Sakura Guild Games is one of the leading gaming communities with an enormous base of players who support the GameFi world, working across borders with a mission to lower the barriers for traditional gamers to enter the NFT gaming world, scaling up and enriching people’s lives through games.
PolkaFantasy’s thrilled to interview one of our strategic partners, Mr. Okawa from Sakura Guild Games, along with our advisor Mr. Okada. The group discussed the GameFi market trends and the aims of this partnership.
■ Background of launching the guild
Mr. Okawa: SAKURA GUILD GAMES was launched in Singapore in early fall of 2021. I believe that the Axie Scholarship program in 2021 and the inauguration of YGG* (Yield Guild Games) have had a significant impact on the GameFi market. The Guild creates an environment where anyone can easily enter the market, and we were able to bring in more new users who were interested in GameFi but did not know how to purchase NFTs or how to fully utilize tokens. We successfully expanded the market reach!
At the same time, there was a trend of launching excellent GameFi projects in Japan and Southeast Asia, including PolkaFantasy, and we saw the huge potential of this new Web3 world where game play and guild activities being tied to economic activities can also support gamers’ lives.
*YGG: A gaming guild that brings blockchain game players together such as “Axie Infinity”
Mr. Okada: The world is embracing rapid changes in the living environment, working styles, and lifestyles because of the pandemic. Society as a whole has redefined its definition of work. As a result, people have more options in working arrangements. The phenomenon is people these days work multiple jobs in parallel at their own pace. They do not just belong to one single company anymore.
On the other hand, looking at Asia, not all countries are affluent, and there are still many people struggling with life. One great feature of “GameFi” is that it has changed our perception of “games” is a form of “entertainment”. It could be an activity to support our lives. Can you tell us what sort of activities are actually being done by the Guild?
■ Guild Activities
Mr. Okawa: The first hurdle to enter GameFi is to obtain crypto assets and purchase game character and weapon NFTs.
Speaking of purchasing NFTs, people might not know whether they should purchase them, how long until their own lives will become stable, and not understanding how to use them. These are the hurdles many people face.
Therefore, we, the Guild, are willing to take on all risks in the initial stages, and we offer a “scholarship system” in which NFTs that we have purchased are loaned to Guild members free of charge. The business model is players get to enjoy playing games with peace of mind and share in the revenue generated by their plays.
SAKURA GUILD GAMES has a global community of 22,000 members in 18 different countries. The main focus will remain in the Philippines and Indonesia, two countries with a large number of users in the GameFi area. The Japanese community currently has 3,300 members. We are expecting the growth to reach 100,000 members in total, with the number of users in Japan to reach 40,000 members.
Mr. Okada: The term “scholarship system” may be unfamiliar to new joiners. Scholarship system is a world created for people to borrow NFTs and get rewarded for playing games. As a result, this creates a sustainable cycle which encourages gamers to stay active. That being the case, I think the demand for more gameplay and higher quality games will increase in the future. Can you tell us about PolkaFantasy’s goal in creating games?
■ Evolving Blockchain Game Content
Alex: Time seems to move particularly fast in the crypto industry! But the fact is that the GameFi market was born in less than two years. Last year, we saw the trend of reprinting of traditional yet success games with NFT integration, mainly targeting investors.
Now the user experience and the market has expanded and grown to a maturer level, I believe that more original games will be released in the future.
PolkaFantasy is dedicated to create new games that will break the conventional concept of blockchain games for gamers, investors, and the general public to enjoy.
In fact, if you make games for players who are entering the market for speculative purposes, it is difficult to expand at scale. Since it is a blockchain game, the element of earning is important, but we believe that the most important thing is that it is a game first and foremost. We plan to release our second and third game soon and hope to incorporate a wider range of genres to players joyful.
■ Moving from “Play-to-Earn” to “Play-and-Earn”
Mr. Okawa: Yes, that’s right. Last year, games with a strong “play-to-earn” element were popular, and games that could generate high revenue gained more market shares. On the other hand, it was different from the worldview that players could continue to play with an awareness of sustainability while having fun.
This year, there has been a transition from “Play-to-Earn” to “Play-and-Earn” enabling players to play while enjoying the world of Metaverse and Web3, and being more conscious of making it more economically stable in the market as a whole.
One of the reasons we chose PolkaFantasy as our partner is that they place great emphasis on developing content that users would enjoy the most. I respect Alex’s passion for games, the music from a gamer’s point of view, and his dedication to choosing the right voice actors. I feel that he is trying to recreate the parts of Japanese game titles that have impressed him.
