GameFi, blockchain gaming, gaming in general, and metaverse. All of these and everything linked to them has been extremely hot. The incredible growth and impressive potential has made billions of dollars for speculators, bringing and millions of people into the space. However, as with all new industries the competition is fierce and only a handful of entities are likely to succeed in the long run. Different strategies are used by companies to assure that they are the ones left standing, and Gala Games is one of the top contenders.
Gala Games has an impressive project with an even more impressive approach to the sector. I think their approach will be easy enough for everyone to understand and it does make a lot of sense. What Gala Games is trying to do is create AAA games that will attract gamers not because it’s on the blockchain but because the games are excellent.
In this article I’ll dive into Gala Games as well as their native token GALA. However, I’m going to differentiate a bit from the other traditional reviews and focus more on Gala’s games and team. To find even more useful information you can take a look at a recent video about Gala Games on the Coin Bureau YouTube channel.
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Looking At the Competitors
When you think of blockchain gaming there’s probably a few names that immediately pop into your mind. Axie Infinity, Decentraland, The Sandbox, Star Atlas, and some other big names – although Decentraland and The Sandbox are more metaverse than gaming. Then when you think about traditional gaming you might think of GTA, Call of Duty, Sports Games (EA Sports), World of Warcraft, Halo, Counter Strike, and many more. Now take a moment to think about what separates these blockchain companies from traditional ones (apart from the blockchain of course).
After thinking about that for a while you might have come to the same conclusion as me, blockchain games aren’t that great to play compared to traditional games (no offense). None of these games have anything special in them apart from maybe Star Atlas but that’s years from launching, Axie Infinity is a simple game with not that much excitement on top of the earning aspect. Decentraland and The Sandbox have graphics that are not that great and there isn’t much to do in these games.
Therefore, Gala Games has taken the approach to create the best games out there – blockchain or not – and on top of that they’ll have the additional benefit of being on the blockchain incorporating both full ownership with NFTs as well as the earnings aspect. How Gala Games manages to do this is by having an amazing team which we’ll get into in the next part. The result can already be seen with one game operating and one in beta mode. The one in beta mode is called Spider Tanks and they’ve even hosted a world cup in Seoul that gathered thousands of viewers. The game has some good e-sports qualities and it wouldn’t surprise me if this game completely blows up when released.
Let’s get straight into who’s on the team. First, we have Eric Schiermeyer who’s the co-founder and CEO of Gala Games. Eric is the former CEO of Intermix Media, the company behind Myspace, and he’s the co-founder of Zynga. Eric himself brings the first super star talent to the team with his background from Zynga, and in case you don’t know Zynga, they have many popular games including FarmVille. The second co-founder and currently the studio director at Gala Games is Michael McCarthy. He’s the former creative director at Zynga and also the one behind FarmVille 2. Another grade A quality to say the least, FarmVille 2 had over 40 million monthly active players at its peak.
The next big name on this list, and someone with a title that every kid dreams of, is the President of Games at Gala games, John Osvald. John has a 15-year background in the gaming industry, most of It from Zynga, but his most recent position was Head of Products at the mobile games division at Electronic Arts. His job at Gala is to oversee the games under development and with that background he looks like the right man for it.
Next up we have Warren Marshall and Craig Matchett, both of them working with 3D designing. Warren is the co-founder and art director at Gala. He has over 20 years of experience in the industry and 5 of those were spent at Epic Games where his most recent project was Fortnite. Craig is working on one specific project at Gala which is Mirandus, which will get into later. Craig’s CV speaks for itself since it includes being a part of the creation of Dead Space 2 and 3, Battlefield Hardline, and many more popular games.
Lastly, I’ll mention Jason Brinks since he has kind of become the face of Gala Games. Currently Jason has the role of Head of Blockchain which is why I believe he’s been the one that has been taking the stage. And, he actually said in an interview that he was a few hours late from becoming a co-founder at Gala. Jason doesn’t have a long and impressive background in gaming but that’s alright since as revealed by his title he handles the blockchain part. Jason got into the blockchain industry by doing voluntary work where he saw the need and the good that this technology can do. He’s even got an award from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for something called the Aid Dollar. However, he realized that traditional players can’t move with the speed of which is necessary which led him to see the possibilities gaming has with its fast pace of innovation.
