What is this episode all about?
1. Games in Web3: how is WAX (now Tyranno Studios) different, why is retention so high in these games, why is onboarding so important and more.
2. The importance of mixing qualitative and quantitative analytics for creating the optimal user experience.
Minute 8:00 – “You have to blend the art of instinct and creativity with the science of empirical evidence and analytics and cohort analysis and once you have those two things, working in concert with one another, you can deliver an unbelievably well performing product that you know, has your audience in mind.”
3. How does player feedback influence the games at WAX (now Tyranno Studios).
Minute 12:00 – “What we’ve done at WAX is we’ve taken kind of five or six different really prominent gaming genres, and we’ve applied that thinking of ownership to those things and we’re bringing it to the masses, and we’re bringing it out, not when it’s completely done, but when it’s close to being done. So, again, we can get that signal from the audience. Do you like this? Do you not like that, you know, where do you what resonates with you, and what does and we’ve kind of live operating to coming out with a full game that really performs unbelievably well relative to their behaviors.”
4. The top player insights that bring Michael’s team the biggest impact (hint: it’s not retention).
Minute 17:30 – “I think is really important to keep in mind is player onboarding. So, if you look at Web3 gaming, it’s filled with a ton of friction […]. It’s just friction everywhere you look and so one of the things that we measure really, really closely is what does our conversion funnel looks like.”
5. WAX’s mission: player ownership of assets.
Minute 32:30 – ” So, the vision of WAX and the mission of WAX is to help subsidize at a minimum subsidize that players spend and if you subsidize that player spending, you remove that stigma of I can’t quit. Now, I don’t own anything. I’m committed. This is really powerful thing and we’re gonna go from, you know, 3 billion gamers to three and a half to four to five fairly quickly, because now more people are going to come in, it’s like, oh, I feel comfortable spending, because I know that I have a means to let go of these assets to other people who want them.”
Minute 00:05 – Natalie, Podcast Host
We know how much you love talking about player feedback and we do too. What’s up everybody? This is Let’s Talk Customer Feedback and I’m your host, Natalie. Thanks for listening and thanks for telling their insights preference about this is season three. So, let’s get right into it. The gaming industry expects another booming year in both excitement and sales. But with the launch of many new games comes the realization that the market becomes even more crowded, and the bar is raised yet again in all aspects, including games complexity levels, design, story, and character features. So, can leveraging player feedback help with this? Let’s find out with today’s special guests. How to leverage player feedback to develop the ultimate user experience in games? Welcome to the today’s podcast. Let’s talk customer feedback. Today we have the pleasure of hosting Michael Rubinelli, Chief Gaming Officer, WAX studios, Worldwide Asset eXchange, (now Tyranno Studios). First, let’s say hi to Michael, how are you doing today?
Minute 01:17 – Michael Rubinelli, Chief Gaming Officer at WAX (now Tyranno Studios)
Well, thank you for having me. How are you?
Minute 01:20 – Natalie, Podcast Host
I’m very good. We’re super excited to have you here. So, before we dive into that clear insights and other questions, let’s hear about you. Can you tell us how you got into the industry and where you’re at today?
Minute 01:32 – Michael Rubinelli, Chief Gaming Officer at WAX (now Tyranno Studios)
How I got into industry? Well, I got into the industry a little bit ago, I’m not a spring chicken necessarily, but started my career in Electronic Arts. It’s kind of ironically in the marketing track, but realized fairly quickly, that making games was what I wanted to do and so I followed my heart followed by passion and joined a product development group that made a bunch of really popular sports games and from there kind of my career took off and I’ve been really lucky to work on great games for a long time. Probably a lot of games that your audience has heard of, at a lot of companies you’re hopefully your audience likes and that’s how I came up through the ranks and brought me to WAX today.
Minute 02:12 – Natalie, Podcast Host
And well, that’s amazing that you understood you wanted to do the game designing our EA the perfect place, right?
Minute 02:21 – Michael Rubinelli, Chief Gaming Officer at WAX (now Tyranno Studios)
I always say EA is a great place to start your career or interfere, build your career not so much but if you want to start your career, EA is a wonderful place to be.
Minute 02:30 – Natalie, Podcast Host
That’s awesome. So, it was the right place at the right time.
