ICYMI: AMA with Robbie Ferguson (Summary)

7 min readNov 17, 2022

As part of our wrap-up of Superstonk Takeover week to celebrate the GameStop marketplace launch, we hosted an AMA with Immutable founder and President, Robbie Ferguson over on the ImmutableX subreddit!

Check out the full AMA here.

Here’s everything you missed:

How do you plan to make these games easily accessible for the general public? What tools/applications do I need to play ?

Great Q.

It should feel exactly like onboarding into any other game. The user experience must feel identical (especially for onboarding) to just playing an ordinary game. Wallets, NFTs, should all be abstracted under the hood. Users should have the option to take things into explicit self-custody. If you look at e.g. https://godsunchained.com/ — we don’t mention the word “NFT” once. The value should be inherent in the ability to trade and sell assets.

People often forget, though, that when you initialize most Web2 products (e.g. new phone, app store, registering a CC) there’s some friction. Web3 has new products and methods of payment which may require up-front onboarding costs, particularly for them to be self-custodial. Making sufficiently fun experiences so people are happy to get over this onboarding hump will valuable.

A few hits will catalyse 100 million+ player adoption

Gaming is hit driven. The biggest games have more players than the rest combined. The biggest catalyst for mainstream, accessible growth is going to be the first truly viral / mainstream games to emerge from Web3. I think we’ll see these launch over the next 12 months.

Hi Robbie, thanks for taking the time to interact with us. Is there any superstonk/Reddit common speculation or talking point(s) that you wish you could shut down right now?

Haha. Most of the conspiracy stuff is just that.

The reality is very simple, and has enormous upside. This is one of the largest new addressable markets ever invented.

GameStop is leveraging a few very valuable core assets:

- 50 million customers

- A new, well-resourced digital team for building a marketplace

- One of the world’s largest digital communities (enormously differentiating)

- A strong brand

to create the one-stop shop for gamers to trade assets.

It’s a clever play based on what’s available to them, and our job is to ensure we can have as much content, and as many genuinely fun games with sustainable economies as possible launch on this marketplace.

Do you like mayonnaise?

When applied sparingly.

My son is 14 and he’s been watching YouTube videos that scoffs at nfts. I have tried to educate him but I think that while anecdotal, it’s the current mood against nfts just now.

For games such as Kiraverse who has huge incumbent competition like Fortnite, how do you think they could attract them over to new web3 games and start all over again? What kind of marketing campaign is in line to reach the masse?

Thank you for the great work, I look forward to seeing some mobile games soon!

The answer to making people love web3 gaming is not shout “NFTs are good”. It’s having them play a game that gives leverages them under the hood, to mean that they can have a much better experience playing games.

Tokens and collective ownership are the world’s most powerful marketing initiative. Games like Illuvium can literally offer value that is insane compared to competitors: 100% of the game’s revenue goes to players and owners of the token.

The fundamental concept is: own a smaller share of a larger pie. Grow the game by allowing players to own most of the value from day 1, and giving them huge incentives to share and play.

There will be many tactical iterations on this — and we work closely with games on these — but that is one of primary concepts of why web3 marketing will be so powerful.

Hi Robbie, with all that’s going on at the moment with FTX and crypto and the awakening of “I don’t own my assets” for a lot of people, can you tell us the outlook for the ImmutableX and GameStop partnership?

So, a lot of this is stemming from a common meme in crypto: not your keys, not your crypto.

What this means is if you don’t hold the direct private keys for your tokens / NFTs (e.g. on your computer’s metamask, phone self-custodial wallet, GameStop Wallet, or ledger), you’re ultimately at the mercy of whoever does: a centralized exchange or hosted wallet.

We completely agree — and so does GameStop.

This is why we’ve always made the decision to operate as a completely self-custodial protocol. We could never steal user funds or assets even if we wanted to — which is essential. We literally could have gotten to market significantly earlier with inferior solutions for security, e.g. sidechains, but #1 for us is security and custody.

What is the point of digital ownership if it’s just a mirage, and doesn’t actually protect you / empower you financially?

GameStop launch has been extremely successful so far and we’re thrilled with the response. Best of all — none of the volume or traciton we’re building is correlated to the market.

Our job is to build games with tradable economies, which has no correlation to the price of Ethereum or speculative NFTs like PFPs. Gaming is counter-cyclical and I expect the largest game to do more volume than the rest of the speculative NFT market combined in 6 months from now.