On top of this group there’s much more talent available at Gala. In the recent year they’ve been hiring like crazy and are now over 200 employees. Also, as you can imagine the more Gala and the more the whole blockchain gaming industry grows, the more talent Gala can hire. So, if you ask me, I believe that these talents are only the beginning and as we go on, we’ll see lots more quality people migrate from the traditional big players (EA, Activision, and Take-Two) to blockchain gaming companies like Gala.
To really express the value created at Gala Games I want to talk about what they’ve already created and what’s currently in development. Now these games are some fun and engaging games and while you might have come to read this article to know whether GALA is the real deal or not, you might instead find yourself a fun play-to-earn game. Keep in mind also that these are just three games out of a long list of games Gala will be launching so I recommend visiting their website to see if you’d like any of the other upcoming games better than those I’ve picked.
Town Star is currently the only fully launched game and it is still being developed and updated all the time. This is a farming game, and it can’t be a coincidence that many at Gala had previously been working on Farmville at Zynga. Town Star is available on your computer as well as IOS and Android compatible, and it’s completely free. In October of 2021 Town Star incorporated play-to-earn and currently there are multiple ways to earn, as well as NFTs to be acquired within the game.
The first way to earn is by competing in weekly competitions. This is done by just playing the game and earning Star points as you go. The 100 players who’ve earned the most points each week get rewarded, the whole reward sum is 198,000 GALA. These weekly competitions are fun, and it doesn’t really require anything else from you than just playing the game.
The second way to earn is by doing daily challenges. However, in order to do daily challenges, you need to own an NFT. These NFTs can be found either in the Gala shop or on secondary markets like OpenSea. Then when you own and deploy these NFTs in a game you’ll be given challenges based on how many NFTs you have. When completing these you earn the TOWN token. The amount you can earn depends on your NFT, but it can be anything from 1 up to 100. However, the amount you earn isn’t finite and it has a cap which apparently depends on a variety of factors which to me are still a bit unclear even after reading about it from the official website.
There are two types of NFTs on Town Star, some with game advantages and some are only cosmetics. In order to earn rewards, you need to have at least one from the first category. When it comes to how much these NFTs are worth there’s a lot of difference based on the rarity and the potential income. For example, one NFT could be worth many thousands of dollars because it gives you the possibility to earn 100 TOWN tokens (≈ $66) a day. Also, you can always sell your NFTs and if the game keeps gaining popularity there shouldn’t be any reason why your NFTs wouldn’t sell for the same price or even more. However, there’s no guarantee so don’t go spending too much money on the game before learning about it more.
Spider Tanks is a PvP brawler available on PC and desktop, and as I already mentioned, I believe it has some great e-sports qualities. The game is currently in beta mode, and you can buy NFTs. What makes this game a bit different from Town Star is that it’s not developed in-house. This game is developed by an award-winning game studio from Netherlands called Gamedia.
The game seems extremely simple and could be compared to, for example, Brawl Stars, the popular game created by Super Cell. You simply need a tank and then you can jump in different game modes and play. The game is advertised as free to play so my guess is there’s some way to gain a free tank to begin with. The tanks are extremely interesting since you can customize which body and what gun you use, there are a total of 8 abilities that vary depending on what combination of gun and body you use (Health, Speed, Clip size, reload speed…)
The play-to-earn mechanism in Spider Tanks will be in three different forms, skill-based competition, resource collection, and something called player driven upgrade cycle. The amount you can earn is yet to be determined but I’m guessing we’ll see something similar to Town Star. There will likely be a Spider Tanks own native token as well as the GALA token available. Currently all the NFTs are sold for GALA tokens.
This is perhaps the most anticipated game from Gala and it can clearly be seen in how popular the NFTs have been. Mirandus is a fantasy RPG in which players will have full control and freedom. Unlike others the game likely won’t be free to play since you’ll have to buy a character to start playing. Currently the rarest characters are already sold out and not many remain from other tiers either (don’t know what happens when all are sold out).
The game will include many different features. The world will be ruled by five-player monarchs but since there is freedom you can choose what you want to do. You can, for example, become a knight of a monarch, or maybe you want to go for an adventure in the wilderness and try your luck against monsters found there. The game hasn’t yet released tons of details about the gameplay itself but let me tell you about one of the play-to-earn mechanisms.