Minute 02:33 – Michael Rubinelli, Chief Gaming Officer at WAX (now Tyranno Studios)
It really was.
Minute 02:35 – Natalie, Podcast Host
So, before we started the questions, I would just like to tell a short story to the public.
[Inaudible 02:52]. In 2014. Warner Brothers was about to release Shadow of Mordor. Funny thing is that players discovered that the company requested all YouTube influencers. Yeah, you heard that right. All YouTube influencers wanted prerelease codes would have to provide positive sponsored content for the game. What? Yes, you heard that right. I’ll give you a code. You give me positive UGC. One of us wanted to be in full control over what material was published and what was not. No, no no. It’s safe to say that once this newsletter well like we like to say here in Affogata, feedback keep the fan. People were less than happy about this unethical and restricted business practices and against sentiment decreased enormously. See you next time with another short episode of Tales from the Feedback group.
Minute 04:07 – Natalie, Podcast Host
So, with that in mind, I can’t wait to hear what Michael has to say. So, let’s start with the questions. So, can you introduce us now a bit so the role in the company now and what do you do as a chief gaming officer?
Minute 04:20 – Michael Rubinelli, Chief Gaming Officer at WAX (now Tyranno Studios)
Yeah, look, it’s really kind of an interesting space, the web three gaming space and what’s really interesting is the importance of analytics and telemetry, what we call business intelligence – BI, in the gaming space, in terms of informing your decisions and there’s always been forms of kind of metric based or empirical evidence on whether a game is successful or not even you go back to retail, the early metrics of, you know, kind of how many did you pre sell a version of something, right? It was an indication of how well your marketing was working and so there’s a always been kind of analytical kind of evidence to suggest that things are working or not. But with the advent of, you know, business intelligence, it really became kind of the forefront of how do you live operate a game and it really opened up people’s eyes on a production standpoint, from a marketing, from a sales, all these things. So, there’s a real heavy reliance on analytics to understand what is the sentiment of your product relative to your audience and I think sometimes it swings too far the other way, people are completely reliant on analytics, and it paralyzes them, because there’s so many numbers to consume. But if you know how to look at the data, if you know how to parse it, and you have proper AB test setup, and you understand cohort analysis, so that you can actually get to an optimal point of performance much sooner rather than later and what’s really, really exciting about all that, it’s actually encouraged you to take chances, right, encourage you to do things that you like, I don’t know if this will work or not. But let’s see, like opposed to this has to be perfect, it has to look great, it has to sound great, it has to play great and then putting something out there, you spend a lot of time and a lot of money producing content that may or may not be optimal for your audience. So, it’s really, it’s a liberating thing, but you have to know how to use it correctly.
Minute 06:09 – Natalie, Podcast Host
Definitely and I think that’s great that you mentioned that, and I think that what it’s important, I think they will gonna talk about this later on in the podcast is also to find the right balance between the quantitative, the metrics, but also the qualitative and what players are saying, right? So, I think, yeah, that’s actually super relevant as to what we’re talking about right now.
Minute 06:31 – Michael Rubinelli, Chief Gaming Officer at WAX (now Tyranno Studios)
Yeah, you know, I was gonna add, you know, it’s really interesting that, you know, content creators, right, whether you’re a movie director, or you’re a game producer, or a game designer, or a chief gaming officer, chief creative officer, like you have a singular opinion, right, and you have a point of view, and you have your instincts, but you’re putting out a product to you know, 10,000 people, 50,000 people or even a million people. There’s no understanding that your ideas are the best, right, or your tastes or other people’s tastes and so you actually don’t know and to assume that you have the best kind of, you know, set of features or paradigm for people to consume is naive, and maybe a little bit hubris and so like I said before, it’s great to put something out and get a signal and understand how your audience operates and my own personal story in that regard, is, you know, again, I worked at EA or midway, I worked at Capcom, I worked a lot of very kind of blue, if you will, male oriented games actually are, you know, doing things involve a lot of violence or a lot of sports and so I got to a company in 2010. I joined a company in 2010, go play them and play a mate and I showed up and played in my first day work, I was really excited to use 400 people in my org, and I was like, let’s go, let’s build some great content that like, right, we built games for women over 40 in the Midwest. I’m like, what?
Minute 07:49 – Natalie, Podcast Host
I have no experience for this.
