After a long time at Playtika, Raz Friedman wanted to get back to making games. So he did it. Today, he is the Chief Product Officer of MonkeyLeague.Freedman sits down Jessica Arbo Discuss his company, why Monkey is all the rage with NFTs and games, and his advice for developers.
Jessica Abo: Raz, you’ve been very successful with Playtika. Why did you decide to leave?
I’m missing out on the hands-on experience. As a game maker, I really want to create games. The opportunity to create games in the upcoming new wave of Web3 really appeals to me. I really feel the call to be a pioneer again.
I’d love to learn more about your company MonkeyLeague and why monkeys are all the rage in NFTs and games right now.
Think of MonkeyLeague as football combined with chess. To understand NFTs and Web3, I would ask, what does Web3 mean in relation to gaming? So Web1 is the phenomenon of reading the Internet. We see a lot of sites like Yahoo and many others where we can actually use data. Web2 concepts are readable and writable. We have MySpace and Facebook. Web3 is about reading, writing and owning. The fact that we can own part of the internet allows us to create player-owned economies.
The thing about playing chess and football in MonkeyLeague, when you own the NFT, you actually own your character in the game. When you play with characters, they grow. If you grow them, they will be more expensive in the market. You can also sell characters. This is a unique positioning for this industry that you haven’t seen before. Monkey is such a good character. You see our characters have high production value, they look right to your eyes, so it’s really easy for them to fall in love with them.
Now players can earn money from your game. Why is adding important to you, not just to keep your players entertained?
It needs to be understood that in the future, skilled people will invest a lot of energy, and skilled people will make money in the game, but there is no guarantee. Today, people pay for entertainment. When you play some other games, you won’t see a penny in return. And in this new type of Web3 game, it’s all about your skill and success in the game. It will only change the perspective of being part of the economy. Money is not an issue in the game. Still, people will want to play in order to be entertained and be part of this entertainment environment. But it will enable players to have something that also keeps their economic status in the game and even benefits from a good score in the game.
Given your years of experience as a Chief Product Officer, what advice would you give game developers?
So there are a lot of elements to our game design and creating games. There is a narrative. There is art. There are many things. It’s all important, and I’m interested in all of them. But one of the important things in Web3 game design is to create stable economies. This means that you will have monetary needs to control and sometimes when you have the whole economy, it is in your hands. Creating a player-owned economy is like running a country in terms of economy, demand, supply, etc. Focus as much as you can on the enduring economy you build and deliver to control the monetary economy.