Our new Disruption by Blockchain series aims to highlight companies that are leveraging the incredible potential of blockchain technology to disrupt and revolutionize their industry. Through one on one interviews, we'll speak directly with industry leaders to cut beyond the hype and get directly to the heart of practical use cases and examples of how it will change the world, one industry at a time.
The following is an interview we recently had with Morten Rongaard, Co-founder of Reality Clash.
1. What’s the history of Reality Clash? How and where did you begin?
MR: Reality Clash is an Augmented Reality FPS mobile game which will be available for iPhone and Android in Q3 2018. The game concept was originally created by me, Morten Rongaard several years ago, but it was not until recent years that widespread mobile technology was available to support my vision. Now, with the majority of mobile users having an AR-ready device, I am able to bring my vision to the consumer. Development began in 2016 on building an innovative, competitive combat game that utilises augmented reality technology to provide an exciting and unique experience for the player.
In order to fund development of the project and to incorporate a highly innovative aspect to the game, the founder’s worked on a Token Sale in which Reality Clash Coins were sold at a discount to early backers. These coins are ERC20 Tokens based on the Ethereum network and will allow users to become virtual arms dealers in the world of Reality Clash. The sale was a success, with over 1400 backers and 9000 Ether raised.
Together with my co-founders, Tony Pearce and Torben Majgaard, I have built a solid team of developers and staff with experience and expertise in the industry. The co-founders have been involved in games and mobile apps for many years, having built and sold $100m+ companies in the past. The development team are all from established games backgrounds including Disney, Activison, Sony and have worked on VR games for Playstation VR, Oculus and Vive.
We are now well into the development phase of our project. We are about to launch ‘The Armoury’, where players will use their RCC to pick up exclusive, limited-edition weapons which they can use in-game to dominate their enemies when Reality Clash launches or; they can speculate on these items by stockpiling them and selling them in the future for potential profit!
2. Who are the founders and key team members?
Morten Rongaard, Co -founder
The brain behind the original idea of Reality Clash and has been involved Blockchain tech and Cryptocurrency since 2013. Morten Rongaard has been a huge video games fan with a long history and experience in the field of online marketing. As the CEO of Wehoo, a world class web and design agency, Morten has collaborated with different companies and knows how to use his imagination to surpass any challenges and to move all boundaries.
Tony Pearce, Co-founder
Tony has been involved in the games industry since the late 80’s, originally publishing games for Sega Mega Drive and Nintendo SNES. When the original Playstation was launched Tony released one of the first ever Playstation games. Since those early days Tony has become a successful entrepreneur most recently founding TeePee Games, which launched the award winning social network for gamers called GamesGRABR.
Previously Tony was the CEO and Co-Founder of mobile games publisher Player X and spearheaded the company from a two person start-up in 2004 and developed it into Europe’s largest mobile games distributor. The company was named by Library House as the fourth fastest growing VC backed company in the UK before it was acquired by Spanish mobile content company ZED.
Torben Magjaard, Co-founder
Torben is the Founder & CEO of Ciklum, as well as an Investor. Ciklum is a global technology partner delivering software engineering excellence and IT solutions to Fortune 500 companies and organizations alike. He brings 20 years of experience working in Eastern Europe and 30 years of IT expertise.
Torben is also the Founder and Supervisory Board Member of “Brain Basket Foundation”, a joint initiative with the Ukrainian government to help the development of the IT sector in Ukraine.
3. What problem are you solving? Who are you solving it for?
MR: The market for Augmented Reality mobile games has expanded rapidly since the popularity of Pokemon Go highlighted consumer willingness to step outside and experience a mixed reality through their mobile devices. Until recently, the availability of high-quality interactive games which utilise augmented reality features have been limited – this is where Reality Clash comes in. We aim to bring competitive gaming to the mobile device with a combat game that offers a fantastic level of player immersion through augmented reality and geo-mapping technology. We want to create an exciting game that retains users and encourages player development and participation in community led tournaments and competitions. Players are enthusiastic about competitive gaming and the rise of the popularity of esports and gaming, in general, are evidence of this but mobile gamers have not had the opportunities that other platforms have provided.
