Community Update

Castle of Blackwater Economy

Castle of Blackwater
Castle of Blackwater Economy

Dear villagers,

Today we want to take an opportunity to write about some major changes to the Castle of Blackwater economic model that we will be moving forward with from hereon out. The following changes are the result of a long period of reflection, data analysis, and many conversations with insiders at Steam, iOS and Android.

The main goal behind Castle of Blackwater has always been to build a great game first, and then see how web3 elements can be applied in an engaging and sustainable way to further amplify the player experience.

Initially, we aimed to invent an economic model where some players could act as ‘value extractors’, as long as there were sufficient ‘value injectors’ to balance them. For a long time, we had the ambition to be the first to deploy a sustainable web3 gaming model where some players could prioritise their ‘earning’, in exchange for their services of providing constant player liquidity and fast matchmaking.

However, our play 2 airdrop campaign back in March gave us a lot of new insights into dealing with the extractive category of players. Our hypothesis, which led us to believe that extractive players would provide a valuable service of player liquidity, quickly eroded away, leaving us with new insights that challenged our thinking.

It turns out that extractive players, for the most part, didn’t care about the expectation we put upon them to provide value. They only cared about their extraction, and doing so in the most-automated, lowest-effort way possible. Yes, we saw a hugely elevated spike in player activity once we incentivised playtime, but very little of this activity came from people actually enjoying the game, learning the rules, and playing how it was meant to be played. This meant we were constantly fighting to create new engagement rules to authenticate real players, and only created frustration amongst our real player base when they kept getting matched up with low-quality teammates.

To be clear, we still believe that some forms of incentivised gaming still have a viable future in front of them, most notably when it comes to user acquisition, tournaments and risk-play. However, we no longer have faith that offering a constant extractive method of ‘play-to-earn’ will result in a productive and beneficial outcome for both us as developers, as you our real players.

To add to this, over the past few months we’ve been in close contact with representatives from Steam, the iOS Appstore and the Google Play Store, all platforms where we intend to publish Castle of Blackwater. It is our understanding that these web2 game platform don’t necessarily want to completely ban web3 gaming from them, however, they are applying stricter rules and regulations regarding what games can and can’t feature in them when it comes to web3. Were we to proceed with our initial economic model, we would have had to do so under the initial plan of publishing an entire web2 version of the game on web2 launchers, and then having an entire web3 version of the game on web3 launchers. Due to conflicting game-asset-ownership logic between these two versions, web2 players would not have been able to play with web3 players, creating a large divide between our player bases. Instead of dividing, we would prefer to bring our web2 and 3 players together under a single game. And thus, we’ve been talking with these platforms to find a common ground where we can do exactly this.

As such, the decision has been made to move away from our previous economic model involving complex liquidity pools and a dual-token. Instead, we will focus our attention entirely on simplicity and creating all web3 utility around the recently released $COBE token. We believe we’ve found a way in which we can optimally combine both a web2 and web3 experience in a single game, while staying fully compliant with launcher/store regulations, and not having to constantly worry about an extractive player segment.

Today we updated the Castle of Blackwater Whitepaper to reflect this new change in strategy. We hope many of you take the time to read it and provide us with feedback, so that we can continue to evolve and improve together with our community.

We’re confident that the changes we made will further improve Castle of Blackwater’s chances of becoming a mainstream success, and perhaps even serve as a case study on how web3 technologies can serve to improve the player experience, without corrupting it.

All the best,

Team Blackwater.