Speaker profile: Alexander Casassovici, Azarus
Find out more about one of the speakers appearing at Blockchain Gamer Connects San Francisco
Alexander Casassovici, co-founder at Azarus, is one of 40 world-class blockchain gaming speakers appearing at Blockchain Gamer Connects San Francisco on May 14-15.
To hear him speak in person, book your ticket now!
Alexander Casassovici is the co-founder of Azarus, a platform for tokenized & distributed video games tournaments & betting and founding partner of Bitflare Technologies, a blockchain-focused consulting firm specializing in blockchain architecture & token design.
Casassovici moved to San Francisco from Paris, France. He is passionate about using both his tech and marketing abilities to champion fun and innovative products. He is a regular international speaker on the subject.
When he’s not working, you can find him trail running on Mt. Tamalpais, leading the local elementary school’s engineering club, scuba diving in kelp forests, or completing quests and solving puzzles on the big screen.
BlockchainGamer.biz: What do you do?
Alexander Casassovici: I’ve been involved in the gaming world since 2007 and I’m now a blockchain architect. I launched a blockchain consulting firm, BitFlare, helping ICOs design their token economy applying game design principles as well as helping corporates build prototypes on the blockchain. BitFlare is now a team of 10 engineers paired with Propulsive for a 360 ICO solution.
Lately, I went down the rabbit hole myself and assembled a team to launch a new venture, Azarus, building a platform and protocol for tokenized and distributed video games tournaments and betting. We’ll go ICO in June.
What makes you most excited for blockchain gaming?
There are so many things that excite me it’s really hard to summarize them. For starters, gaming is the OG industry for digital items. Putting data on the blockchain is one of the hardest problems on Earth – well, not for games since the items are natively digital!
Moreover, those items already have a value – we all remember Planet Calypso selling for a whopping $6 million in 2011. The blockchain allows users to finally own their items, see how rare they are, and maybe even trade them… or collect them and use them across games.
So many new gameplay ideas are popping up around those concepts looking at new gameplay opportunities. I have no doubt that one of the hundred indies currently building games on the blockchain will become to blockchain what Supercell is to mobile gaming.
What are your thoughts on the way the sector has grown in the last 12 months?
CryptoKitties broke the Ethereum network. I still remember how I was trying to publish a smart contract for a customer and my scripts were timing out one after another because the kitties were taking over. While they were not the first company building on the chain, this certainly came as a wake up call to many! Kitties were copied in China and even were used as basis for new third-party games. I’ve seen projects trying to ICO their game.
Beyond the gaming itself, I’ve seen countless new projects pop up – GDC2018 had half a dozen exhibitors selling item marketplace solutions on the chain. I’ve seen interesting gamer coaching projects – and, while this seemed like a fairly forgotten space despite its giant size, esports and betting-related such as Azarus.
The space is hyperactive, in a good way. The biggest VCs such as Andreesseen, USV, First Round, and SV Angels are invested in the space. It’s a gold rush and my take is that if there’s one valid use case for blockchain beyond the asset transfer, it’ll happen in the gaming industry!
What major trends do you predict for blockchain gaming in the next 12 months?
The first obvious one is that games will be testing the blockchain limit over and over again. The scale of any triple-A game is a challenge for the current state of the technology. I do believe that just like it did for the hardware, games will pull the space to new levels of speed and scalability while dropping the transaction fees.
- I predict that crossover games will become the new norm, with collectible assets that you can reuse across games.
- I predict that indie games will embrace open marketplaces, while triple-As will reject it (more to this in my talk).
- I hope more games find a way to get funding by going IIO (Initial Item Offering) and taking advantage of their IP to fund their development.
Which part of Blockchain Gamer Connects San Francisco are you most looking forward to?
Beyond sharing my excitement about how games will be changed by the blockchain and how anyone can find the secret sauce that will become the gold standard in that space, I really love the game demos and talking to the indies showing off their work.
One of the things I love most about this industry is how it blends cutting edge tech to support creativity as a form of expression. Every game has its backstory; I love learning about them!
About Blockchain Gamer Connects San Francisco
More than 400 blockchain gaming delegates will gather at the Bespoke venue on May 14-15 for Blockchain Gamer Connects San Francisco. Over the two days of the event, there will be 40 expert speakers addressing the key issues for the blockchain gaming industry, from global trends and new tech to tips, tricks and strategies. Tickets are selling fast, so don’t miss out – get yours now!