Great interview with Lordmancer II ICO Team
Presale is ongoing, the ICO begins on November 07
ICOnow: How well does your team work together?
We’re together since 2006, for more than 10 years by now. Of course, there are new people as well, we’re expanding, but the core team is realy like a family.
We even work from an “apartment-office”, moved there in 2009. People are really supportive, the spirit is strong and the morale is high. Everyone’s set for success.
ICOnow: Which projects were implemented by your team or part of your team earlier?
Our first game, Lordmancer, dates back to 2008. Its development started in 2006, and it was a tremendous challenge from the technical standpoint.
It was the time of Java phones, with buttons. Nokia, Siemens, LG, Samsung, Motorola — you may remember those brands 🙂
So, we decided to make an exciting multiplayer game, but we weren’t sure at all that this was feasible. Turned out, it was, although we had to squeeze nice pixel graphic, networking and game logic into a sub-100 kilobyte Java applet. And the code was a bit different for every phone model out there on the market. And there was no mobile internet as we have today, GPRS connectivity was very slow and interrupted frequently. So we had to invent a lot of technical tricks and game mechanics to make the game playable.
But the result turned out to be excellent. It was one of the very few mobile multiplayer games at the time, we’ve had tons of positibe feedback. But one thing probably says it all: today, after 9 years on the market, Lordmancer is still there and people still play it.
ICOnow: How long have you been working on this idea?
Since 3 years ago. As I said earlier, Lordmancer for Java was a success, although the timing for it was bad. Java platform was quickly eaten by iOS and Android.
So we decided to make Lordmancer II, a modern game with awsome art and modern gameplay. We knew by then which game mechanics were especially successful in Java Lordmancer, so we more or less knew where to be heading. And, of course, modern hardware and connectivity give so much more to developers.
We had to learn how to do 3D graphic, though. After one year in development, we basically had PvP and PvE battles, after two years we also had game world and resource farming, and the third year was spent on additional mechanics, balancing and polishing. Of course, we kept adding game content like art, items, quests, lands, etc.
ICOnow: What risks do you see for implementing the project?
At this moment, there’s almost no risk, set aside something drastic like a huge meteor or another change of mobile platform. But that’s unlikely.
You see, in contrast with the majority of ICOs out there, we not only have an excellent idea but a pretty much ready product as well. Of course, we still have to add a lot of game content, that’s what the money is for, but the basics are proven and player retention and other important metrics already look good. So we’re pretty confident the game will be a great success.
ICOnow: What about competitors?
There’s always competition in games, tons of games out there. Some are insanely successful. For example, Clash Royale and Clash of Clans, both by Supercell, made 2,3 billion dollars in revenue together last year. No wonder that Supercell, a company with only 230 employees, had valuation of 10 billion in 2017.
Albeit the competition is fierce, the market for mobile games is huge, 37 billions last year and growing rapidly. Then again, there’s a lot of small games, but very few big multiplayer titles like Lordmancer, especially MMORPGs. It’s because they are very hard to develop. And with its cryptocurrency-based feature of drawing money out of the game, basically profiting from playing the game, Lordmancer II really stands aside from all competition. That’s why we chose “the first MMORPG on mobile that lets its players earn cryptocurrency while playing” as our slogan.
ICOnow: Why do we need your tokens?
For two reasons. Firstly, if you’re a player and don’t want to miss this great game, you will probably need LordCoins to buy some cool stuff like weapons and artifacts from other players. Trading and crafting part is really exciting and well thought out in Lordmancer II. Then again, if you will be selling something in the game, and we’re pretty condident that you will, you’re going to receive LordCoins and then it’s your choice to either spend them inside the game or move them to your wallet and then exchange for Bitcoin or dollars. Secondly, LordCoin is going to be a great value holder, but let me explain that in a moment.
ICOnow:Where do you see the value of your tokens in the medium to long term and the ultimate benefit for token holders?
Actually, we have a good benchmark here. One of our advisers, Mr.Shaban Shaame, created a game called Spells of Genesis and crowdfunded it via an ICO back in 2015, when it was virtually unheard of. Since the ICO, BitCrystals, the token of Spells of Genesis, has multiplied its price 23 times. With the peak value of 46 times ICO price.
And it so happened — we didn’t copy that from Spells of Genesis, honestly — that Lordmancer II token economy is very similar to that of Spells of Genesis.
