An Interview With Iskra’s Founder

Eugene Lee, founder and CEO of Iskra

Here’s the scoop: Crypto gaming is the future of video games. And Iskra is at the tip of the spear that will be shaping that future. Players, game developers and investors will all be sitting on the same side of the table for the first time in the industry, thanks to the Iskra gaming community platform. Every user has a real stake in Iskra’s success. Every user gets a cut of the revenue. Every user wins.

This warp-speed jump forward in the evolution of entertainment is the course plotted by Eugene Lee, founder and CEO of Iskra. With Eugene at the helm of Iskra, gaming on blockchain is going to enter the rarified air of breakthroughs that actually live up to their hype. We got a chance to sit down with him and get his take on crypto gaming, Iskra, and even his own video game preferences.

Eugene’s answers are below each of our questions, printed in bold.

Let’s start with the big picture. What’s your vision for the future of gaming?

Over half of the world’s population depends on online payment, but only those with tangible objects offline are subject to it. With the emergence of NFTs, I believe there will be more online payments made for strictly digital native contents, which will be used, owned, and traded in the virtual space via online payments and NFTs. I expect advertising, along with finance and commerce, will focus on online entertainment.

Entertainment in the metaverse will evolve, starting with the games that best serve the digital native contents of the real world. I’m certain the games that get developed will be the ones that let people earn money while having fun, not those that merely generate profits by applying cryptocurrencies. The concept of ‘Play and Earn,’ backed by the blockchain ecosystem, is the next-gen gaming sector that will grow enormously through active participation by many people.

Fascinating stuff! Why do you think gamers should be excited about it?

Gamers will love Play and Earn because fun still matters the most when it comes to owning, using and trading digital native contents

How about developers and investors?

Generally speaking, App Store or Google Play ask for 30% of a game’s sales as its platform fee — 30–50% of the remainder goes to the publisher, so developers get less than 50% of the overall sales.

At Iskra, we’re committed to creating a platform where we can use a blockchain ecosystem to transparently share all profits with all participants, including developers and investors.

Developers will pay 20% max as a platform fee, but if they share the profit from participating in our ecosystem, they get to offer their games to gamers for almost 0% platform charge. This will create a virtuous cycle where developers are encouraged to make better games.

Sounds like Iskra is going to shake up the game industry in a good way. What inspired you to found the company?

We’re living in the era of platforms where companies like Google, Facebook and Apple monopolize information and profits without allowing users or other information producers to benefit along the way. At Iskra, we believe blockchain allows us to transparently measure the contribution of platform participants and share profits accordingly. Users, information producers, and even Iskra are all considered stakeholders on our platform, which forms a strong community and ensures fair distribution of contribution.

This isn’t the first major cryptocurrency project you’ve championed. What makes Iskra different?

Iskra stands out from other projects because it has successfully created a token economy where the platform returns fees the users have paid according to the community level they’ve acquired by possessing assets.

If you wanted to get a player excited about becoming a stakeholder in Iskra’s vibrant community, what would you say to them?

Iskra as a platform and blockchain games in general are devoted to decentralizing governance. That means we’ll share authority as we develop the platform and games with all the stakeholders together. You get to be part of whatever game you like and have your voice heard on how you think the platform should evolve. At the same time, you can reap the rewards from the growth of Iskra and games with other participants.

It sounds like Tokenomics will be a foundational part of Iskra. Could you explain how that factors into the Iskra community?

The token economy, consisting of tokens and Pioneer NFTs, is a crucial part of Iskra. We consider the Iskra platform as a nation of gamers, investors, game studios and Team Iskra.

ISK Token is the key currency used in the nation, which can be used to acquire community points through staking.

Pioneer NFTs are the land that composes the nation, which represents the initial authority to operate infrastructure, like a server or network in the blockchain. Just possessing Pioneer NFTs gets you community points.

The game studios are the nation’s companies creating digital native contents. The platform fees that these studios and community members pay are like taxes that are distributed back to the nation’s citizens, A.K.A. Iskra’s community.

Team Iskra serves as a public organization like a police or fire station that supports the nation to function seamlessly!

The part about redistributing cash to the community sounds pretty amazing. How do you decide who gets what?

Community rank determines how we redistribute profits. It’s calculated every six months based on two factors.

The first is a member’s economic contribution to the ecosystem. The top 1,000 members with the highest contribution are Diamond tier. The next 4,000 members are Gold tier, and so on.

The second factor is a member’s participation in the community. Those spending more time in the community with higher contribution will receive community boosting tickets, resulting in a higher community level.

Iskra wants to focus less on “Play to Earn” and more on “Play AND Earn.” What’s the difference?

Play to Earn is closer to decentralized finance with a mere graphic user interface, rather than fun gamability. Its main focus is earning, not entertainment. Plus, it requires a hefty initial investment.

Play and Earn is more focused on the fun aspect of games. With minimum cost, you get to have a glimpse of the ecosystem and investment comes afterwards via participation. As you truly enjoy the game, the earning follows naturally.

That makes perfect sense! So, will Iskra as a platform gravitate towards certain genres of games?

We won’t limit ourselves in terms of game genres. You can count on seeing MMORPGs, battle royales, casual puzzle games, and social casino games light enough for anyone to easily access. We’ll try to give all genres a shot!

One thing we’ll consider the most is how well the element of ‘earn’ is infused in the game along with a ‘fun’ factor and token economy. We’re looking to create a synergetic virtuous cycle by focusing on Play and Earn games made by teams of game experts.

And I can firmly say that as the game industry has advanced over the last decades, no one can make better games than those who have been making them for such a long time. We aim to launch games with a well-structured token economy as we partner with top-notch game studios that have established track records in different genres.

Alright, enough shop talk. Let’s talk about you a bit. What’s your favorite video game of all time?

It’s hard to pick just one, but what I still love the most is the Civilization and Football Manager series. I also love Command and Conquer, Starcraft, Warcraft, Diablo, Lost Memories, Romance of the Three Kingdoms, XCOM, Out of Ballpark, FIFA, Clash Royale, Cookie Run Kingdom, Garden Space, Let’s Make a Pro Baseball Team, and Let’s Make a Soccer Team. The list goes on and on.

What was the first console you ever got growing up?

Sony Playstation 2 and PSP, but I also got to play Super Nintendo, Playstation, and Sega Saturn at my friends’ places.

Are you more of a controller guy or a keyboard & mouse guy?

It’s totally half and half. I don’t have a preference, so it just depends on the game. I’m so busy these days that I’m more likely to squeeze in quick gaming sessions on my phone!

Is there a game coming out sometime this year that you’re excited to get your hands on?

Civilization VII. Old habits die hard.

What game do you think you’ve logged the most playtime on?

The Civilization series overall probably takes the cake, but as far as a single game goes, that would be Starcraft. I once ranked in the top 100 ladder of Starcraft and my guild was featured in a gaming magazine. My friends and I dubbed ourselves the ‘13th Guild’ after the name of our dorm building in college where we would play.

When you’re not blazing a trail for the future of gaming and Web3, how do you like to spend your time?

If I had the spare time, I would spend it with my family to recharge. I’d also like to indulge more in comic books, movies, golf, or traveling. But as you can probably tell, my heart beats faster for my desire to contribute to this world changed by games and Web3. Leisure can wait.

End of interview.

You can learn more about Iskra and see how to get involved by checking out our “What Is Iskra?” blog post!

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