That quality-first aspiration is what differentiates PolkaFantasy from other GameFi projects, and we want to introduce that to our community around the world and let them experience the world of PolkaFantasy.
■ GameFi world to be created through collaboration between the two companies in the future
Mr. Okada: Quality is an important part. This is a factor that also applies to game development and Guild management, and I believe it is a prerequisite to provide values that can be trusted by many people. Is there anything you two would like to develop in the future to provide higher quality products and content?
Mr. Okawa: Yes. In collaboration with PolkaFantasy, we would like to expand the world of GameFi, not only as a guild that provides NFT and operates it, but also by creating a hands-on relationship in which we can work together to realize issues while sharing our efforts, wisdom, and opinions on what kind of ecosystem would make a better world for both the Guild and the users.
Alex: One thing in particular that I have in mind is how we can make the NFT games fairer. NFT is an asset investment, so there is a part of the game where people with greater purchasing power are stronger. The number one challenge is to devise and incorporate gameplay into this area to strike balances. We would like to work together with the Guild members to create a new standard with their input.
Mr. Okawa: In addition, self-sustaining educational programs have been established at the Guild, such as with top players providing training to newcomers. Members at the top of P2P rankings are forming teams and teaching strategies through Discord when they return to their guild community.
In fact, we now have users from 18 countries interacting with each other on Discord, and we have established about 20 clan systems among our 10,000 users.
I see the potential of guild management in expanding the GameFi market together with players, with the existence of an autonomous educational system for each clan and active communication, and having each clan demonstrate their areas of expertise within this economic sphere.
*Clan: A group of like-minded people in an online game community, mainly in FPS games.
■ About Guild Title
Alex: Actually, we give titles to guilds we work with. SAKURA GUILD GAMES is the first guild we have partnered with, so we have been thinking of “Legendary Guild”. How does that sound?
Mr. Okawa: It is very GameFi-like, and we are very grateful for the name, which is very easy for users to understand. (Laughter)
Mr. Okada: It’s a fantastic title for a community of very like-minded people who are utilizing and teaching each other in their areas of expertise! I look forward to seeing how SAKURA GUILD GAMES and PolkaFantasy revolutionize the GameFi world!
Alex: Together we can become Legends in the GameFi world!
SAKURA GUILD GAMES
Mr. Hayato Okawa, CEO
Born in Asakusa, Tokyo in 1986.
He has been involved in the industry for 18 years, mainly in human resource related businesses. He has a proven track record of leading Corporate Venture Capital (CVC), new business development, BPO business, etc., utilizing his team building skills.
He launched the Blockchain Gaming Guild “SAKURA GUILD GAMES” project in Singapore in 2021 to contribute to the revitalization of the GameFi industry and the development of Web 3.0 and the Metaverse, aiming to create a world filled with more “smiles”.
Check the website & Discord for how to participate in SAKUR GUILD GAMES
Discord : https://discord.com/invite/MknqCnCh5V
PolkaFantasy Strategic Advisor
Mr. Daishiro Okada
After joining the Industrial Bank of Japan (now Mizuho Bank, Ltd.) and working in London and other locations, he joined Deutsche Bank Group as Director, Head of Taxes, where he was responsible for overseeing international tax affairs. He joined Square Enix in 2005 and served as President (COO) of Square Enix, Inc. in the U.S. until 2007. He then founded HLDLab Inc. Concurrently, he also serves as a board member of the Japan Life Shift Association and vice-chairman of the Facility and Office Services Consortium (FOSC).
PolkaFantasy CEO Alex Hui
He is a Director/COO specializing in business development using blockchain, and has successfully developed numerous projects in the past, including applications that have won two global awards. He also has extensive knowledge of game system development from his experience working for a prestigious game company that developed a globally popular series. With its expertise in blockchain, track record in business development, and know-how in game development, the company aims to develop and popularize next-generation innovative blockchain game services that will enthrall not only virtual currency fans, but also fans of Japanese two-dimensional culture and game users.
PolkaFantasy is the world’s first Japanese ACG-dedicated blockchain ecosystem, with its unique NFT marketplace, NFT wallet and multiverse games.
We bring only the top-notched artwork to PolkaFantasy NFT Marketplace where Japanese artists and creators can connect with supporters. We deliver the best immersive experience to users that they can discover, trade, and interact with any digital collectibles and game assets.
Within the holistic ecosystem, PolkaFantasy is a metaverse with mystical GameFi and play-to-earn mechanisms. We created a never-before-seen land system where lands can be used across the magical realms of PolkaFantasy. With further gaming details, PolkaFantasy is going to change the current dynamics of GameFi and bring forth a new future to the world of blockchain.
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