Sept 2022#Cases#GameFi#NFT

Launching an NFT sale for a P2E game in the bear market:a case study in strategic consulting

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Authors

Roman Aliev

Roman Aliev

Strategy Marketing Director

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When it comes to GameFi IDOs and especially INOs (Initial NFT Offerings), in-depth preliminary research is key. Here is how we helped a successful studio with over 250 million installs plan an INO for a new P2E game.

Who will benefit from the case?

Game studios considering the transition from Web 2.0 to Web 3.0 and companies entering the GameFi market.

The challenge: launching an NFT game in a bear market

Our client – a gaming studio – created a concept for a new NFT-based game based on the mechanics of one of its existing products, a global mobile hit with tens of millions of downloads.

Our task was to develop a go-to-market strategy for the game, featuring a public sale of NFT cards (INO) and utility tokens (IGO). 

How we did it – in detail

Step 1: audit and analysis

At BDC Consulting, any round of strategic consulting begins with an in-depth audit: what has already been done and what remains to be done to make the project attractive in the eyes of potential users and investors. We draw up checklists that evaluate various aspects and quality of the project and identify growth points (issues). 

In this case, we identified the following strengths:

  • An expert team of game developers (more than 250 million installs);
  • Quality tokenomics, created with the help of advisors from Solana Labs;
  • Reasonable NFT collection size;
  • The product would be ready in time for the INO;
  • A detailed roadmap that took into account the interests of players and investors;
  • An alpha version was ready for launch as a focus for the community-building activity;
  • Attractive game mechanics in line with the key P2E trend: a game should keep users engaged with its gameplay, and not as a way to earn money.

Issues and growth points:

  • Lack of community;
  • Lack of funds/partners that could boost trust and reduce marketing costs;
  • No agreements with launchpads;
  • No IR manager on the team;
  • The pitch deck didn’t reflect the project’s value;
  • No fundraising/IGO strategy.

Based on the audit results, we mapped out the next steps, with several types of activities to run in parallel. We started working on improving the pitch deck during the audit process, to bring it to a format familiar to investors as quickly as possible.

Step 2: a community-building strategy

An active project community is a key criterion for professional investors. The client hired community managers, while we did the rest:

  • Competitor community analysis;
  • Analysis of collaborations between GameFi projects in Discord;
  • Analysis of retention mechanics outside of the main gameplay;
  • A long-term community-building strategy;
  • A step-by-step 3-month plan for building a community;
  • An alpha version launcher;
  • Community manager guidelines;
  • An influencer management strategy.

Community managers received detailed guidelines that spanned 3 months and took into account the latest trends and successful experiences of other projects. We also changed some of the game’s reward mechanisms to allow for active engagement even before the game launch.

Step 3: an IGO strategy

In parallel with the previous step, we worked on the main objective – a successful INO (initial NFT offering) and IGO.

We conducted several studies:

  • IGO/INO audience segmentation by goal, project requirements, content consumption channels, & popular GEOs;
  • Relevant launchpads (fees, listing terms, marketing support);
  • Successful relevant IGOs (IGO schedules and launchpads, number of rounds, allocations, NFT pricing policy).

Insights

  • 6 IGO audience segments were identified: beginners, experts, guilds, speculators, influencers, gamers.
  • Guilds are one of the most effective promotion channels that require special terms. They can bring in a huge and loyal audience: for example, Avocado DAO has over 10,000 players, and Yield Guild Games has over 25,000.
  • It’s better to conduct a token sale (IGO) after a successful NFT sale (INO).
  • It’s better to make NFTs available in several rounds and focus on them selling out as quickly as possible. At least the first round should take place on launchpads.
  • In turn, the first INO round should be split into several stages:
  • A lottery one week before the public round;
  • A closed Whitelist sale the day before the public round;
  • A public round on a launchpad and a mint on the official site.

Step 4: a strategy for a sold-out first INO round

Once we had a general INO timeline, we created a step-by-step roadmap for the first round. The goal was to sell out the 3000 NFTs, equivalent to $800,000.

INO Round 1 was divided into 3 stages:

  1. 450 NFTs – sold via a lottery on the Premint platform;
  2. 675 NFTs sold to the closed Whitelist (reserved for the top alpha testers and other groups of users);
  3. 750 NFTs through the launchpad and 1125 through the website.

Next, we drafted a marketing plan to attract the required number of buyers with a 20% margin to ensure a sold-out round. The majority would come from within the community, as well as through advertising by bloggers and paid traffic. 

The plan also featured:

  • Media placements (for better outreach & reputation);
  • SERM – to monopolize Google search results for product and brand queries;
  • Collaborations with other NFT projects;
  • Listings on platforms popular with the target NFT buyers (rarity.tools, upcomingnft.net etc.);
  • Crowd marketing (posting and commenting in the chats frequented by target users);
  • Personal branding (presenting the team as gaming experts).

The result was a detailed marketing roadmap for 3 months.

Conclusions

  • Solid preliminary research is key to successful decision-making. 
  • A marketing plan should target to attract more NFT buyers than required to ensure the INO sales target is reached.
  • To sell out an entire NFT collection, an INO needs to be divided into rounds, with hype built up around each round. 
  • Community size and engagement are among the main criteria in GameFi. The community should represent all the target audience segments.
  • Guilds are one of the most efficient audiences in terms of scalability and lead cost: a single guild can bring in over 10,000 experienced engaged players.

Are you planning to bring your GameFi project to market? We will be happy to discuss a possible partnership – contact BDC Consulting through the form on the website.
 

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