This USD1 million SA game lets you fight fantastical beasts in augmented reality and sell characters

The gaming market is booming. Insights firm Newzoo estimates the market was worth US$116 billion in 2017 and will grow to a staggering US$143.5 billion by 2020. To put this into perspective, global box office revenue was US$ 38 billion in 2016 and is estimated to grow to US$50-billion by 2020. This means more and more people are spending money on games.

While many gamers have access to custom-built PCs or their favourite consoles, almost everyone has some form of smart device, whether it’s a phone or tablet. At present, mobile gaming makes up 43% of the global gaming market. This growth is being further pushed by the competitive gaming scene, esports could reach a value of US$2.4 billion by 2020.

It’s not just gaming platforms either, but gaming technology that is on the rise. Augmented Reality (AR) gaming is set to reach US$284.93 billion by the end of 2023. The technology boasts great promise as massive companies, such as Microsoft, Apple, and Nintendo are investing heavily in it.

Explain.

When he was 11 years old, Michael Deon dreamt of having fantastical creatures as friends to roam the real world with him. 15 years later the world’s first augmented-reality blockchain mobile game, Augmentors, has made that a reality everyone can share. Augmentors lets mobile gamerscollect characters from 36 races to battle it out anywhere from the boardwalks of Cape Town to the shopping isles of Sandton.

“When augmented reality tech was becoming more accessible, I realised that it was the right time to try and create Augmentors,” Deon says. “By that stage, I had already taught myself graphic design, videography, animation and VFX; but I needed to learn so much more before I could create a prototype that would attract the right investors. For months, I would work full time at an unrelated day job, come home and spend hours on YouTube learning and coding until the early hours of the morning. And then rinse and repeat.”

Players can auction their characters off too. The characters act as tokens built on the blockchain. That means once you’ve trained your character through battles, you can sell and trade them – and turn a cash profit. “It confirms there are only X amount of characters in circulation, meaning you own the character,” says Kyle Haffenden, co-founder and product manager, of the blockchain element.

The team got seed capital investment from Gil Oved and Vinny Lingham, through his investment firm Newtown Partners, which brought that element to the developing game.

“It was Ligham’s suggestion to integrate the blockchain into Augmentors was so inspiring, and we haven’t looked back since deciding to tokenise our in-game creatures,” says Deon.

The team crowd-funded and raised $1 million through the sale of Databits, their crypto token linked to Augmentors’ in-game currency Emeralds. “To see someone else playing it and then losing their mind, going crazy for it that’s the time I’m most amped about it. It shows what I dreamt about all those years ago,” says Deon.  

Augmentor is available on Google’s Play Store, for all device compatible with AR Kit.

 

 

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