Play2Live

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Updated February 7th:

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Play2Live is centered around the rapidly growing gaming and E-sports industry.  According to popular digital insights firm NewZoom the industry was expected to grow to be a $660 million at the close of 2017.  Play2Live goes as far as citing an unknown source for growth projections of $130BN by 2020.  The space is highly bullish, but ripe for change. The Play2Live ICO is centered around addressing the problems that the gaming community has cited to recent media sources. By listening to the community, they look to more successfully scale the gaming media vertical.  We review its efforts further below.

You must be familiar with gaming and its media channels to understand how Play2Live wants to address media and currency within gaming.  Unlike traditional sports, which are largely watched on network television, e-sports is sourced on multiple levels that are consumed in mass.  It can also be gambled on in a Peer2Peer sense, as there are no restrictive bodies like the NBA, NHL, or NFL, and there are loopholes in the US for shared gaming and its legality.  This is how the FanDuel and Draftkings fad came around a few years ago.

In addition to the channels that I have on my PSN Vue for national CPU gaming events, the digital sports community also has massive amounts of content that is consumed on streaming services like Twitch.  Here there are even gaming personalities and influencers, all of which contribute to Twitch’s take home pay on advertising and premium services.  Twitch owns the market, but they explicitly outlaw peer to peer gambling which ultimately makes them weak.  Gambling is one of the fastest growing revenue aspects of E-sports.  With this outlawed, making other platforms have emerged that are less adopted and in many cases less secure.

Overall, the gaming community is growing more quickly than most that rely on media consumption due to its deep roots in technology.  One of the reasons many ICO’s and coins have angled toward the gaming community is its openness to technology due to that fact that technology is where it sources its value.

 Play2Live cites five core sections of opportunity for the gaming community and its growing fans and viewers.  I think they’re all worth covering, so this is going to be a longer ICO article than usual. 

  1. Users are used to gaming environments, meaning they expect personalization features and options for their experience.
  2. Peer to peer relationships in the gaming industry need regulation and largely aren’t receiving them at this point. The commentary of Play2Live and its promotional materials suggest that this may be largely to streaming platforms acting as profit generators in advertising as opposed to service providers.
  3. Gamers and twitch users are allergic to advertisements and they frustrate the user experience. They also make it more difficult for content generators/players who stream their content to cut through the noise for fundraising efforts.
  4. Streamers can’t earn money quickly enough (something that’s exclusive to their industry right???). They want tools to monetize the traffic they generate as part of their service.  Streamers also struggle to hack together their own code and/or are forced to seek expensive services if they lack technical coding capabilities. Many can’t afford this start up cost at first despite having very brandable personalities or skills.   
  5. Gamers want to control their experiences past the brand restrictions of the streaming service. Whether it be templated or otherwise, they would like to change the look and feel that presents their content.

This space is going to be so exciting to watch.  From researching all of this, video games are ripe for their largest disruption since I blew dust out of my N64.  Streaming users are facing a very similar dilemma to early stage bloggers.  Isn’t it funny how history repeats itself? 

Much like early bloggers, gamers have a very hot and fresh form of digital content. In many cases their stuff is great. They just don’t have the technical skills or resources to generate their own hype or implementation.  Gamers are going to twitch because it seems like their only option for adoption.  Twitch is doing virtually nothing to help the streamer fundraise. They don’t provide a clearinghouse for peer to peer gaming.  They simply use the gamers and their content to rank and then generate their own revenue serving advertisements that viewers ultimately hate. 

Good for Twitch.  I’m sure you’ve had several years here of great revenue numbers and adoption rates.  I hope you saved it, because this isn’t going to stand forever, and you face headwinds ahead. 

Much like Qualcomm is getting destroyed repeatedly for exploiting a majority in royalty rights with the microchip market, Twitch will have its day of revenue loss too.  It just won’t be in court.  It will be from someone like Play2Live.

Play2Live functionality is piloted by the LevelUp chain where viewers, streamers, tournament organizers, and advertisers can transact LUC (level up coin).  From the beginning, viewers are able to watch streams and earn tokens in more than 5 ways.  Some of the incentives for viewers just to use the platform include being paid to watch advertisements that disrupt their experience.  Piers are able to submit peer to peer bets.  ESports tournament organizers can collect tournament dues as well as provide direct information to tournament participants. Game producers can even sell their game during streams on the interface with special intentions and calls for promotion that aren’t so disruptive to the user if used at the right time.

All of this comes with out of the box features for new streamers to gain donations and monetize the content that they own.  They even provide analytics for new users to see how they’re doing on their monetization strategies.

No matter what way you slice it, it’s obvious that this space won’t be the same in three years, let alone in three months.  Play2Live may very well be a player in that future, but it will largely depend on the success of this ICO and how they execute go to market strategy.  I still have concerns over adoption with a system like this, and it’s largely because of the role Twitch plays in search and user brand discovery.  They offer historic value.

Twitch has been relied on for so long as a discovery tool in search, but when someone else gets the revenue sharing of this right and begins to take users, Twitch and it’s Alexa rating will take a big hit.  Gamers will lose a major resource to find fun gaming in their vertical with such ease.  Something will happen or someone new will take their place.  Perhaps Twitch pivots into a position where they curate content and share revenue with their posters.  Such a model seems much more sustainable.

Either way, this looks interesting as an investment.  As always, be careful and good luck!  Do your reading!

ICO Start Date: 2/12/18

ICO End Date: 3/5/18

Play2Live Website: https://play2live.io

Play2Live Whitepaper: Play2Live Initial Coin Offering Details

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