Minute 07:53 – Michael Rubinelli, Chief Gaming Officer at WAX (now Tyranno Studios)
My whole career had been building things that I love to play, right? So, I always had that, oh, I’ve got my finger on the pulse. I know what the audience wants, because it’s what I wanted and now we’re going to this whole new, a whole new audience, a different cohort, a different mentality, a different session, like all these things that I hadn’t had experience with. But you learned really quickly that, again, you can build something that you know, they like or you get a signal that they like, and then you look at that signal, and you interrogate it continually and you’re like, oh, they do this, this off and this is what drives them forward. This is what holds them back. This is what causes them to leave this what causes them to spend, this is what causes them to be viral. Like all these wonderful things. It’s so liberating and so again, if you want mass adoption, it really doesn’t matter what your personal beliefs are, you know? You have to blend the art of instinct and creativity with the science of empirical evidence and analytics and cohort analysis and once you have those two things, working in concert with one another, you can deliver an unbelievably well performing product that you know, has your audience in mind.
Minute 08:49 – Natalie, Podcast Host
Definitely and as you say, with all this in mind, you can really reach any audience even though you are not connected at the beginning with. It’s actually great. Yeah, and Michael, we understand you oversee the development of all internal and external blockchain and playing on games at WAX gaming portfolio. Can you tell us more about this and how player feedback influences your decisions?
Minute 09:14 – Michael Rubinelli, Chief Gaming Officer at WAX (now Tyranno Studios)
You know, what’s really interesting is that we’re really in an emergent space is what through gaming space, and there’s this really large kind of powerful movement that it’s sweeping, you know, these corners of the interactive world, and it’s all around asset ownership and if you want to look for a parallel or a paradigm that you can kind of map back to or draw from that I think is really relevant kind of one to one is the free to play space and so in 2009, 2010, you know, free to play was just something that people whisper just like oh, you know, NFTs and you know what, three gaming and play to own and like the really kind of aggressive, I think smart kind of visionary type people in the world see it the way that we do, but if you go back to 2009, 2010, again, history is really consistent on kind of these platform transitions and who resists. Not a lot of people believe in free to play. They said this is a terrible idea.
You know, Facebook games aren’t real games like we hear these. NFT games aren’t real games. Facebook games aren’t real games, you know, free to play mobile isn’t, you know, cartridge based or isn’t console bases and displays like, you know, PlayStation and or then the Nintendo Wii and you know, the Xbox, Xbox 360 back like, there’s like very dismissive right of free to, frankly, just like today’s traditional publishers very dismissive of web three gaming and so we see these similar parallels, but we can map too. We know that the winners in the web three gaming space are going to be the people who are native and web three, like WAX and other companies like us. But the thing that’s really interesting to me, the thing that’s really powerful, the things that I think that resonates with a player is I bought something, it’s mine. I bought something, I want to sell it, I want to trade it, I want to keep it, I want to give it away, like you now have free will to do that. In traditional gaming, you can’t do that still. It’s very much this walled garden and the big publishers and big developers will say, yeah, go ahead, sell your account, we’re gonna ban you go ahead and just try to sell this item on eBay, we’re going to find you and we’re gonna blacklist you like there’s all these very draconian things that they have inside of their walled garden because they fear this change that is coming. They don’t know how to monetize it, they think it’s going to cost them money that feels like it’s taking control away from them with their audience. When in reality, players actually want to own everything that they buy and of course they do and so, you know, the things that we do, again, I know, you asked a great question, I’m going to get to it eventually, I promise.
Minute 11:37 – Natalie, Podcast Host
No worries. This is also interesting.
