Project Review: Apeiron -A Unique God Game Franchise on the Blockchain
Published 14th April 2023 by MSV Team
The gaming industry is a highly competitive, fast-growing, and challenging market to penetrate. The increasing adoption of blockchain technology and popularity of Web3 gaming has expanded the industry. Within the gaming community Web3 games often mirror existing Web2 games and add NFTs and tokenomics to call themselves a Web3 game - hardly the most creative approach. Current game developers are reaffirming key values in games with enjoyability, accessibility, and creative gameplay top of their minds. Being able to add value to the market with something new is key for a game to gain traction and market share.
One way that games differentiate through the genre. There are over 30 gaming genres, such as MMOs, Shooters, Sport, Strategy, Roleplaying, and more. Another well-known games genre are God games, which allows players to control and manipulate the lives of virtual characters or civilizations. Since its introduction, God games have, through technology, advanced into including more elements of strategy and simulation. Popular Web2 God games include Black & White, Sims 2, Dungeon Keeper, and Populous: The Beginning.
A game looking to revolutionize the God game genre is Morningstar Ventures portfolio company Apeiron – the first play & earn God game on the blockchain. The game empowers you to experience what it is to be a God, and it’s also empowering Web2 gamers to be onboarded to Web3 through an easy-to-understand, accessible, and fun game. We are diving deeper into our portfolio company Apeiron for this month's project review. In the review, we will cover everything from the founding team behind the game, the tokenomics, the business model, and unique gameplay. As always, we will end the review with our thesis of what we like about Apeiron and where we see potential challenges for the project.
What is Apeiron, Founding Team, and Fundraising
Apeiron is the first play & earn adventure God game on the blockchain. Developed by Foonie Magus, Apeiron is a decentralized ecosystem built on the Polygon blockchain that aims to combine NFTs and DeFi through an accessible and fun-to-play God game. Apeiron features a fast-paced real-time card-based combat system and simulation gameplay inspired by classic God games such as Populous and Black & White. The game recently released its NFT Marketplace, which aims to support its tri-token system and drive the utility of its governance, play-to-earn, and premium team-to-earn tokens, which all contribute to the game’s token economy.
Apeiron has already released its Battle Demo Alpha and is gearing up to release the Season 2 Battle Demo open Beta this April and May. The full launch of the game is set to go live in 2024. Currently, Apeiron has around 140K wallets connected to their online game and 94.5K total users.
The founding team behind Apeiron consists of experienced professionals in the blockchain and gaming industries, including CEO Frank, COO Orange, and CTO Gem, who all have over a decade of experience in game development and publishing. Since the game’s inception in 2020, the team has grown to 82 people, with its headquarters in Hong Kong.
Apeiron has raised over $17M at the close of its seed round, receiving over $3M from pre-seed investments and $10M from seed investments led by Hashed and joined by other Venture Capital firms such as DeFiance Capital, Morningstar Ventures, Spartan Group, and Defi Capital. Additionally, the project received over $4.5M from NFT sales during their first mint.
Tokenomics, Business Model, and Marketplace
Apeiron's tokenomics model is driven by the marketplace, and monetary reward system used for governance, staking, and yield farming. The in-game operations rely on Apeiron’s tri-token system:
- Apeiros (APRS): Serves as the governance token. It is the core utility token from the PvP tournament reward. The utility allows you to mint new NFTs, stake treasury rewards, and vote on governance issues.
- Anima (ANIMA): Serves as the play-to-earn token. The token is a player-based win-to-mint token, where the supply and demand scales based on the number of active users.
- Ringularity (RNGU): Serves as the premium token for distribution at large-scale events, such as Guild level tournaments. It is a community-based win-to-mint token that is difficult to get. The utility is based on bidding on new seasonal NFTs, tournament betting, and more.
The idea behind the tri-token system is an idea borrowed from physical card games centered around seasonal tournaments and community competitions. Both APRS and ANIMA are used to create and enhance the cards, while RNGU is used to unlock the newest wave of each gaming cycle.
The team aims to put the power back into the hands of the players. They do this by giving the players ownership of what they create in Apeiron’s NFT Metaverse and through the play-to-earn token Anima. During the game, players can earn Anima, which they can feed back into the economy to progress in their gameplay, or take it to the marketplace and exchange it for cryptocurrency.
