Welcome to The NFT Gaming Podcast series with Chris Zhu, Co-Founder of Mirror World. In this interview, we talk about the Mirror World ecosystem of games, AI NFTs, Mirror World SDK, onboarding users to Web3, the future of Web3 games, and how brands can leverage Web3 to capture the next billion users.
Chris Zhu is the co-founder and CEO of Mirror World. Before founding the company, he previously worked with Byte Dance (the parent company of TikTok) in the role of strategy and investment and as a SaaS product manager. Together with his distributed team of over 30 people, they are building the Mirror World Matrix eco-system. The Mirror World Matrix is an ecosystem of autonomous game worlds inhabited by intelligent NFTs, powered by the Matrix Core Engine and interconnected by the Mirror World Matrix Token to accelerate Web3 game development.
Mirror World is a game matrix with AI-powered virtual beings, the Mirror, fighting along with the players in the game universe. Mirrors are fully interoperable across all the Play-To-Earn games in their matrix. This means that anyone with a pass can use it to access any of them.
After publishing 3 different types of games, Mirror World plans to open its standard economic framework for more content producers to connect to their game ecosystem. Mirror World is an AI-powered virtual carnival that yields crypto returns for the people, by the people.
With Mirror World, gamers can consume AI-powered gaming content from any of the games within the Mirror World Matrix and generate the main utility token, MWM Token, by playing. Gamers can also draw cards from our marketplace on a regular basis in the hopes of finding higher rarity characters that allow for higher returns across the ecosystem.
Chris had this to say: "We are actually heavily inspired by games like Diablo as well as Hades. So, when you have amazing battle mechanics but also a story that your digital companion goes through, that's what we wanted to bring on." "So, like me personally, I'm a huge fan of Nintendo games. I really look back at the days where I played Pokemon and the sense of ownership that I really felt for these digital pets, and also when you're kind of going to every single one of those IP worlds. You're really recognizing the same characters across different worlds, and those characters are so iconic that, you know, Nintendo's making all the bank because of those right now. With Web3, we hope to actually democratize a lot of that revenue split based on those characters to the users as well. So, definitely, those are some core inspirations for me."
Mirror World is the ideal fusion of a digital playground, an entertaining gaming environment, and a place to earn rewards in reality. The Mirror NFT is the first intelligent NFT in the world, with each mirror having been specifically built to have its own uniqueness, special attributes, and ranks. The Mirror NFTs are dynamic and engaging thanks to the AI-driven soul, which connects holders to the entire game ecosystem. All 11,000 Mirrors for Generation Assets have currently been bought and made tradeable.
Mirror World is building the world’s first interoperable GameFi Matrix inhabited by AI NFTs. In this world, mirror NFTs can be thought of as a one-time pass that allows players to travel through different game worlds and experience different game content. Among the existing game world designs, Mirror World includes Mirrama, an ARPG that combines roguelike gameplay; Brawl of Mirror, a casual PVP-based arena dueling game; and Beacon, an SLG-based game.
And Chris had this to say about the Mirror World game-play approach: "Mirror World is essentially an interoperable game matrix that's powered by our own SDK, and within that SDK, we have artificial intelligence algorithms as well as mobile development kits to allow developers to actually create their own virtual multiverses, so to speak. And we started this project almost a year ago now. We started it within our artificial intelligence NFT collection, which allowed users to interact with their assets in a way that allowed them to develop and level up their intelligence." "Some of those assets were, you know, customized to have a personality just like Kanye West, the other ones like Elon Musk, and our community really loved that when we first started, and then we branched out into actually creating social activities around those digital beings."
Mirror World allows developers to develop and distribute AI-powered Game Worlds powered by the Matrix Core Engine and receive a share of the native MWM Token yielded from these games. The Matrix Core Engine follows a modular design. Developers join the Mirror World Ecosystem to build worlds as games on top of existing modules. With each crypto game, Mirror World aims to provide its community with easy cross-platform development and distribution to express the most interesting worldview.
