Gabriel Meredith on the expansion of Merfolk Games beyond blockchain
As the year draws to an end, we’re asking some of the key members of the blockchain gaming sector what they thought about what happened in 2023, and what they expect in 2024. You can check out all our interviews in this series here.
What was the most significant news of 2023?
The most significant news was the meeting between Xi Jinping and Joe Biden. The instability of global markets and supply chains caused by covid and further damaged by poor relations between the world’s two most powerful countries has made life difficult for many, many people in basically any industry. For us specifically, simple things like flights between Shanghai and San Francisco costing $4000, difficulties with visa processing, and a rise in general racism and stereotyping on both sides, all make life difficult for Merfolk Games.
How did the focus of your business change this year?
This year I made an executive decision to diversify our games, so as to build a healthy portfolio of games with a variety of genres, not just purely blockchain-based games.
The difficulties of blockchain development, the nascency of the technology, and the small community of players who are interested; these factors make it financially unfeasible to make Merfolk Games a pure blockchain studio. This year we actively expanded our scope to include traditional mobile puzzle games, idle games, and even the start of a PC/console RPG we hope to release next year!
Of course, that doesn’t mean the end of our blockchain side. We recently hired a community manager to continue engaging with our loyal CryptoCrusades fans, and we’re going to be running live events for years to come with her help. People are still buying NFTs in-game, so it’s still an exciting space to be in.
What do you predict will be the most important trends in 2024?
I think in 2024, the increasingly saturated mobile gaming market will continue to be less lucrative than it used to be, and PC games on platforms like Steam will continue to be a new frontier for mobile game studios, especially ones from China.
We’ll continue to see more popular Chinese games like Genshin Impact explode in popularity globally, and we will also see more buyouts by Chinese game studios like Tencent and NetEase of successful international video game studios.
What was your favourite blockchain game of the year?
CryptoCrusades, of course! I know it’s a bit cringy to nominate my own studio’s game as my favorite blockchain game of the year, but it really is.
Our artists, unity developers, and blockchain engineers put so much work into one stunning project, and it really shows. In my perspective it’s the perfect combination of NFT collection and exciting gameplay on a fully on-chain system.
What’s your New Year’s resolution and what resolution would you enforce on the industry?
My New Year’s Resolution is to focus on polish, and to reap the rewards. We started many projects this year, and while they’re all 90% there, I want to get to that 100% “Damn, that’s a good, polished game!” level. We have some really cool projects lined up, and we’re getting closer and closer to breaking through to a much wider audience with our solid experience and hard work.
As for enforcing a resolution on the rest of the industry, I think I would push a similar resolution! I want other studios to raise their own bar on quality. I want us to have stunning games, exciting gameplay, and an audience obsessed with our work for reasons other than a belief that they can get rich quick.