Friend Tech & Games
We’ve recently joined Friend Tech and wanted to shed some light on the opportunity we see for Friend Tech in the Web3 Gaming industry
In short: What is Friend Tech?
Friend Tech is a new platform on Base Chain that lets users buy ‘Keys’ in their favorite X (formerly Twitter) accounts, such as influencers, streamers, celebrities, athletes, and more. Upon buying the key, the user gets access to a small chatroom together with the influencer and the other key holders.
Additionally, it is used for speculation. Every time a user buys a key, the next key becomes more expensive, and every time someone sells a key, the next key becomes cheaper. If you believe an account will see more buyers than sellers in the future, you can profit from buying them.
Interoperability in Web3 games
One of the big positives that comes with Web3 games, is the promise of interoperability. Users have an on-chain profile consisting of NFTs and tokens they own, products they have interacted with, and other forms of achievements. There are quite some games, including our own, that include NFT collections and characters from other games as playable characters in their game.
The problem up to now
With all the projects we have integrated, the unlock requirement has been fairly simple. If you hold an NFT or a sufficient fungible token balance of an integrated project, you qualify as their community member and get to play as their character.
Individuals are another key element to achieving real interoperability though. Not only do you have project community members playing against another, but also fans of individual people, that identify as a fan more than anything else.
The problem with this is that most individuals do not have a tangible way to prove on-chain ownership. Apart from a few celebrities and influencers who launched their own NFT collections, most do not have any on-chain products. How can we then integrate these people, if there is no way to credit their items to any specific users?
One way to do it is outright putting them for sale for every single user. According to an article by Forbes, Travis Scott’s character skin in Fortnite generated as much revenue as their entire NFL set, which is reported to have generated $50 million. The problem with this though, is that the element of representation and exclusivity is gone. Both one of Travis Scott’s most die-hard fans as well as someone who doesn’t know Travis Scott but just thought the character looked cool could be seen playing as the character in-game.
Friend Tech as a base layer
Viewing Friend Tech in its most simple form, it’s just a social app to come in closer contact with large Twitter accounts. But it can be much more than that. Because Key ownership data can be pulled on-chain from Friend Tech’s smart contract, we now have a way to verify the ownership of individual people.
This means other projects can use this data to build new products or features. Limited edition Merch sales with access gated to Key Holders, real-life event access for Key Holders, iOS or Telegram sticker packages exclusive to Key Holders, the list goes on.
But going back to our own industry, games, we now have a way to take interoperability even further. Just like NFT collections and token projects, we can now add celebrity or influencer characters with exclusive access for Key Holders. One might identify most as a Milady, and choose to play as one in-game. But now another might feel most part of Che’s Goblin tribe, and by being Che’s Key Holder they get access to the Goblin hat. Heck, we might even see some people who can’t choose and wear their Goblin hat on top of a Milady. This will cause a lot of fun interactions in the game as friendships and rivalries become based on what communities people are part of.
Of course, we’re just an indie game that gets to take things to the extremes in this way, but larger games can also build on this principle. Fortnite probably does not want to miss their next $50 million cash cow, but a game like that could in theory give Key Holders a special variant of the same celebrity skin. That way they get to sell it to the public while still making real fans feel appreciated.
It’s not all sunshine and rainbows with Friend Tech yet though, and we are by no means shilling it. We are excited about the possibilities coming from this, but Friend Tech has a long way to go if it wants to reach this potential.
For it to act as a true base layer, it needs to be able to serve many different people. With its current (speculative) bonding curve pricing model that tends to increase quite sharply, it will quickly price out fans who are less well off financially. Because of this, it will in most cases not be the most loyal or passionate fans that hold these keys, but instead the richest ones. If Friend Tech wants to get true adoption as a base layer for influencer-gated retail products, it will need to facilitate towards the common person.
This lower price point and lower barrier to entry might put their current product at risk. The whole point of the exclusive chat rooms would go to waste if it became too cluttered and spammy in there.
We believe there will be some product that will figure it out and make this a thing though, whether that is Friend Tech or something else.
Stumble upon Rumble’s Friend Tech
We are now working to start integrating a bunch of larger X/Friend Tech accounts as playable characters in the game. The utility of these are stored in the influencer’s own Friend Tech keys, unrelated to our own. That way it’s only their true supporters that get to play as them, not ours.
But then what is the purpose of our own Friend Tech page?
We tend to view our Key Holders as early stakeholders in our project. We plan to give them first access to our releases, including our own fungible token. Additionally, our Key Holders get to stay in close contact with us during our final development stages and are invited to give input.
We plan to expand the features as we progress. Exclusive tournament with prizes for Key Holders, exclusive or first access to in-game cosmetics, and more.
Of course, the extent to which we reward our Key Holders and integrate FT is also tied to the interest and activity we see on the platform.
We look forward to seeing things progress with Friend Tech and will continue to be leading the move for Friend Tech’s adoption in gaming.