Minute 11:41 – Michael Rubinelli, Chief Gaming Officer at WAX (now Tyranno Studios)
If you believe that players want to own everything that they buy, then the goal for the developer and companies like ours is to figure out what are those experiences now that you own something? How does that map to what that interactive core loop is? Those progression loops are like, how do you take this whole mentality of ownership and you know, complete control over your assets? And now, how do you build that into a game that is sensitive to that and recognizes that, you know, it’s really kind of powerful thing, it combined the idea of ownership with what does that mean for gameplay? So, when you say kind of what games you build, and how do you see the world? I first start with the notion of, okay, now that as a player, I can everything what kind of game? Do I want to play? Do I want to own a car in recent game? Do I want to own, you know, football team in a football game? Do I want to own an axe in an RPG game? You know, and when I craft, trade, and sell, like, how are those things mapped to what these player experiences are? And then how do we optimize around that and so the thing that we’ve done at WAX is we’ve taken kind of five or six different really prominent gaming genres, and we’ve applied that thinking of ownership to those things and we’re bringing it to the masses, and we’re bringing it out, not when it’s completely done, but when it’s close to being done. So, again, we can get that signal from the audience. Do you like this? Do you not like that, you know, where do you what resonates with you, and what does and we’ve kind of live operating to coming out with a full game that really performs unbelievably well relative to their behaviors.
Minute 13:02 – Natalie, Podcast Host
That’s actually great because that’s like many sprints, right? You just get feedback and get feedback and just optimize it and that way, it’s a win win for both yourself, and also players. Where do you gather these feedbacks from?
Minute 13:17 – Michael Rubinelli, Chief Gaming Officer at WAX (now Tyranno Studios)
Well, we get all kinds of feedback. So, we have, as you can imagine, we have a lot of, you know, logging events, or tagging inside of the game itself and but what you have to do is you have to know what you’re looking for and so the knee jerk reaction, the typical response from kind of newer or not very experienced developers is like, oh, let’s put, you know, tags on every single thing. Let’s collect every single piece of data, let’s do everything. So, every single click is mapped to, you know, 10 different things, right? And really, that kind of boil-the-ocean mentality is actually not very healthy. It can actually paralyze you to a certain extent because you have so much data, right? You get so many people in, and if every single click that they do is attributed to something. Then you’re spent all this time kind of analyzing what does it all mean, and you can get really lost you can you know, there’s this thing, right? You can’t see the forest for the trees and so what we say is we take a point of view, okay, here’s, you know, let’s call it, you know, 6 to 10 things we want to understand tied to retention, engagement, virality, monetization, LTV, and what are the things that ladder up to what those signals are, right? Because that’s really the most important thing, can you get people in? Can you keep them in? And then can you get them to monetize because it helps run your business?
Minute 14:30 – Natalie, Podcast Host
I really agree and at the end of the day, obviously, you need to understand what our players gonna like and what players are gonna decide to reduce churn to increase game economy and all of these important metrics. So, definitely, and what are the top three player insights that bring your team that make the biggest impact?
Minute 14:54 – Michael Rubinelli, Chief Gaming Officer at WAX (now Tyranno Studios)
Yeah, it’s a really good question. You know, it varies from game to game. I think the thing that it’s really kind of unusual maybe even counterintuitive. But we actually don’t care about retention because what we have found and what you always find you if this was true in the free to play space, it’s true in the web three gaming space is that when players have invested money in buying something, the likelihood that they will stick around is very high, right? Like, oh, I put money in, I’m gonna stay opposed to free to play. I haven’t put anything in, you know, retention, you know, player retention, you know, three days, Sunday, 14, 30-day retention, that’s much more kind of a powerful metro. Yeah, and free to play gaming is like, wow, how do I keep them in the game? How do I keep them coming back? The people who have paid the retention is like, through the roof and then in free to play, the whole idea is okay, how do I get people from shoppers to spenders, right? In the web three space, you start off, usually, like 99 times out of 100, most of these games that are on web three, you start off buying an NFT as your way in.
So, retention is actually really, really high, because players have spent, right? They’re committed, they’ve and they’ve invested, they bought assets they are in, it’s not like and usually it’s not like well, I bought something was 99 cents. For most NFT based games, it’s you know, I spent, you know, $10, $20 and sometimes 100s or 1000s of dollars. So, the likelihood that you’ll retain those players is unbelievably high. So, therefore the need to measure and you know, really kind of increase retention is actually not important in web three gaming. So, that’s kind of one thing that very interesting. Yeah, we kind of know right away. I mean, if you think about it, like, you know, a lot of people say in free to play as a matter of fact, like, if you look at Clash Royale, or if you look at League of Legends, if you look at fortnight, well, I’ve spent so much money, I can’t quit playing now. Like that’s literally like, I feel guilty about leaving, because I’ve spent so much, right? And that’s actually a really harmful thing and that people are staying in a game they don’t enjoy. They’re staying because they’ve spent money like pot committed as the saying goes, like, I can’t leave now like, now….
