Samson Mow is known in the blockchain industry as CSO of Blockstream, but he is a gamer at heart. Mow is behind sci-fi MMO strategy game Infinite Fleet, which uses a dual-token infrastructure as its model. He joined host Obi Nwosu, CEO of Coinfloor, for Coinscrum’s Meet the Founders series.
Mow’s background is in gaming development, where he has been involved with various startups with a focus on real-time strategy games. He’s also worked on social games at Ubisoft and Facebook, including Might and Magic titles.
Infinite Fleet, his latest creation, is an MM strategy title that is based off of an RTSE concept where they’ve separated the resourcing and combat. For example, in your downtime, you’re mining minerals and fabricating ship parts. And in your combat time, you’re fighting against other players, potentially with hundreds of other players against the Atrox.
(2:01) “So you’re commanding these fleets of ships in space and building and fighting. And the theme of it is intergalactic warfare against this alien race. They’ve come to destroy humanity. It’s a very standard trope, but we have a lot of twists in here that we’ll reveal down the road. So you’re building, customizing and fighting,” said Samson, adding that the game is a cross between EVE online and World of Warcraft.
As a big sci-fi fan, Samson came up with the idea for Infinite Fleet because he wanted a good game that he would play himself.
(3:49) “I wanted to bring a lot more hard sci-fi to games. I feel like a lot of sci-fi games are missing this element of hard sci-fi and they just kind of gloss over and ignore a lot of the things that make it really interesting — the attention to detail, the minutia, how things work, the physics, the science behind it. And we’ve spent a lot of time working on the science trying to make it as realistic as possible even though it is fantastic science fiction,” explained Samson.
The plan is for Infinite Fleet to come out in alpha format at the end of January. In the interim, they are adding some polish to the game.
Infinite Fleet runs on a dual-token model comprising a security token for the funding side and a utility token in the game that replaces the game currency. That is what sets it apart from traditional MMO titles, as their currencies are all locked up in the game and they’re not freely movable, said Samson.
With Infinite Fleet, on the other hand, there’s the INF utility currency, which is akin to World of Warcraft gold. It’s a crypto asset on the Liquid Network. Players can take it, put it into a hardware wallet like Jade, create a multi-sig set up with their teammates to pool together funds, and potentially move the funds to a crypto exchange.
(6:20) “There’s a world of possibility because it is now portable,” said Samson.
On the fundraising side, there is a security token, EXO.
(6:30) “This way we have a very clear separation between the utility side and the fundraising side. As you know, a lot of scamming projects will try to say this is a utility token but we’re selling it ahead of time and use that to raise capital and then they get slapped because it’s a security, surprise,” said Samson.
The security token is a 20% profit share off of the profit. Infinite Fleet is taking a page from the book of INX, in which they also have equity. The game itself will generate revenue primarily by selling ships. Players collect ships and customize them, but they have to first buy them. Some of them will be lower-tier and more accessible and some will even be free. Others will be very premium, such as a limited edition run of a certain generation of ships that will be decked out with the best technology and look very cool. This approach is similar to other games that sell skins, like Fortnite.
“It’s a well-accepted and traditional model in games. So it’s not pay to win, but you’re buying something that’s unique,” said Samson.
Another way to generate revenue is taking fees in the auction house. Infinite Fleet is embracing the secondary market, Samson said, and they accept that there will be P2P trades. Players who play these games want to trade with other players. So Infinite Fleet will take a small cut on all the trades in the auction house. And those two streams will funnel into the profits for EXO token holders.
“INF is meant to grease this in-game commerce, and let the players trade time with one another,” said Samson.
The Infinite Fleet team is giving priority to investors on Stalker. It will be a random draw to determine who gets access to the game in alpha. Over the next year, they’ll do monthly releases and will roll out features gradually. Along the way, they’ll engage with the community and get feedback from players on the game, the mechanics, the economics.
The initial release will be single-combat, not multi-layer combat. A few months later, they will release the INF token, which is paid out for social activities where players are collaborating together for a mission.
Liquid vs. Ethereum
Infinite Fleet’s security and utility tokens are on Blockstream’s Bitcoin sidechain Liquid. There is a lot of “dogfeeding” with Blockchainstream’s technology, explained Samson, in an attempt to use it in commercial applications.
Utility token INF is freely movable and has confidentiality features. On top of Liquid’s base level network, there is Blockstream AMP, which is a way to manage security tokens on Liquid and for which transactions are done off-chain. AMP lets you build whitelists and blacklists as well as transfer permissions to manage the assets, which is ideal for the security token.
Considering they have Liquid, the team didn’t really look at other projects, which often don’t work well anyway.
(17:00) “I think the best example is Ethereum. The more people use Ethereum, the faster it dies because you can no longer perform these cheap transactions to compute,” said Samson.
Liquid and AMP, on the other hand, are designed to minimize the use of the chain. Liquid promotes financial transactions. You can transact stablecoins or liquid bitcoin but you’re not stuffing things and loading up on-chain and puffing up fees for everybody.
17:41 “The security token side is just stability. Ethereum is trying to move from Eth 1 to 2 and who knows what it’s going to look like. And they generally change economic policy and do hard forks on a whim. So I don’t feel it’s really reliable to issue a security token on,” said Samson.
More on INF Token
There is a limit to the number of INF tokens, Infinite Fleet’s in-game currency, that will be produced, the number of which has yet to be decided. The company behind the token is Exordium Limited. So if you invest in Infinite Fleet, you’re investing in Exordium, Samson explained.
Infinite Fleet is the first game they’re building, the proceeds from which they hope to use to build other games. The INF token is meant to incentivize gamers for social collaborative activity. Eventually, the token could take on a life of its own and be used in games not connected to Exordium.
It is still an experiment in many ways, said Samson, adding that something like this isn’t likely to come from the big game publishers. Not only are they content with where they’re at, but there is still a stigma around crypto assets, so even just having a rewards points token in crypto format is scary for the incumbents.
“If we’re willing to do it and have the background and expertise, then maybe we can disrupt them,” said Samson.
Where’s the Innovation?
The gaming industry, not just the MMO genre, is not really innovating, and games have not changed much in past years, Samson said, adding that it is his biggest criticism of the gaming industry. Real-time strategy, which is Infinite Fleet’s niche, hasn’t changed much either. Infinite Fleet is trying to do things differently and in addition to crypto is making it so players can write the stories within the games themselves, which will eventually be published in a book.
The crypto markets are on the precipice of a wave of tokenized securities, said Samson. Some people are not keen on STOs simply because they have the word token in there. But STOs are securities that are tradeable and can be traded on crypto exchanges. Samson predicts there will be a lot more security token exchanges coming out this year, which there are signs of already on the periphery.
(27:57) So I think there’s a lot of ground to be broken here and a lot to be disrupted,” said Samson.
Find out more about Infinite Fleet at Infinitefleet.com
Find out more about Blockstream at Blockstream.com.