The Matrix Core Engine can be described as an engine for accelerating the development of Web3 games and decentralized applications. At its core, the Matrix Core Engine is comprised of game development sandboxes, smart contracts, and SDKs, as well as an AI language and service model layer to augment the experience of the individual user in the Mirror World ecosystem.
For gaming studios or individual creators, this eliminates a lot of the complexity involved with deploying your game on a Web 3 stack or integrating AI into your games. This implementation allows a "Bring Your Own Game" approach to Web3 gaming and decentralized application development in the Mirror World ecosystem. We will standardize tool kits for all game creators and thus lower the bar for Web2 content manufacturers to adopt the ownership models of the new world.
Chris had this to say about the mobile SDK they are launching this month: "So we decided to actually make our own SDK so that the development process would be shorter for developers building games on web3 as well as for our users. They would actually have a better native mobile experience. So what our SDK process really wanted to focus on was how to actually onboard new users, convert them, and actually have them be able to purchase any NFT, even if they had no prior experience with crypto. That's the product that we're very, very proud to actually roll out this month, and it's called the Mirror World mobile SDK, and we will have additional developers actually onboarding the platform, and we already have our pilot users."
There is no silver bullet when it comes to building a successful Web3 and NFT project. The key lies in focusing on your project's long-term goals. Projects need to be focused on building a great community around their product, to make sure the users are happy, and to make sure they are delivering value to them every step of the way.
And Chris had this to say: "In the next five years, I think more and more brands are going to spend maybe 10% to 20% of their energy on actually experimenting with Web3. And I think the keyword is experiment with the current technology and what it can offer and what the user feedback will be at this stage." Continuously building out new games is also an approach that crypto gaming should adopt, where like one studio is kind of breaking its grand vision down into multiple pieces of an MVP and just constantly rolling those out and piecing them together to create a better experience."
The future of Web3 games is bright, but it's important to have a long term plan.
For Web2 gamers who are used to playing games through traditional platforms like Steam and GOG, the experience of playing a game on Web3 layers can be daunting; there's no easy way for them to buy tokens or NFTs. However, there are many ways we can onboard these gamers into the world of Web3 gaming:
• Provide an easy path for users to purchase in-game items with fiat currency (i.e., USD) via on-ramp services.
• Integrate with the existing infrastructure that Web2 gamers use today so they can seamlessly transition between those platforms and Web3 while keeping the experience intact!
Then, Chris had this to say on onboarding Web2 gamers to Web3: "When we're thinking about onboarding Web2 users into Web3, what are some ways for you to actually get to know the underlying technology? It's really through the applications themselves. The first thing that we did was essentially create a social login that would allow users to log in with their Discord, Twitter, Facebook, or whatever, and then, once that happens, their identity, which is already established in their Web2 accounts, can be easily tied into an in-app wallet, which we also made into an SDK for all developers, so users have the ability to transact even if they don't have any prior cryptocurrency experience. We really think that in order for you to capture the next wave of users, we have to prioritize mobile. The mobile era has almost ended for the Web2 economy, where the growth rate has skyrocketed and then plateaued. But for crypto, it's almost 10 years out."
In conclusion, Chris believes that the future of games will be more decentralized, and this is why they are creating a world where game developers can build their own games on top of the Mirror World platform. With Mirror World SDKs and tools, developers will be able to create truly unique experiences for gamers by incorporating blockchain technology into their games seamlessly. They are also creating an ecosystem of mobile games for gamers. It was nice talking with Chris Zhu on this episode of the podcast. We wish them all the best with their project. See you all next Tuesday when another episode of the podcast.
HOST / PODCAST BIO
The NFT Gaming Podcast features developers building the next generation of gaming: play-to-earn NFT games. In this podcast, NFT game founders Jason and Jacob interview key contributors to the NFT gaming movement across a multitude of blockchains. Our goal is to help bring clarity to the topic of NFT gaming, build credibility for new and existing projects, and help gamers across different blockchains find new NFT games to play. Season 2 of the show is proudly sponsored by Revelar. Revelar is the NFT Game Engine, built on Cardano.