Home eSports What Blockchain Games Can Learn from the Valorant Beta Launch

What Blockchain Games Can Learn from the Valorant Beta Launch

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Can you get gamers thirsting for the next big “thing” without wasting truckloads of money on ads?

Struggling with player acquisition?

welcome to the party pal

Recruiting blockchain game players can be extremely difficult, given that traditional games have a major stranglehold on the market, and standing out can be difficult unless you go viral.

The game currently winning the “hype” war is VALORANT, the new Counter Strike/Overwatch hybrid from Riot Games.

Riot has already had tremendous success with League of Legends, and their portfolio speaks for itself.

“Hype” might be an annoyingly overused word by Gen Z, but when it comes to game launches, it’s the only thing you should focus on.

Let’s take a look at how Valorant managed to get gamers everywhere fiending for beta access keys spending almost nothing (apparently) on ads.

The Formula

Lead Influencer/Troll/Baiter

If you follow esports then you have probably encountered Rod Breslau (@slasher), “world’s #1 esports consultant and insider, competitive gaming leader, internet culture savant, high class leakboy.”

Given his influence, knowledge, and reach, he runs point on the operation despite not being a member of Riot.

Breslau began hyping VALORANT in early March.

As a frequent critic and troll, Breslau heaping praise starts to pique a ton of early interest from the gaming community.

As people salivate, major streamers were lined up in the background to demo the alpha and then gain early access to play and stream on Twitch.

All Play, No Pay

Instead of paying for ads that circulate to people that have never heard of the game, Riot instead paid no one (apparently). They simply offered streamers prime early access (brings in viewers) and the chance to slowly drip out Beta access keys.

The damn game wasn’t even live yet and it was already the number one game on Twitch.

Beta Bait

Want to play?

Easy, just watch VALORANT streams until you get an access key by linking your Riot account to Twitch!

Sounds easy.

This massive carrot brought thousands of viewers to Twitch just to get a chance at early access, which is based primarily on luck.

At any moment you can find streams with 200k+ viewers.

Half of them may just be sitting there hoping to get a key with the stream on the in background.

But damn if 200k+ viewers on top streams doesn’t make a game look HYPED, what does?

Blockchain Game Plan

Let’s take the same scenario and apply it to a blockchain game.

  1. Find lead influencer/troll/baiter
  2. Recruit as many high-profile streamers as possible. Can be tough unless they understand the nature of blockchain games
  3. Drip out “hype” on social media
  4. Offer early access + exclusive “drops” which in this case are scarce one of a kind blockchain items (NFTs, MFTs, guns, skins, etc.)

Harder than it sounds in blockchain world, particularly when most people don’t even know how Bitcoin works…

The hardest part (besides making a game that doesn’t suck) is recruiting streamers that have a lot of viewers. And you don’t want just a one time play, you want ongoing play.

How to Offer Drops

Enjin is making it super easy to offer blockchain drops via QR code, so imagine a scenario where tons of streamers put up QR codes at random points during the day.

They could store them in their Enjin Wallet, which connects to any game that accepts it.

These “drops” could be incredibly valuable in the future considering the opportunity for blockchain game interoperability.

If you are still skeptical about all of this, it’s certainly valid. But know that it’s still early and being early can reap huge rewards.

Even Reddit is considering a tokenized currency on Ethereum.

Fundraising

If you do need to raise funds, one way to do it is through the “founder’s token model.”

Offer an early exclusive drop at an affordable price, by hyping its potential in the future.

These tokens items will eventually get claimed, and continue to offer perpetual rewards. This is sometimes referred to as an MFT (multiverse founder’s token).

Interoperability/Multiverse – A Hint That It May Work

If you watch Valorant streams, you will find that the game is quite similar to Counter Strike: Global Offensive.

Players refer to guns and weapons in Valorant as their name in CS, even though it’s not the same gun.

Give me an “AWP” means “give me the big hitting sniper rifle” (in this case the “The Operator”) and “Deagle” refers to the Desert Eagle like “Sheriff.”

What if you could just bring your AWP and skins from Counter Strike?

Imagine the possibilities.

Takeaway

The bottom line is that influencer marketing and hype validates the game.

It can be a win-win for streamers and game designers.

But for the love of god, please make a game that doesn’t suck. We’re looking at you, Drug Wars.

Additional Resources You Should Consider

  • Read more about game marketing
  • Hire an esports marketing agency for SEO, social strategy, and consulting. We recommend WitBlade.
  • Check out Silica Nexus – “prizes that don’t suck” – a way to offer in-game items through traditional arcade style prize machines
The Riz
The Riz
Lives a life of heavy metal, crypto, and gaming. Comment on these and you will get a response.

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