MyCryptoHeroes: an interview with Kokushi Hattori
We learn about Japanese financial law regarding crypto, the inefficiency of sidechains, and what Japanese 7-Eleven delivers.
Gameunculus has been receiving a lot of attention for his interviews. And since lots of attention is precisely what his doctor prescribed for his deficit disorder (we haven't been able to convince him otherwise), he has kept busy making more.
Anybody who saw our devs' pets article on Monday might have enjoyed a certain old picture of a boy with his dog the most. Today we poke the brains of the man who once was that boy: Kokushi Hattori, from the MyCryptoHeroes team!
MyCryptoHeroes is part of the EMONT Alliance. This hybrid game where you collect history's heroes and send them to battle launched November 30th and just raked in 970 ETH in a crowdsale.
Q: What do you do for fun in the team?
A: We play MyCryptoHeroes!
Q: Do you have a favorite game besides MyCryptoHeroes?
A: I actually haven't played other crypto games much, besides ours... right now I'm playin Cubego though, it's fun! And some people in the team are playing Etheremon and Blockchain Cuties.
Q: What food do you get delivered to the office?
A: We're loyal customers of 7-Eleven. You know it?
Q: Yeah! You have 7-Eleven in Japan?? What does it deliver?
A: Several types of bento...lunch boxes.
Damn, Japanese 7-Eleven looked tasty. Several bento boxes shipped in from the Land of the Rising Sun later, Gameunculus picked up the dangling phone again and resumed the interview. Yeah, Gameunculus still uses a landline, so what.
Q: What’s hanging on the walls of your office right now?
A: Oh... have you ever seen a Japanese office? It's very ... terrible. There's just tables and chairs in a row. No decorations.
Q: Do you have a nice view at least?? DO YOU HAVE WINDOWS EVEN?
A: (laughs) No, just a PC for me.
Time to move on to less trivial talk:
Q: What were you and your teammates doing before working in crypto games? How did you first find out about crypto games?
A: I was working as an analyst, but some of our engineers were working at gaming companies, and others at financial institutions. When I first heard about crypto, I thought it was incredible. Crypto can realize a world in which gamers can earn money through games.
Q: What are some specific things that the crypto gaming industry needs to improve in 2019?
A: First of all, I think in order to expand our ecosystems we need to increase the number of people that are aware of ETH and other cryptocurrencies. People that don't know about cryptocurrencies just don't play blockchain games. It's also difficult to do marketing for crypto games, and there's so many requirements for people to play, like wallet apps, having ETH, etc. There are so many people that don't even know what ETH is! Like... "normal" people. Another thing to improve on is quality; blockchain games are currently not as good as "normal games". (laughs) Well – in general.
Q: Speaking of improvements; MCH decided to take some things off-chain along the way. Can you tell our readers about this? Why did you do it?
A: So, as you know, the entire game used to be based on Ethereum and the Loom Network sidechain. But when we launched our beta battle test, the side network was clogged, with just 150 trx. That's when we decided to go off-chain. We realized sidechains (like Loom) are not enough to deal with battle logic and with a good amount of transactions. We wanted to have everything on chain originally, but we decided to prioritize user experience. So now, MCH is a hybrid game.
Q: Did your users have any reaction to this change? Positive or negative?
A: Actually...no (laughs), not much.
Q: How far into the gameplay of MyCryptoHeroes can a player realistically go for free?
A: You can absolutely play for free. You can play without a gas fee, with default Heroes and items; so you don't need to buy anything to start. Without a wallet you can get as far as battles.
Q: Is your Japanese speaking audience larger than your English speaking audience? Are there plans to reach out to the English audience more?
A: Yes – more than half our audience is Japanese. We're trying to reach out to Chinese, European and American users. We have Chinese and English communities on Discord actually. And I'm trying to reach out to more media, like you guys! But we don't wanna cast our net too wide; we'd rather focus on taking care of a couple of communities well than get 10 communities that we barely have time to pay attention to. We have some 4k players, and 1k Discord community members.
Q: How much money did you bring in with the crowdsale?
A: 970 ETH.
Q: How do you allocate your funds? What percentage would you say goes into development, marketing, etc.
A: Most goes to development.
Q: Have you thought of adding rewards in crypto for battle winners?
A: Well, it's prohibited by Japanese law, so we can't do that. With neither crypto nor fiat.
Q: Do you wish this law would change?
A: Well yeah, that would be great!
Q: Do you think it'll change anytime soon?
A: Nah, not really. In fact it may get worse with time. In general the Japanese government is still trying to wrap their head around cryptocurrencies and trying to decide what they should do about them.
Q: MCH uses GUM, which is “neither a cryptocurrency nor a token(NFTs or ERC7-20); (but) a local currency in the Crypto World”. Can you explain to our readers why you decided to go for this peculiar kind of economy?
A: Absolutely; it's actually because of Japanese law. According to it, we can’t sell a coin unless it is whitelisted by a financial service agency. And this year, no cryptocurrencies at all have managed to be approved. So... we cannot really call GUM a cryptocurrency. When we were creating the game, we decided we really wanted to focus on developing the product itself and making it good. If this was part of the deal, we'll take it. We just hope the law changes soon so we can make the game experience even better!