Unfortunately, we have bad news. As the topic is serious, we will start from the very beginning to make the context of the situation clearer.
In 2017, our founder Sergey Kopov drew attention to the blockchain technology that had gained popularity by that time. The innovative game CryptoPunks showed that this technology can be successfully applied to games, allowing the creation of new game mechanics, which is always valuable in the highly competitive gaming market. Later, the successful launch of CryptoKitties showed that blockchain games can attract the attention of a large audience.
At that moment Sergey met an investor who was also interested in this emerging niche and found it promising. The partners agreed to make a pilot project, the main task of which was to get the first experience working with blockchain tech and to gather a team that will continue creating successful projects in this niche. This is how 0xGames company appeared and the development of 0xUniverse was launched.
The Promising Start
During the first 6 months, Sergey managed to gather the team and release the first version of 0xUniverse. We could draw the attention of crypto gamers to the project and it was released successfully. This allowed us to agree on a stable finance flow from our investor. He insisted that we should focus on audience and brand value growth instead of caring about profit because very soon the audience of blockchain players will grow dramatically and this will not be a problem. Based on this premise, we thought out 0xUniverse roadmap and also began to plan the production of new projects based on the experience gained.
The second half of 2018 was very productive. We went to conferences, shared experiences and talked to other developers. This allowed us to attract like-minded people to our team. With their help, we started to create new games: 0xUniverse: Battleships, 0xWarriors and 0xRacers. At that moment, we were confident that the investor would provide the necessary funds to work on 4 projects at the same time. In addition, we began work on 0xFramework platform, which was supposed to become a reliable technological basis not only for our games but also for future projects that we planned to attract in a few years as a publisher.
The Hard Times
The successful 2018 turned into a hard 2019. The start of the year was optimistic. 0xUniverse received regular updates and its audience grew rapidly. In March, the game has already become more popular than CryptoKitties and has firmly established itself in the top as one of the best games on Ethereum. We released 0xWarriors on time. Work on 0xRacers was progressing according to plan. But later we ran into the first difficulties.
The experience of 0xUniverse said that Ethereum blockchain is poorly suited for games and new projects were already done taking into account the multi-blockchain architecture. However, our first attempts at working with new blockchains were unsuccessful. We spent a lot of time connecting EOSIO, but failed to contact its developers and therefore did not receive support from them. Then we connected Tron, the developers of which were quite friendly at first and promised both marketing and financial support. But in the end, the Tron team turned out to be scammers – marketing support was minimal, and they still owe us money.
But even worse was the fact that the audience of blockchain games did not grow as our investor expected. The number of players remained at the same level. The revolutionary blockchains from Facebook and Telegram have been canceled. The Facebook ad platform continued to ignore blockchain games, and other channels were not effective for us.
Along with these failures, our relationship with the investor began to worsen and we stopped receiving financial support on a regular basis. This forced us to freeze the development of 0xUniverse: Battleships, and the production of 0xRacers went much slower than planned. We also had to change our main goal set previous year. Now the main target was not growth, but the earliest possible reaching break-even point.
The Final Battle
We focused our efforts on improving 0xFramework to make the use of our games as simple and accessible as possible for a casual player not familiar with the blockchain tech. By September 2019, we made it possible for a gamer to start playing by making the first payment in the usual way with a credit card, PayPal or his Apple / Google account in the mobile version. Lucky for us, at the same time, Facebook Ads has finally opened up its audience to blockchain games. We were able to effectively buy ads targeting casual players who came to our already updated platform. The first experiments we carried out that fall were successful. We attracted players to the Android version of 0xUniverse at a price lower than those players generated revenue during the first month. This was very helpful because by that time our finances were running out. We were able to agree with our investor on the continuation of financing and began to scale up the ads campaigns. According to our estimates, we should have reached a break-even point by the end of the first quarter of 2020.
However, in December 2019, the investor informed us that he would no longer be able to support us. Moreover, we had to return what remained in our accounts at that time. As a result, we met the new year 2020 without money, but with debts. We do not know the reason for his decision. Probably the investor’s main project faced problems and he decided to focus all his time and resources on it at any cost.
The situation became even more complicated when Ethereum actually stopped working since May 2020 due to high load, i.e. people couldn’t play 0xUniverse, and the planned transition to Matic was constantly being delayed.
Only the appearance of a new investor could save our company, and we were actively engaged in this. We had many negotiations and until recently it seemed that everything would work out. However, last week another deal fell through and it became impossible to maintain the current state longer.
Today we have to admit that there are almost no chances to save our company and projects. This is extremely painful for us. We put our hearts into 0xGames, but now it will have to be closed. But this is not the worst, because we knew in advance that game development is a risky business, where not every project succeeds. Moreover, we experimented in a new niche. The saddest thing is that we were unable to complete the development of 0xRacers and failed to meet the expectations of our honorable players. We apologize. It’s a pity that we didn’t succeed.
This week we will end the sale of in-game items and turn the projects to an autonomous state. All functions, including trading between players, will continue to work, the collected commission will be spent for hosting. In this state, we will maintain the projects as much as we can and as long as the players’ interest remains. In addition, we will try to complete the Corporation Wars update for 0xUniverse. At the same time, we remain hopeful and continue to search for investors.