ASX-listed corporate iCandy Interactive – whose corporate HQ is in Australia with operating offices through Southeast Asia – will be the first corporate globally to back the initial coin offering (ICO) of Nitro digital tokens, aimed at supporting democratising game development.
Nitro is designed to democratise video-game economy by making it easy for lay people to participate in and benefit from the economy of the video-game industry while bringing together all stakeholders of the industry onto an integrated platform and community.
With the global video gaming industry reporting an estimated $91 billion in revenue in 2016, and annual industry revenue expected to grow 30 per cent to $130 billion bu 2020, this will see the gaming sector surpass Hollywood in terms of revenue by a factor of close to nine. Mobile gaming is the leading category.
However, there are key issues associated with funding game development; publicly listing game development studios, traditional crowdfunding and private funding each have their own challenges associated with game development.
With the game development sector an oligopoly where the top 10 gaming companies dominate more than 50 per cent of global revenue, new studios face difficulty in accessing funding and resources to launch new games and compete against incumbents.
Nitro is a project by iCandy to resolve this matter. The blockchain-based cryptocurrency project aims to address the inefficiencies in the video-games industry via two elements: a new cryptocurrency called NOX and an online marketplace called Nitro Marketplace.
iCandy Interactive’s subsidiary, iCandy Ventures Ltd, a British Virgin Island incorporation, is developing and managing NOX while iCandy Interactive is responsible for developing Nitro Marketplace and foster a community around it.
NOX is a digital token based on the Ethereum platform that is meant as the foundation of Nitro’s activities and will enable token-holders globally to participate fully in the video game economy.
iCandy Ventures will retain 15 per cent of NOX in issuance as the developer of the cryptocurrency, permitting shareholders of iCandy Interactive to gain direct exposure to the cryptocurrency.
This will provide a proxied opportunity for public investors to gain an exposure to a new and growing market, without requiring the technical knowledge and competency associated with cryptocurrency space.
NOX will be made available to interested purchasers via an online crowdsale, which will be managed by iCandy Ventures in compliance with the business and investment laws of the British Virgin Island, where iCandy Ventures is incorporated.
This sale will begin on 25th October 2017 and ends on the 8th November 2017 and will be conducted via Nitro’s website, with a pre-sale set to be announced.
There will be up to 60 million NOX available for sale, raising up to 75,000 Ethereum (ETH) which carry a value of approximately US$20million at today’s prevailing Ethereum price.
Token holders can vote for new games to receive funding from Nitro, engage game producers and promoters via the marketplace and use the token for in-game transactions; and will see titles funded by Nitro will share a portion of their revenue with Nitro and NOX token holders, who stand to receive rewards for participation and contribution to the Nitro network from time to time.
The Nitro Marketplace will empower interaction and transactions between stakeholders across the video-games industry in an efficient manner. For example, it will allow gamers to discover and play new games promoted by game studios and in turn, gamers will be incentivized directly by game studios to try out the new games.
Currently, game studios must market their games by paying high fees to market platforms that are usually measured in terms of Cost Per Installation (CPI), the cost paid to market platforms for each app installed by consumers on their devices. According to ICandy, CPI costs for mobile games can be as high as US$3-US$5 per installation eroding the profitability of the smaller game studios.
This development is meant to connect stakeholders across what iCandy claims is a fragmented value chain and ecosystem, as well as disrupt the oligopoly established by industry incumbents, in addition to possessing economics that will sustain itself with a sound business model.
The decision to utilise a cryptocurrency by the firm as a mechanism is due to the ability of a cryptocurrency based on the blockchain to transact and to realise the value in a secure and efficient manner. iCancy also believes that this transaction system can be integrated into games and drive engagement with the community and ecosystem of developers and gamers.