To constantly push the value and price of LordCoins higher, the game will be burning half of the 20% comission it takes from each player-to-player trade. This means that 10% of every trade’s LordCoins will be immediately destroyed. Since there’s only so many LordCoins in the very beginning, 20 million to be exact, and their number will be constantly shrinking, there’s a good reason to be holding LordCoins.
ICOnow: Have you secured deals with trading exchanges yet and will you want to disclose which exchanges will be trading your tokens?
We are in talks with quite a few exchanges right now, but we decided to finish the deals and announce them after the ICO. At first, there will be smaller exchanges, but we’re aiming to be listed on Bittrex and Poloniex at some point. Spells of Genesis’ BitCrystals are on both of them.
ICOnow: After a successful ICO, what is the timeline for coming to market?
It’s pretty short, actually. We’re signing publishing agreements for the game right now, and we’re going to hit first markets by the end of this year. With games, a lot of translation and localization is required to enter new markets, but according to our roadmap we’ll be fully global by the end of next year, covering all the important regions one by one.
We receive a lot of help from GlobalTopRound (http://www.globaltopround.com/), a U.S.-based gaming accelerator that chose us along with 9 other projects from all indie games worldwide. We received a seed round
ICOnow: What about presale politics (dates, terms, discount)?
We have an ongoing pre-sale right now. Everyone who backs us with 20ETH or more, receives a 20% discount on the regular ICO price. That is, one LordCoin will cost $0,1.
Pre-sale will end on November, 07, when the ICO begins. So there’s still time to receive a nice discount. Everything technical regarding this pre-sale and how to participate is explained on our web site http://lordmancer2.io/
ICOnow: Are you focused in any specific geographic areas?
For Lordmancer II, the first very important market is Sough-East Asia. There’s almost a billion players there, everyone’s on mobile and they just love MMORPGs. Then, there are Japan and China, but those are different stories, we would need a strong local partner to help with localization. Next important region is Latin America. And then come U.S. and Europe, those are very mature, demanding markets but also very profitable. We’ll cover all of them in this order during 2018.
ICOnow: Do you already have a product or a prototype?
Yes of course, and not just a prototype, but a fully playable game (although so much more will be added to it shortly). You can visit http://lordmancer2.io/ and download an APK installation file from there. Or, if you have iPhone or iPad, there’s a form where you can enter your Apple ID and we’ll send you the game via TestFlight, an application made by Apple to install others apps that aren’t yet in AppStore.
The game is in English. It’s available in Russian Google Play store for now, for beta testing purposes. But generally publishers don’t like it if a game was available on their market before they have signed it, so we didn’t make it available worldwide.
There’s always some 200 players online, sometimes much more. Try it, it’s fun and it’s free.
ICOnow: Can you highlight the features that are unique to you project that sets it apart from similar projects in the space?
The cryptocurrency feature, of course. Normally, a game is a one-way road for money: you pay money to play (or you don’t, if the game is free or freemium). Very few games allow to actually profit from playing, and Lordmancer II is one of such rare exceptions. And probably the only MMORPG on mobile.
ICOnow: Which permitted legal field did you choose for the company?
Currently, we’re incorporated in Russia. Our country has yet to choose its stance on cryptocurrency. For now, it’s not against the law nor it is according to the law, there simply is no law for cryptocurrency. But since the company was there anyway, we decided to wait out and see what happens. If our country decides to pass unsatisfactory laws, we will have to formally relocate to another jurisdiction. Good thing is we already have choices, for example Switzerland and Estonia. Spells of Genesis is based in Switzerland and there’s nice place called Crypto Silicon Valley in Zug area.
ICOnow: Did you calculate the profitability of your business?
Yes. As I said earlier, there are good examples of very profitable games. We’re aiming at receiving 50 to 100 million USD in profits in the next 5 years (2018-2022).
ICOnow: Tell us a bit more about your revenue model?
The revenue model of mobile games is pretty simple. Usually, freemium games like Lordmancer II let people play for free (hence the name), but sell some bonuses or power-ups, or access to some parts of the game. Players hate paywalls or “pay to win” games, so developers need to be very careful here. Usually, around 10% of players are paying, the rest of them play for free. But even that is enough for a game to be profitable. Oftentimes, non-paying players are monetized by advertisement.
In case of Lordmancer II, there’s additional source of income, a 10% commission on player-to-player trade. How much it well be, remains to be seen, but we’re confident it will be a good bonus to us and our backers.