We are all very much aware of the growth of competitive gaming, if the money talks, then this money shouts: there was $892.4 million in esports revenues in 2016. Esports viewership hit 213.8 million in 2016 and brands put $662 million in sponsorship money into it. By the end of 2017, revenues had increased to $1.5 billion.
The rise of esports has been indicative of something bigger, as the amount of people interested in gaming has increased. This is across console, PC, handheld and the relative newcomer – mobile.
Given that mobile gaming is something that has been more stunted than other platforms due to the availability of current technology, it is no surprise that competitive gaming has only begun to pique the interest of mobile gamers. But the interest is now there… gamers want to be able to play wherever they go, whether it is on PC, console or on their mobile. Reality Clash aims to give these players another reason to venture out with their mobile and make the world a playground. We aim to develop competitive mobile gaming opportunities whilst also securing digital asset trading for our users so that they.
4. What is your solution to this problem?
MR: Through Reality Clash, we are aiming to bridge the gaps between gamers, blockchain technology and cryptocurrency by enabling players to become virtual arms dealers – speculating on limited edition digital assets such as weapons or equipment and trading these items for profit. Hardworking players will have the opportunity to monetize their gameplay through in-game achievement and trading.
All of the tradable in-game items of Reality Clash are considered to be ‘digital assets’ because they are backed by a fully verifiable blockchain based trust list and each item is entirely unique. Players do not need to rely on the centralised database of a game server, they can view their Reality Clash items in their own wallets or on the blockchain meaning true ownership of these digital assets is now possible. The ease of which players can trade and transfer these assets will increase their value both socially and functionally. Proving asset scarcity via the blockchain based trust list also provides security to traders who know exactly how many of these assets exist at any given time.
The Reality Clash Coin is an ERC20 Token with numerous capabilities. Besides being the primary game currency for Reality Clash, we have big plans for allowing players to swap their currency between future games on our platform at a direct 1:1 swap. Players should not lose their money just because they want to play a different game when this currency can be verified and transferred via the blockchain systems.
Game services will be supported by non-intrusive advertising that can be of a great importance to businesses. The idea behind this marketing perspective is to provide value both to consumers and businesses. As a business owner, you will be able to use the platform to directly reach out to local customers by setting a parameter or segment on different variables.
Establishing the contact with the players will be done by the businesses themselves by setting up unique offers or by choosing to showcase their logo in the specified areas. Users then can use the offer and convert it into a real product or a discount in the actual store of the business.
The initial action is building an AR advertising platform which we are working on at the moment. However, that is only half of the journey since the plan is to later combine that with one such VR platform What is to be done afterwards is to see AR and VR merge in one game.
As one of the most popular advertising methods, social media marketing is mainly focused on getting more likes and converting them to website visitors. However, that gets better when you add a direct focus on your local customers who are of the greatest value to you. The costs of such an AR marketing method is low, far lower than what you would pay to advertise in a local newspaper. Still, such an old-school advertising method is non-scalable and the results and value cannot be measures realistically. Most importantly, the fact that 80% of the daily internet traffic comes from mobile surfing is something that makes this type of advertising something worth considering!
5. Why is your industry ripe for disruption?
MR: 20% of virtual items are lost to fraud each year. In a market worth billions of dollars, this is a significant impact on the virtual economy. Damage to consumer confidence causes players to abandon platforms that let them down and it is, therefore, crucial that measures are implemented to improve security and functionality of digital asset trading. Supporting the trading of these assets with blockchain-based trust lists is just one crucial disruption to the industry that will improve consumer confidence and reduce unnecessary costs and fraudulent activity from the economy.
6. What’s the future of your industry?
Prediction #1: Investment in AR applications will continue to increase with major publishers and companies attempting to integrate AR features with their products. Mobile devices will see a push in development as greater demands are put on the hardware.
Prediction #2: There will be a rapid increase in indie and AAA publisher activity in the production of AR games and applications. We have already seen the start of this with titles such as the Harry Potter and The Walking dead mobile game whilst social media applications have been using face-based AR tools for quite some time.
Prediction #3: Augmented Reality Applications will begin to integrate with the majority of mobile apps. Interactive advertising aimed at mobile users will increase through commercial augmented reality opportunities. We have already seen some use-cases of this such as the attempts made by Toys-R-Us in the UK.