Minute 17:01 – Natalie, Podcast Host
Yeah, you’re committed for the wrong.
Minute 17:03 – Michael Rubinelli, Chief Gaming Officer at WAX (now Tyranno Studios)
Exactly. Motivation should be like, oh, I’m staying because I have so much fun and I get on all my stuff and says like, I can’t leave now. I put all this money into it. Like it’s so terrible. Like, you’re almost guilting people into saying, web three actually removes that stigmas, like, hey, yeah, you spent a lot of money, but it’s okay because you can also sell all your things later, for a certain amount. Now, maybe you don’t get your money back and that’s okay. But you’ve subsidized that it’s no longer a total sunk cost.
Minute 17:27 – Natalie, Podcast Host
Yeah, and you own something.
Minute 17:30 – Michael Rubinelli, Chief Gaming Officer at WAX (now Tyranno Studios)
Yeah. So, the first insight, I would say, it’s not an insight at all, it’s like, let’s not focus so much on retention, because retention is somewhat a given with the amount of money people are spending to get in. The second thing is, in the really kind of, again, I think the thing that that I’ve observed, I think is really important to keep in mind is player onboarding, right? So, if you look at web three gaming, if you look at kind of what is that, you know, kind of on ramp to playing, it’s filled with a ton of friction and so if you bring a core gamer in the NFT space, and once upon a time, I was a core gamer, and I’d never played an NFT game and so kind of, you know, at some point last year, I started looking into it and like, Okay, I’m gonna go learn all about PDE. Right? Played, or I’m gonna learn all about everybody talks about XE and this game in that game, you know, I’m a gamer, I’m a businessman, I’m all these things, you know, I want to know, so the first thing I do is I go to a site and I’m like, Okay, well, there was no recommendation and just like, Okay, well, I’m gonna play this one and then I started playing it, and I’m like, Okay, you have this, this, this, this?
I’m like, Okay, well, I’m certainly gonna I used to all those things just being there in the experience, like, no, you have to go to different site. If you go to marketplace, if wallet you have to do this, you have to deposit to buy a cryptocurrency. It’s like, Oh, my God. No wonder nobody’s onboarding these games. It’s just friction everywhere you look and so one of the things that we measure really, really closely is what does our conversion funnel look like? Like, I’ve got a user. They’re interested in playing our game. Can I get them to actually take a game action from not taking any action and normally, it sounds really simple, but it’s like, setting up a wall, it has to be easy, you know, the assets to play has to be easy. It has to feel very native. It has to feel very much like what they’re used to doing on a regular basis. We have to have this high level of contextualization in terms of where they’re at what they’re doing, why they’re doing it, and really not overwhelm them with too much information.
Minute 19:27 – Natalie, Podcast Host
But make it sounds like you need to be such a techy person to be able to play something.
Minute 19:32 – Michael Rubinelli, Chief Gaming Officer at WAX (now Tyranno Studios)
Right, and you know, a lot of times as an industry as a web three, like if you go around and you look at all these other companies that are building these games on web three, they talk to themselves, right? They talk about, you know, blocking missions and deflationary measures and wallets and deposits and exchanges and scrapes and fees and all these things that the core gamers like I just want to show up a play and used to go into the app store. Download the app for free. 20 seconds later on, playing it. 60 seconds later, I’m having a blast and I come back the next day, next day next day. So, the thing that’s really powerful is we know where they want to go and we know where we’re at and bridging that gap, and analytics tied to things that allow us to see that we’re progressing towards that bridge bridging that those two moments. Like, that’s what we look at and that’s what we measure and that is kind of our path forward and we have a saying, kind of in the digital halls of WAX is what is in the way becomes the way, right? So, wherever we are blocked from reaching that kind of that NorthStar moment, like that’s what we’re interrogating. That’s what we’re trying to remove and that’s what we’re trying to progress along and so we have analytics that look at, you know, our ability to progress players into the end of the game and get them all the way through the conversion funnel.
Minute 20:45 – Natalie, Podcast Host
Wow, that sounds actually super interesting and it’s such a different way of viewing gaming. So, used to, as you mentioned, like how to reduce churn and as you mentioned, the onboarding is pretty simple, usually. So, it’s a whole different level.
