new heights and you're ready to harness its power, but feeling lost and overwhelmed. Therefore, join my W3X Web 3 mastermind. Send me a personal message for more info. You can find me everywhere on social media. There's only one person with my name, Joeri Billast. Talk soon.