Apeiron's business model revolves around the gameplay, tri-token model, and marketplace. Players can control and manipulate the lives of virtual characters and civilizations using NFTs, which can be purchased and sold on the Apeiron marketplace. The project's ecosystem also includes staking, yield farming, and a governance system, which provides additional revenue streams. The project’s revenue streams include taking a percentage fee from marketplace transactions, NFT sales, and merchandise. By utilizing the tri-token system and 4 NFT collections, they can filter the different types of players and investors into different asset classes, gameplay, and investment styles, which relieves the selling pressure and guarantees a balanced healthy economy where all participants are incentivized appropriately for their actions and avoidance of pure price speculation in the token economy of the game.
Gameplay, Marketplace, and NFTs
The main gameplay happens on Planet NFTs, which players can purchase on public marketplaces such as OpenSea, or on the official Apeiron Marketplace. Apeiron players are called Godlings - newborn gods - and use their in-game divine powers to answer the prayers or punish the sins of cute little creatures called Doods. The real-time card-based combat system allows players to release their Godling Avatars - powerful elemental constructs - into battle to turn the tide of the war against Chaos. Throughout the game, players can breed their Planet NFTs and purchase more in-game assets via the ANIMA token to grow and gain utility.
🎥 Watch the Trailer ➡️ here
Players are in charge of their Planets, have unique biomes, and use the four elements of air, water, fire, and earth to reshape the world in their image. Players can grow their Planets through these natural elements to fit their gameplay strategy. The Doods that inhabit the Planeets build their societies and react to the elemental miracles that happen through your divine influence. The Planet is a unique NFT that is up to the player to grow and develop; they can also breed these planets through a holy event called Celestial Conjunctions. By breeding more Planets, they can increase their godly power or simply profit by selling off excess Planets.
By heading into procedurally generated dungeons on each Planet, players can get powerful rewards and collect Dood Apostles to fight alongside their avatars. In the dungeons, players can uncover Artifacts to collect, bosses to fight, unique story events to experience, and colorful characters to meet. The PvE Dungeon system is currently in its early builds, but it is playable - if you are interested in playing, visit the Apeiron Discord, and you can potentially get access to try it out for yourself.
We can surmise that there are three essential pillars that make up Apeiron’s Key Game features:
- God-Game Simulation: To play the game, one must get their own NFT Planet from the public marketplace and inhabit this planet in an EDEN. There are 15 Planet archetypes that players can breed in Apeiron depending on elemental combinations. Each Planet also comes with unique cosmic items. There are also larger structures called Constellations within players that have stars and associated Planets. Morningstar Ventures is the owner of a Constellation and also has a large number of planets. The Constellation of the game allows players to lend their real estate, thus generating passive income.
- Action - RPG: Players are able to move and attack enemies on combat maps. During these battles, the Player Avatars can access skill cards drawn from the combat deck. Planets with more elemental composition will have more access to powerful skills.
- NFTs: There are three main kinds of NFTs in Apeiron:
Planets: They are the main gameplay loop of Apeiron. Players can acquire their first Planet NFT by (1) joining a gaming guild to get a non-transferable seed Planet to try the game or purchasing any Planet available on the marketplace.
Stars: These NFTs are comparable to “Land” in other games, as the Star has one or more tracks on which the Planets could be parked. The Apeiron Godiverse is made up of 11,493 Stars, and they are a necessity in the later progression of the game.
Relics: These are unique NFTs that can be openly traded with others. Relics provide a form of permanent progression for players, incentivizing them to interact with the marketplace. They are created after an Armageddon event where players can change their Artifacts and Apostles into Relics.
Being the first God game in the blockchain is both a strong advantage for Apeiron and a potential challenge in the future. It is imperative for the team to create a game that is successful in onboarding not only Web2 gamers but also captures the attention of existing Web3 natives. Below we highlight some elements we like about the project and where we see potential challenges in the future.
