Last year, Playkey collected $10.5 million for developing a decentralized cloud gaming service. It’s already been three quarters since then, and we’ve decided to talk about what we’ve managed to achieve in that time.
Placement on exchanges
Listing a token on exchanges can increase its value by 15–20%, so placing its cryptocurrency is one of the most important tasks for a company after carrying out the ICO. Playkey started to work on reaching agreements with exchanges even before the ICO, which is why you can buy PKT tokens right now on the seven largest and most famous exchanges:
Also, in May-June 2018, Playkey bought back 2 million PKT to support the token’s value and increase the status of its holders. This allowed the Playkey Foundation to accumulate tokens for the next important stage — introducing options to pay for a subscription to the service using PKT.
Paying for subscription with tokens
Just half a year after the ICO ended, in June 2018, Playkey introduced subscription payment to the cloud gaming platform with tokens. This involved testing many different solutions, but everything went as expected. This means that PKT has become an indisputable utility token and not just a trading tool.
For adapting users to cryptopayments, we gave users the opportunity to save up to 83% of the subscription price when paying with tokens. The exchange rate is calculated as 1PKT = $2 regardless of the token cost on markets. This had a positive effect on the service’s economy: for each card payment, Playkey has to pay a fee of roughly 3–7% (from $2 to $4.9 depending on the selected plan and acquiring requirements), but when tokens are used, the fee is 20–50 times cheaper, being just $0.1.
Releasing on new markets
Playkey’s plans include three high-priority international markets: Germany, the USA and South Korea. In 2018, we released on the German market, the gaming capital of Europe and the largest market in the region, which generated around $4.4 billion in revenue in 2017. More than half of the Internet users in the country plays video games at least once a month and is willing to pay money to do so.
Some of the Playkey servers were already in Germany, and the German provider DARZ invested $1.5 million in the company last year. That’s why we took our first step in scaling up there. And to guarantee a high level of quality in transmitting video streams and player teams, Playkey is developing a collaborative relationship with leading European solution provider G-Core Labs.
After the ICO, Playkey defined its short-term strategy: promote the product among gamers and miners. For gamers, it represents an innovation in the world of cloud-based gaming. For cryptocurrency enthusiasts, the company will be promoted as a trailblazer in the cryptoindustry.
The team has continued to work on increasing the number of publications in mass media. In the 9 months since the ICO ended, more than 300 articles have appeared in different languages and publications, including those on business, technology, gaming, cryptoplatforms and other media resources. This includes new markets such as Germany. Publication languages include English, German, Spanish, Arabic, Hindi, Korean, Japanese, and more. Playkey has also continued classic digital advertising at a moderate pace.
Playkey’s speakers maintain a presence at specialized events both in the gaming industry and the cryptosphere: we attended G-Star 2018, Gamescom 2018, Blockchain Summit London, Esports Business Summit, Blockchain Expo Global 2018, Game Developer Conference, Digital Economic Forum, and other important events.
Playkey has also started collaborating with opinion leaders on various markets and with special monitoring services that help us make decisions about buying different cryptocurrencies.
Researching the ecosystem
Recently, Playkey performed several studies of its audience — both gamers and PKT token holders — to get a better idea of their requirements and provide them with useful content.
The main users of the Playkey gaming service are socially active men, employed, 25 years old, for whom games are a form of relaxation rather than escapism. They primarily use a laptop with Windows 7, preferring AAA and popular online games with high-end graphics. They value game stability, and for them, the chief bonuses of cloud-based gaming are saving time and money. Still, they are willing to spend money on new titles and classics alike, not to mention a platform that offers access to both. They find the service on their own after coming up against system requirements they can’t meet for the games they want to play.
Playkey has written detailed instructions on the service for these users.
The typical cryptocurrency investor who has PKT in their portfolio has been investing in cryptocurrencies for at least a few months, and many have been involved in the ecosystem for over a year. They invest regularly: over 60% of those surveyed had made their most recent trade within the last week. The portfolio size of most backers (one-third) is of average size, from $1,000 to $10,000. These investors don’t limit themselves to one cryptocurrency — the majority have between two and five types of tokens in their portfolio. They usually make trades on several exchanges at once. They make decisions based on investment signals or tips from opinion leaders depending on the country in which the investor lives.
Developing a decentralized platform
Playkey’s developers continue to improve the current service and prepare it for decentralization. Back at the start of the year, we finished designing the first version of the architecture for the decentralized platform and began developing its individual components.
Playkey has developed the following mechanisms and algorithms: user launching the game, controlling playing time, deploying Playkey infrastructure on miners’ servers, mining software and more. We managed to automate some of these mechanisms to save users’ and miners’ time — for example, automating Playkey software deployment on servers reduced release time by 20%.
Some updates significantly influenced the gaming experience: for instance, the algorithm for streaming video now adapts to users with a good Internet connection and doesn’t add the superfluous frames that are used with a bad Internet connection. Optimizing the control stream minimized controller lag by approximately 10%, making it virtually imperceptible.
All the new component parts of the Playkey architecture have been combined into a single application and partially integrated with the current infrastructure.
At the same time, the team developed and launched a new solution with tentative name “Desktop.” This component is critical for the launch of decentralization: it captures and sends the video stream from the entire workspace, not from each game component separately. We provide the game and the user with full access to the booted-up system (virtual machine). After the game, we return it to its original state. This allows us to move from micromanaging a centralized server park to distributed platform operation.
Right now, English and German speakers can play GTA 5 and Fortnite in test mode through Desktop, and Russian speakers can also play Dota 2, Counter-Strike and Warframe. Also, Playkey managed to add microphone support in the new solution, and the voice communication already works.
Thanks to all the new components and solutions, the testing phase for the decentralized cloud gaming platform is planned for the foreseeable future — most likely the start of 2019.