Minute 21:03 – Michael Rubinelli, Chief Gaming Officer at WAX (now Tyranno Studios)
Yeah, I tell you, if you’ve ever tried to set up a Metamask account, it’s like, orders of magnitude harder, like anytime you have to go watch a 12-minute video on YouTube on how to do something that should take two clicks. Like you know, you’re so poorly positioned, and I would think that so many product people look to kind of Metamask it. Look, it’s the gold standard for Ethereum based wallets. But probably somebody come and go, this is a worst user journey in the entire history of the world. Like, there’s so much low hanging fruit here. Like we could take Metamask lunch, like we could build the de facto standard, and wallets and crypto wallets and really kind of build a whole business around that. We’ve taken that same approach. We haven’t built a business around it. But if you look at the WAX wallet, it’s a very web two interface, right? It’s like you show up wax.io, you say I want to create a wallet like okay, do you have discord ID? Well, of course I do. You have Google off? Yes. You have Facebook Connect? Yes, you can use any of these things.
Minute 21:57 – Natalie, Podcast Host
To connect the wallet to…
Minute 21:59 – Michael Rubinelli, Chief Gaming Officer at WAX (now Tyranno Studios)
Two clicks and your wallet is set up, right? It could not be any easier and that’s why with the WAX all we have 13.3 million accounts created today and you know, it’s a very, very large footprint, because people we know will embrace convenience, even when their security concerns like there’s a lot of security concerns around, oh, crypto, is it a scam? Am I gonna get robbed, socially engineered? Like, all those things are true. But if you just use Facebook connecting separate wallet and one to two clicks, and like, Okay, I’ll do that.
Minute 22:28 – Natalie, Podcast Host
And just that small part of WAX, it just really demonstrates the importance of player feedback, right, to it really shows how important it is to understand the player and to understand what they’re looking for what you want.
Minute 22:43 – Michael Rubinelli, Chief Gaming Officer at WAX (now Tyranno Studios)
You know, you’re right, Natalie. It’s everything like player convenience, player feedback, user journey, like, if you don’t start there, then you’re really kind of missing the point. You have to start at the customer and work backwards to your technology. A lot of people say, oh, I built this, and I’m going to ram it down your throat until you accept it. In reality, you actually have to start at the player or the consumer or the shopper and work backwards to what you’ve done. Does your business, your tools, your technology, your product? Does it improve the lives of the people that are going to use it? And if the answer is yes, and great, you can do things in service to the player that you know, it’s like oh, cool, they built this for me with a web two interface. I love that. Thanks WAX like that’s are opposed to here’s our wall, you better like it.
Minute 23:32 – Natalie, Podcast Host
Yeah, definitely and that’s so important and so now we’re talking about you understanding all of this feedback and all of these insights. So, what determines how quickly you get one insight, when usually is like the most time-consuming element of that work of actually getting any insight out of all the data that you have?
Minute 23:54 – Michael Rubinelli, Chief Gaming Officer at WAX (now Tyranno Studios)
Yeah, you know, so there’s a thing in the analytical world called statistical significance, right? Like, if you have 10 people do something, that’s great. But tell me when you’ve got a million people who’ve done it, right? Or you’ve seen this behavior happen a million times and a million isn’t always a statistical significance. It depends on kind of what you’re trying to measure. But in reality, you can have all these logging events go out and then firing correctly, and getting attribution and segmented and whatnot, and, you know, map to visualization tools. But if you don’t have anybody using the product, then you don’t really get a clear or true signal and so the thing that I would say is you have to have analytics, but you have to have audience and you have to have adoption and until you have those things, you can’t really understand if something is an insight or not and so it’s not just like, oh, yeah, I built this analytical platform. Now, I know everything, but you don’t you still have to feed users into it. Just to make sure you’re using it and so I’m not trying to avoid your question. It’s more kind of, you know, utilization driven in terms of when has that insight. You got that in Start on day one, you get a bid on day 31. It’s really going to vary, and it’s gonna matter on kind of how many people do and is that enough to get a true indication.
Minute 25:09 – Natalie, Podcast Host
It actually makes sense and, in this conversation, also and in this regard, in talking about insights, and data, how do you think your insights in terms of qualitative and quantitative data intertwine?