Strong points of Apeiron:
- Being the only Web3 game that explores the modern possibilities of the God game form, Apeiron offers something unique to the gaming market. As part of the project’s fundraising round in 2022, we at Morningstar Ventures saw an opportunity for growth as Apeiron offered a higher-tier game and something different compared to what we were seeing in the rest of the Web3 gaming space. The God game genre was an intriguing element to the game’s potential, given the popularity and long track record of other well-known God games. Although product market fit is too small to measure at the moment, Apeiron’s high-quality gameplay, strong focus on NFTs, and tri-token in-game economy make it a game with growth potential, which was recognized by all investors. Furthermore, considering that the Web2 God games market is dominated by very few developers in the gaming industry, it seems that there is untapped potential in Web3 for a God game to establish a new space as well. Furthermore, Apeiron is constantly running competitions and small releases with strategic partners and guilds such as Yield Guild Games, egld.gg , etc. In their last season, they had a tournament between the guilds where players participated and tried to compete on time for a prize pool. Such step-by-step releases allow for testing and iterative reveal of the different elements and serve as a powerful factor in engaging and retaining the community.
- Apeiron has a strong NFT engagement strategy for players fueling their NFT economy and tri-token model. The game consists of 3 NFTs and three tokens, all with different utilities for players. The governance token APRS allows players to stake and earn a yield of 150%, and the total supply will never exceed 1,000,000,000. The team will also regulate the amount of Apeiros available at any given time. On the other hand, the play-to-earn token ANIMA supply is not fixed, and each token is minted when a player accomplishes certain tasks in the game. Furthermore, the recent introduction of the in-game marketplace allows for trading, staking, and buying of assets, where the team will take a percentage commission fee to support one of their three revenue streams. Finally, before the launch, Apeiron was already a highly anticipated game and well-perceived by the audience. According to the latest statistics, there are 140K wallets connected to the Apeiron online game, and 94.5K total users are playing. Apeiron has highly intricate gameplay fueled by multiple NFTs, quests, card-game elements, and more. Because of this, it is a highly anticipated game in the gaming community, promising to create a unique experience for both Web2 and Web3 gamers. Finally, when looking at some of the analytics of the game's NFTs, the trading volume is $1.62M since the first mint in April 2022. Furthermore, Planet NFTs have had an average floor price of 0.033 ETH in the last 90 days. The original mint price of the Planet NFTs was 0.10 ETH; with the recent market conditions and the release still yet to happen it will be interesting to see where the NFT floor price goes in the upcoming year.
Potential challenges for Apeiron
- Despite the high potential vertical, it will be difficult to penetrate and gain initial market share in Web2 gaming. As previously mentioned, Apeiron has complicated game mechanics meaning it might be difficult for people to understand the gameplay and in-game economy. There is also an initial advantage for investors who own Planets already; however, the game has PvP gameplay modes that favor rare and older planets and other PvP modes that standardize all statistics so players have to fight on equal footing. Currently, the user experience is not the best when it comes to onboarding on layer 2. In Season 2 of the game, which the team is due to release soon, guests can play with a guest login rather than a wallet and email address requirement. Finally, the tri-token economy is complicated and may discourage players just there for the “fun”. Because of the mechanism of the third token, $RNGU, the token won’t come into play until there is a massive online play, the 1st and 2nd tokens will be the first to evolve the economy.
- Apeiron needs to onboard users with clear tutorials to mitigate the complexity of the game. In order to onboard users, you need clear tutorials and instructions, along with attractive core loops at the beginning of the user journey, aka people need to win, not feel stupid and interact with others in order to return. Nevertheless, in the upcoming season 2, the team will also address many of the concerns regarding seamless onboarding users.
What’s Next for Apeiron
Over the next months, the Apeiron team is set to launch their private Beta and, later on, the public launch of the game.
We look forward to the upcoming developments and the open beta later this year. For more information on upcoming releases, follow Apeiron’s channels below.
Learn more about Apeiron ⬇️
🌐 Official website: https://apeironnft.com/
📡 Official Global Telegram Community: https://t.me/ApeironAnnouncements
🐦 Official Twitter: https://twitter.com/ApeironNFT
📜 Medium: https://blog.apeironnft.com/
📚 Whitepaper: https://whitepaper.apeironnft.com/apeironnft/ascension-what-is-apeiron
🕹️ Discord channel: https://discord.com/invite/dYpdSckNnd
🎥 YouTube channel: here