Introduction to BlackPool Lab

It has been a long while since we last spoke about the BlackPool Lab. Have you ever wondered about what is going on behind the scenes as we select our projects?

S.A.M. Luci
S.A.M. / Luci

It has been a long while since we last spoke about the BlackPool Lab. Have you ever wondered about what is going on behind the scenes as we select our projects? Now’s your chance to learn more in this inaugural look behind the scenes. There’s much more to come, including detailed discussions of specific projects!

BlackPool is a pioneer in web3 gaming, an often murky water to sail to say the least… hence we needed a proper research and development (R&D) and team incubator arm, the Lab.

Who are behind the BlackPool Lab?

The BlackPool Lab is composed of permanent researchers who rely on their own expertise and that of other members of the Stake Capital Group, as well as recurring contributions from reputable sources within our network. Our experts strive to perfect their knowledge in all aspects of blockchain game design, constantly looking for new opportunities to support BlackPool’s goal to democratise access to the highest-yielding strategies in GameFi. Above all, the Lab is composed of people passionate about gaming who understand that blockchain technology can be a powerful tool to enhance the players’ experience.

The team has a broad experience in traditional gaming, blockchain and esports alike, and is currently advising projects from gamified art to fantasy sports and lending protocols. The Lab is constantly developing and expanding BlackPool’s market edge and expertise through collaboration with an exceptional network of key actors and builders in web3.

Why the need for the BlackPool Lab?

There are games that are building a strong economy, a form of a decentralised gaming scene, for which BlackPool can develop a yielding strategy. By design, it is only sustainable at the very top of the leaderboards. This is why BlackPool teams need all the support they can get from the Lab to reach maximum performance. Of course, there are games that are not necessarily a good fit for BlackPool that nonetheless deserve to be supported. For those, the BlackPool Lab can help with their blockchain strategy to focus on gamers' experience and sustainability.

We at BlackPool believe that blockchain technology has an important role to play in the future of gaming. It is a tool at the service of game design but not all games need to be decentralised nor do they all need blockchain. In fact, it becomes all too easy to fall into dangerous “play-to-earn” mechanics rather than focusing on delivering better, more immersive games.

Blockchain is a powerful tool. Use it wisely.

How does the Lab operate?

The Lab sits at the core of BlackPool, and its main role is to provide and conduct detailed analysis, research and due diligence reports that lead to investment decisions, marketing efforts and operational decisions. In practice, the BlackPool Lab supports blockchain games by either incubating a team that will play at the highest level or by advising the studio on the most interesting and sustainable course of action. It is dedicated to creating synergies and building an ecosystem that will benefit the BlackPool community and all gamers. To this effect, the Lab is uncompromising, ambitious and fair, focusing on results, quality and long-term sustainability.

The incubation role

BlackPool possesses many assets under management across many games and projects at all stages of their development. Therefore, not all of them have or need dedicated managers as is the case for Sorare or Immortal Game. For those, it is the responsibility of the Lab to keep a close eye on the development and prepare for an eventual BlackPool team to enter the game. We call these “protoverticals”. Once a team is economically viable, a manager is appointed, the game becomes a BlackPool vertical and it leaves the Lab’s incubator. Incubating a protovertical involves things like playtesting, investing, resource managing or scouting for the best players. All is done with the objective of building a sustainable vertical. Protoverticals under the Lab incubation process include Immortal Game and Footium, among a few other projects in earlier stages of development.

The advisory role

We are all passionate about gaming (and gamification), and ultimately, we want to play better games, even if it is not something for BlackPool. In our experience, there are three different kinds of games that involve web3 elements.

The first is composed of good games made by good developers of well-established studios that are great from a traditional gameplay perspective, but the implementation of the blockchain technology is often lacking, with a lot of potential left unlocked.

Then there are the games primarily made by blockchain evangelists, often involving experienced game designers who left the traditional studio world behind. These titles heavily involve blockchain technology but they are often lacking on the gameplay side of things, not having the appeal required to attract regular gamers and therefore focusing on a tiny market segment of people who are already well-versed in the world of web3. As a consequence, they tend to come with unsustainable earning mechanics.

Then, unfortunately, we’ve got the massive pile of awful projects that are often closer to Ponzi schemes than games, fully focusing on tokenomics with little to no interest to deliver actual good gameplay and long-term value to the player base.

Our team has a deep understanding of this emerging ecosystem and we are perfectly positioned to help developers craft the best possible version of their product and properly incorporate this exciting new technology. We believe it is just a matter of time until the ecosystem reaches critical mass with great games and great ideas – and we are offering a specialised advisory service for the seamless integration of blockchain-related features from lore to gameplay.

We offer this – and much more:

  • B2B & Bespoke Project Consultancy
  • Advanced Marketing & Strategy Support
  • Blockchain development expertise
  • Game design and strategy reviews
  • Market sentiment analysis and how this relates to your project
  • Use of best-in-class tools to assist/audit project tokenomics design

Future editions of this column will let you get a taste of how we operate as we discuss and dissect exciting concepts in the space, relying on our expertise to judge their validity and potential. We’re looking forward to sharing our work and we can’t wait to hear your thoughts.