Minute 25:29 – Michael Rubinelli, Chief Gaming Officer at WAX (now Tyranno Studios)
Well, I think the thing that you really, really have to understand is you have to understand segmentation and so a lot of times, you may get like, as an example, I’ll give you a great example. So, our audience today on blockchain brawlers, is mostly gamblers and speculators. Okay, we know this about them. We know this is how they perform. We know this is what their persona is, right? We know this is how much cryptocurrency they have in their wallet. We know these are the behaviors they act, and they perform as if they are quote unquote, investors in a project. They don’t perform like gamers necessarily. Now, some people will say they’re gamers, but we know their main motivation is this. So, we have this persona that says, Okay, this is you know, player demographic, what, you know, they live in this area, here’s their socio-economic status, here’s kind of what motivates them, right? You put them in a bucket, and you say, Okay, we’re gonna build things for them, because you understand who they are. But that may not be who you ultimately want to build for, right? We want to build for the core gaming audience and as an example, there’s 3 billion gamers in the world, like, that’s a lot, 3 billion.
Minute 26:30 – Natalie, Podcast Host
Especially after that pandemic, I think it grew immensely.
Minute 26:33 – Michael Rubinelli, Chief Gaming Officer at WAX (now Tyranno Studios)
In the crypto world of NFT owners that have wallets and so on and so on is best we can tell it’s a little the data is a little bit muddy, but there’s about 35 to 42 million of those players and so it’s like, okay, there’s a certain segment there that we should speak to, and we should work with, or we should build features and functionality and analytics idea, kind of that set of behaviors. But where do we really want to go, right? So, there’s this whole notion of, you know, the decisions you make today allow you to operate your business in the future and so if there’s this real tension that we have, and it’s a healthy tension.
So, I don’t mean tension, like, like, Oh, it’s terrible. There’s this situation, we have it says, Okay, we have to operate the business that we have today, while looking as far forward in the future as we can and so we started that line of okay, we have gamblers and speculators in our project today and let’s build features functionality for them. But where do we want to go and making sure that we have infrastructure, and we have foundational technologies allow us to do that. So, when we open up our user acquisition, messaging, and promotional plans to the core gamer audience, we bring them into a world that is comfortable them as feeling like everything is native. Again, we don’t speak in those defier those Banking Terms, right? So, there’s this whole journey that we go on. So, when you say kind of, what do you look at, you have to understand the audience you currently have relative the audience that you want to have and if you know those people, you know, the behaviors then predilections or tendencies, then you can build product operations and product features in you know, analytics that measure those things and inform those decisions.
Minute 28:01 – Natalie, Podcast Host
Oh, that’s actually a very interesting process definitely and Michael, for our last question, is there would be a dream inside you could get from your players, what would be?
Minute 28:15 – Michael Rubinelli, Chief Gaming Officer at WAX (now Tyranno Studios)
I would love it if I had the insight of how women were wired. I just don’t know I’ve been married for 27 years, I still don’t understand my wife, I’m trying to every day I love her to death. I worked really, really hard. Stephen Hawking before he died, said, I need every single science, or he still can’t figure it out women.
Minute 29:28 – Natalie, Podcast Host
And you will still not be able to do it.
Minute 29:28 – Michael Rubinelli, Chief Gaming Officer at WAX (now Tyranno Studios)
If I could get that insight, that would be great. All kidding aside, I think that the thing that we want to know, and we want to understand the thing that we always try to work towards is it’s maybe a little bit esoteric or vague, but I think it’s really important is we operate with, there’s kind of two big foundational principles in our company. One is, we have to find a cause that is greater than ourselves, right? And for us to cause this great ourselves is player ownership of assets. Like we think that’s an unbelievably compelling cause. We think that’s where gaming is going and if we can expedite that, and the things that we do that lead to that, like we want to do, that’s one but two is it’s all about, you know, the most valuable commodity you have in your life is your free time. It’s not how much money you have, he’ll say, oh, no, the value of my work, the measure my worth is how much money I have. It’s actually not it’s how much it’s how do you use your free time. Now a lot of times, how you use your free time is a reflection of your wealth. Like as an example, Richard Branson is very wealthy, and you can say, well, how much money here? Well, I don’t know. But I’ll tell you how Richard Branson spends his free time he flies to his private island. He has a gold-plated toilet, it’s on the beach. Like that’s how he spends his free time. It’s a reflection of his well.
