Build With Us: Interview with Paul Gadi, CTO of OP Games

Increasingly breaking away from the decades-old industry standards, humanity enters the new technological paradigm at a lightning-fast speed. Facilitated by the transition from Covid-19, the development of breakthrough technologies was first applied at the service of rescuing lives, later spilling over to the entire arena of the global economy. 

Today, however, all eyes are on the Metaverse – the vision of all-immersive digital reality in which physical and virtual are molded into one. Thanks to the advanced functionality of Web 3, the Metaverse is becoming an open-source decentralized platform, through which unmatched possibilities of multi-participation and collaborative work can soon get wide industry exposure.

The first niche where Metaverse gained serious traction was GameFi. Decentralized gaming, the next-generation experience offering players real economic incentives, made virtual reality a core part of its proposition aiming to transform the traditional industry by introducing a new phase in the world of gaming. 

To demonstrate that, OP Games created its playground on which gaming developers can experiment with their ideas boldly and imaginatively with no constraints. Guided by the philosophy of Web 3, OP Games wants to eliminate the industry barriers and make gaming open and accessible to everyone, postulating the foundations of the new technological era based on decentralization and open access. 

At the same time, NFTs form the basis of the rising OP Games universe: Arcadia which brings a multitude of genres that offer a great gaming experience. Arcadia goes beyond traditional GameFi and assumes the role of a revolutionary launchpad for the future stars in the gaming industry by introducing a myriad of fun, replayable games within the platform and enhanced gameplay through rewards-based tournaments, exclusive prize drops, and a marketplace that will allow players to buy and sell their NFTs. 

By bringing the community and developers into one melting pot, OP Games aims to create a decentralized marketplace characterized by free interaction and above all, bound together by a common goal of instituting the Web 3 economic model.

Stirred by the idea of Web 3.0-guided transformation, I approached Paul Gadi, CTO of OP Games, for an interview.

1) First things first – could you tell us about your career path? What brought you into the Web 3 space?

I started out as a game developer myself, and back in 2003, there weren’t a lot of game developers in the Philippines just yet. This was when mobile gaming was just starting to grow in popularity.

Most games back then were done using Java and to be able to monetize, game developers would have to sell them to mobile carriers – such as AT&T, and Vodafone, to name a few.

From my experience in the Philippines, the skew of the business model was around 80% to mobile carriers, and only 20% of that would go back to game developers. Whereas overseas, 80% was given to game developers and 20% was given back to carriers. We saw firsthand that the platforms or game publishers held the decision-making when it came to how games were created, published, and monetized.

Through the years, I joined several game publishing companies and founded my own as well. When Web 3 came around in 2017, we started looking into Blockchain/Crypto to explore how we could reinvent the wheel and make game publishing more accessible for developers. 

CryptoKitties became the first mainstream game using NFTs, and through this, I saw the potential for game developers to have autonomy over the process of creating, publishing, and monetizing their own games.

2) All projects constituting DeFi can boast of their disruptive potential. In which way does OP Games challenge the status quo in gaming?

What Makes OPG different from other similar GameFi projects is that we lean hard on our recognition that open-source software is what makes sense in Web 3. When we were making Arcadia, our vision was for it to become the building blocks for game developers through a set of tools, or Game Legos, as we call them, which would allow game developers to fully make use of the benefits of Web 3.

More than just being a gatekeeper, we felt very strongly about harnessing the 3 C’s of Web 3: Composability, Currency, and Community to ensure value creation. Through interoperability, the ability to create our own currency in Web 3, and activating an engaged player community, these fundamentals can become a catalyst to ensure a successful project in Web 3.

3) Generally, what are the sharpest challenges we may observe in Web 2 gaming these days? How does OP Games resolve that?

Education: There are a lot of misconceptions about Web 3 being solely about P2E. Games have changed significantly through the years and the business model has evolved tremendously – today, its value is very nebulous. You play the game for free, but games have been so lucratively financialized. Naturally, this hampered the gaming experience.

From where we stand, the best way to resolve that and how we’re currently working on that is by onboarding talented game designers and artists to work with us. We open-source game engines and give them access to our expertise and tools to help better equip them to succeed.