Hey Robbie!

What can regular people/professionals do to help Immutable and companies like Immutable?

At a certain point money to invest in projects we believe in is all tied up — but what other types of actionable support can normal folks who don’t have engineering backgrounds do to help this future succeed?

One of our most powerful assets is our community. I can’t overstate how powerful this is for helping to share Immutable’s mission, and get more games and players building on us.

- Come join our Discord

- Play our games: https://www.immutable.com/onimx

- Share your views — tell games to come build on us, tell us how we can improve!

If you want to be one of our advocates send a message to https://www.reddit.com/user/Joubin_/!

Hey Robbie, if not to late can you explain cross rollup liquidity more?

Spoke on it in depth here! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=scIzP2CU788

Is Immutable/IMX ecosystem currently growing as you were previously expecting? Like in terms of trade volume, new games and their impact to ecosystem, number of users etc.

What I mean is that you probably had some idea where you want to be when the year started so is IMX following your “projected growth path” and if not what are the biggest obstacles currently?

Immutable’s progress has in net exceeded our expectations this year — and we had lofty goals.

The number of games we have been able to onboard onto the platform has been quite frankly insane. We’ve moved from effectively being ranked about 4th to 5th to be the #1 platform in terms of marketshare for winning new web3 games — with more won in the last quarter than the rest of the company’s lifetime combined.

At the same time, the biggest limitation on the growth of any company is the growth of the category. Web3 gaming as a category has grown significantly. More than $14B invested in the last 2 years alone.

It’s pretty obvious this is the most important new category to be created in the last decade — one that is returning value to users as owners rather than treating them as the lastest customer to be optimized.

The TX volume we’re processsing today is doing well (typically ranked #2 to #3), but really none of these games are live yet. We’ll see them go live over the next 3 months to 9 months — many this year, with Illuvium launching two games, IMVU porting all future assets over, Ember Sword etc.

The volume the entire NFT market is doing today will look peanuts compared to what games with 10 million + daily actives will be achieving. Most importantly, it will be completely decorrelated from speculative assets / crypto

How will you tap into the mobile gaming market when Google/Apple control in-game payments? Wouldn’t they consider buying/selling NFTs outside their stores as circumventing their fees?

There will be a lot of navigation and changing dynamics here. The way we stay at the forefront is by literally being at the coalface with our partners and customers by building a mobile game internally — Guild of Guardians.

My short take:

- People can pay the piper and use the app store for extra distribution.

- Play store will likely be friendlier

- there will be ongoing pressure and increased distribution via webgames and desktop games which can avoid these problems entirely

Apple’s latest policy updates provided clarity but were extremely heavy handed. It will be interesting to see if they can keep this up under significant pressure which will come over the next couple of years.

How far away are we from ps5 or Xbox console game integration with web3?

Could already be done — simple w/ Immutable, you just need APIs / ordinary backend.

I don’t think we’ll get wallets on console for a while (nor would you likely want to!).

I’m pretty savvy when it comes to tech, but honestly NFTs and setting up wallets and playing games to earn crypto, which may need to be converted into other crypto, etc. all seems like its too much. What would you say to someone like me that gets the concept, but honestly feels like there’s too many hoops to jump through to get anything out of NFT gaming?

Are there any plans to be a simple, “Come to this website, sign up with a little personal info, and you’re ready to jump into games to earn, or is it always gonna be a 10 step complicated process?

Agreed. Needs to be way simpler. Will happen over next year. Immutable will be building a lot of sane defaults for the games building on our platform.

Where is adoption needed most today, on the development side(web3 game devs) or the consumer side(web3 players) or elsewhere?

Consumer side — games are being built, they just need to come out and be played! Dev adoption has actually been remarkably high and consistent throughout bear.

Hey Robbie, you recently tweeted about the investment of ~$14B into web3 gaming and how many of those projects will be launching in the next 3–9 months. Can you expand on how that investment breaks down between different platforms/projects? Also, how confident are you in that timeline?

Pretty confident in timelines overall. not confident in any one particular game’s timeline — as you say, it’s like building movies. Delays should be the expectation. But when you average it out over an industry it becomes reliable as a trend.

Thank you to everyone who participated in the AMA, and Superstonk Takeover Week over on our subreddit!

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