The game will have 1625 deeds which correspond to owning land. These deeds will earn you money since people who want to build on top of that land will have to lease the land from you. And, from what I understand there will be high demand for this since anyone in the game can buy buildings and they can be built on anyone’s land as long as the lease is paid. Naturally, there will be other earning features too but this more metaverse approach seems really interesting. I totally see where this game has gotten its popularity and I’ll be keeping a close eye on this project and also all the others from Gala.
How does Gala Games Work?
For the time being both the GALA token and the in-game tokens are on the Ethereum blockchain but will later be moved to the Gala sidechain. Currently much of the traffic on the games and marketplace is powered by Gala nodes, also known as Founders Nodes, but the details surrounding this are a bit unclear. Later on, these nodes will power the Gala sidechain. According to Jason Brinks there will only ever be 50,000 nodes which should be able to handle up to 100 million monthly active users. Other details surrounding the Gala sidechain are unclear since no documentation has been released. Currently there are just over 21,000 nodes active but according to an interview with Jason Brinks only about 10,000 licenses remain. Currently a node license costs about 286k in GALA ($85k) and can be purchased through the Gala Games website. To learn more about the requirements and how node operators earn I suggest you watch the already mentioned Coin Bureau video on Gala, TLDR, earnings are about $150 per day according to another YouTube video.
On top of the Founders Nodes there will be game specific nodes. These nodes won’t earn rewards in the GALA token but in the in-game currency of the specific game. Only one game currently has active nodes and that’s Town Star. One of the benefits of these nodes is that it allows games to run without needing the browser open. These nodes will also vote on game specific updates.
As mentioned, GALA is an ERC-20 token, but it also exists on the Binance Smart Chain as a BEP20 token. GALA is used to pay for NFTs on their marketplace and as payment for the Founders Node licenses. In the future GALA will likely also be used as payment for transactions on the Gala sidechain.
Gala Games tokenomics are a bit unclear but according to their own page the max supply is around 50 billion. GALA is distributed a bit over 17 million daily and 50% go to the Founders Nodes while the other half goes to the Gala Games Conservatorship for further development of the ecosystem. This issuance will be halved each year until it eventually reaches 0. What’s weird and unclear about Gala is its current circulating supply. CoinMarketCap and Coingecko both show small amounts of supply while Etherscan shows a massive circulating supply of 36 billion. This is concerning since without knowing the actual supply it’s hard to judge the price potential. There’s also no way of knowing the market cap.
Price Action and Concerns
In the last year the GALA token has increased over 30x but the majority of the gains have come during the metaverse hype which started last September. GALA has also fallen over 50% from its all-time high. When it comes to how much room the token has to grow it’s hard to say, and that’s because of the market cap issue I mentioned. It has a huge difference whether the market cap is somewhere around $2-3 billion like CoinMarketCap and Coingecko suggest or if it’s somewhere closer to $11 billion as the statistics from Etherescan show.
Another downside to the token is that it lacks sufficient demand compared to its supply. As mentioned, there’s millions of GALA issued each day and it’s safe to assume that at least some of the Founders Nodes are selling their share since there’s not much to do currently with GALA. This won’t change until the GALA sidechain is released and the token gains more utility, and the timeline for that remains unknown.
The third concern I have with GALA as an investment is related to both the lack of utility and supply. From the many interviews and documents I looked at it seems as though the team doesn’t really care about GALA being a good investment. They talk multiple times about how GALA should be used to interact with the games which makes me think that the token might better be thought of as any in-game currency and that the in-game items are those with the value. This is of course pure speculation from my side, and I do believe it’s likely that GALA will see great price action moving forward if they manage to launch multiple successful games.
You might have noticed I didn’t include a roadmap or an updates section but that’s because there isn’t a clear roadmap and not much has happened since Guy last covered to project on the CB YouTube. Therefore, if you haven’t already, I again urge you to go watch that, at least you can watch the roadmap and concerns parts which contain most of the information not included here.
Hopefully this article otherwise gave you some insights into Gala Games and what they’re doing to become the number one gaming project. The great potential seems to lie in playing these games and earning through that. The games are quality games and will compete with traditional games not only because of the play-to-earn function but also because they are great and fun games. Now whether they can wrestle with big names like Axie Infinity in terms of market cap remains to be seen.