4) It’s been said that Arcadia goes beyond the traditional GameFi and P2E project. What are the features that make this platform so distinct?

Arcadia is our lore and the genesis of our foundations in the Metaverse. Our main objective was to move the needle from Web 2 to Web 3 by helping game developers break free from the centralized nature of the traditional gaming industry. Our Game Legos, which harness the strengths of Web 3, and our commitment to working closely with game developers with them are some of the things that set us apart from other projects.

5) Please, tell us a bit more about the Arcadia economy. What are its most fundamental goals?

Most games in Web 3 or GameFi aren’t as good as the games we’ve seen in Web 2, primarily because game developers are apprehensive or lack the expertise to fully embrace Web 3.

With that said, the fundamental goal of Arcadia is to provide an unparalleled gaming experience, through fun, replayable games that you haven’t seen before – and for us to be able to do that successfully, we need to be able to co-create these game legos with game developers.

6) Considering the rise in popularity of Metaverse, how does OP Games plan to accommodate this trend?

Everyone has their own definition of the Metaverse, but in our case, we lean towards an open metaverse, one that remains decentralized and owned by the community. A lot of companies will likely start jumping on the trend, and for us, our priority is to continue keeping it as open as possible so that we can accommodate the influx of metaverses that will come in the near future.

7) Could you break down the concept of open Metaverse? What does it mean for both gamers and developers within the Web 3 paradigm?

The usual Metaverse narrative today is all about how we can create virtual worlds, and how we can monetize this. For us at OPG, we want everyone to be accountable for keeping it open and decentralized. It’s all about standards and interoperability.

Game developers need to think about this ‘common metaverse’ when they’re building their games. It’s still being created and a lot of people are still building on their own and working in silos, but we believe that its value will fully come to fruition by building with open technologies and creating opportunities for external co-creation or collaborating with other developers. 

Game developers also need to have a fundamental understanding of finance. In Web 2, not all game developers were too privy on marketing strategies, and this is also an opportunity that the open metaverse can provide game developers. In doing so, game developers can be assured that they have a hand in the entire process of bringing their games to market for public consumption.

For gamers, now that these worlds are leading into each other, slowly and surely, as people start building on the open metaverse, we’ll see the lines continue to blur between this ‘common metaverse.’ Like Wreck it Ralph, we’ll see all of these games interacting with each other and building a shared universe.

8) Speaking of NFTs – what is their role within the Arcadia economy? How can users create their own digital identity? are the genesis NFTs, inspired by classic arcade games. Arcadians are game legos and anyone can create games on top of it. Tournaments in Arcadia will enable players to connect their cryptocurrency wallets to their Arcadia account and compete in tournaments and leaderboards across a variety of games for crypto prizes.

9) What is Arcadia’s main asset, and how can it be leveraged inside the gaming?

$ARCD is the main in-game token within Arcadia. Through $ARCD, players have the opportunity to win prizes including tokens, NFTs, and whitelist spots for partnering projects, as well as in-game loot, mystery boxes, tickets, and future in-game assets through their in-game performance.

$ARCD, OP Game’s official token, is targeted to launch in July 2022. As the preferred token accepted in Arcadia, $ARCD is expected to begin powering the tournament system on launch day. Players will be able to use $ARCD to participate in live tournaments that send $ARCD prizes via smart contract to those who have made it into the winners bracket at the tournament’s end. 

More $ARCD functionality such as for purchasing on the Arcadia NFT marketplace and additional smart contracts that expand on tournament usage and carry out permissionless wagering will provide an impressive scope of potential token utility. The OP Games team sees a future Arcadia filled with players and developers building tournaments and other future mechanics, all powered by $ARCD and Game Legos.

10) Finally – what are the crucial milestones for OP Games this year?

Work is already underway at OP Games to implement an instant tournament creator that will allow players to organize custom tournaments and issue challenges between one another. 

To support this, OP Games plans to integrate smart contracts that will soon operate all tournament buy-ins and pay-outs. Additional smart contracts in earlier stages of the pipeline will open the door for permissionless PvP and permissionless wagering that will further broaden the experience for players in Arcadia.

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