So, if you understand that your free time is a limited resource, like they’re not making any more of it. You have cap on how much you have. If you choose to spend your free time on projects that you know our company builds, we want to validate that we want you to feel good about spending the most valuable quality you have on our projects and so we look for insights and things that inform that thinking, is this a good use of your free time? Have we replaced like everybody plays, you know, two to three games on a daily basis? Like, if we can get into your rotation? How do we break into your rotation of daily gameplay, but we do that by validating and giving you a better use of that time. So, the 10 minutes, you’re gonna play here, play with us, instead, we want that to feel better and that’s how we replace and get into people’s kind of, you know, daily fat for their lives and so that’s really what we look at and those are the insights that we want to try to acquire and work around like, Are we are we progressing towards that goal, and if we are progressing towards that goal, we’re going to keep doing those things that allow us to make that claim and believe that claim is true.
Minute 30:56 – Natalie, Podcast Host
I actually love that and how you ended this podcast, because it really does provide value to the person who’s playing and owning the asset, it really shows that you can do something much more than just escaping from reality, like a normal game.
Minute 31:13 – Michael Rubinelli, Chief Gaming Officer at WAX (now Tyranno Studios)
Yeah, you know, it’s really funny, we get into these somewhat colorful conversations in our Discord community I’ve always played the contrarian because I understand I’m in a community of 10s of 1000s of people who are also ROI Focused and so profit focused, and in their minds, because again, what your perception is your reality, right? And what they believe the truth is the truth, like unassailable and so they say, I play games for profit. I play games to make money. I play games as an investor, like, everybody thinks like I do. Well, actually, they don’t, yes, they do, and you can’t change their mind, right? They’re like, well, you know, again, my perception is my reality. So, I said, I’m very simply, look, there’s 3 billion gamers in the world and last year, if you look at the financial measure of the size of the video game industry is like, one $172 billion and those 3 billion gamers last year, that’s been $172 billion, didn’t own a single asset. So, you tell me that people only want to play games for profit, I will show you $172 million that went from the player’s bank accounts into the developer and publishers bank accounts. It was a zero-sum game.
Minute 32:17 – Natalie, Podcast Host
Yeah, and they didn’t get anything,
Minute 32:19 – Michael Rubinelli, Chief Gaming Officer at WAX (now Tyranno Studios)
They got nothing. So, the vision of WAX and the mission of WAX is to help subsidize at a minimum subsidize that players spend and if you subsidize that player spending, you remove that stigma of I can’t quit. Now, I don’t own anything. I’m committed. This is really powerful thing and we’re gonna go from, you know, 3 billion gamers to three and a half to four to five fairly quickly, because now more people are going to come in, it’s like, oh, I feel comfortable spending, because I know that I have a means to let go of these assets to other people who want them.
Minute 32:45 – Natalie, Podcast Host
Right. That’s amazing. I really, I think that was doing an amazing thing and I’m gonna look into it more after this podcast and Michael, I really want to thank you so much for taking the time to participate in today’s podcast. It was really, really interesting to learn more about the gaming industry and web three, and the importance of player feedback in your niche. So, it was great having you.
Minute 33:13 – Michael Rubinelli, Chief Gaming Officer at WAX (now Tyranno Studios)
Natalie, it was my pleasure. I’d be happy to come back anytime.
Minute 33:16 – Natalie, Podcast Host
Thank you so much and that’s it for today. Let’s Talk Customer Feedback is a podcast made for player insights professionals, player feedback enthusiasts, game industry experts, and anything in between. The podcast is created by Affogata, the AI driven player feedback analytics platform that cuts through the noise and brings to the player insights that move the needle. In each episode, we have a special guest from the industry include Affogata on customers that share their knowledge on what clear feedback and the voice of the customer means for them and the companies they work that. Follow, Let’s Talk Customer feedback on Spotify, Apple podcasts and Google podcasts. If you’d like to know more about Affogata and what it does, go to Affogata.com and get more info on our social media searching for Affogata on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. See you next time. Don’t keep your players waiting.