One word that gets thrown around a lot in the NFT space is presale. Countless startups, games and projects of all types in the crypto space are turning to some sort of presale to sell their virtual goods and in-game assets. In many cases, these items don't exist yet, a fact that can make these presales an incredibly difficult world to navigate.
Still, in most cases with this type of project, patience can and will be rewarded. Of course there are some that will fail, some that will underwhelm, and others that will flat-out exit scam and screw people out of their hard-earned money. I like to think that I can always spot the difference, but that's nonsense. Anybody can get tricked. Remember that while you're considering putting money into a presale, no matter how certain you may feel about the future.
Sometimes a presale will wow you with a lot of buzz or some excellent name-dropping. Sometimes it will offer you huge discounts. Sometimes it will promise you utility that is yet to be explained (or even defined). You cannot assume though that a presale is garbage simply because one or more of these things is happening. If it's a project that has caught your attention, you can rest assured that you're not the only one. That fact alone is a very strong confidence point. Trust yourself, trust your instincts, because God knows you can't trust many people out there in the world. I do know that reaching people on an individual level in this supposedly connected world is more difficult now than it ever has been before. When a company can pull that off, they deserve at least a little of my attention and research, but I'm usually still a long way from committing money to them.
Presale is the choice decentralized method for raising money. In 2017, some of you may remember a thing that I now the ICO Craze. If you were in crypto at this time, you'll remember that the charts were booming as everyone thought that altcoins were unstoppable. I'm not even ashamed to admit that I threw money away toward projects that have long since exit scammed, vanished, or just outright failed. If you're investing in crypto, ICOs, NFTs or future games, you should always know that nothing is certain and there is a ridiculous amount of financial risk involved. If you think this is unacceptable, perhaps you should adjust your expectations.
For me, there have been a few presale projects that really stand out. Even though I believe in all their eventual success, I cannot even say that I am sure enough to have invested into all of them. I'm not made of money after all, and there are just too many out there to get in on everything.
So without further ado, and in no particular order, here are a few presale stage projects that are well worth taking a look at.
Something about the team over at Calystral jumped out at me immediately when I first noticed their presale. They are developing a blockchain trading card game called Synergy of Serra, built on Ethereum using the Matic Network. Matic is a scaling solution for Ethereum that solves the silly problem of gas costs, allowing fast and free transactions, the kind that gaming requires. Many projects on other blockchains (like Splinterlands on HIVE or anything built on WAX) conquered the gas problem a long time ago, but to do so on Ethereum would be a huge step toward the mass adoption that we all seek.
First, I noticed that Calystral had built their team right. With a visit to their website, you can see the guys on the team and clean bios, allowing you to feel immediately that you know and can trust them. Take a stroll over to their Discord community and you'll discover that they are really great, down-to-earth people with a solid plan for a beautifully innovative deck-building game: Synergy of Serra.
The structure of the SOS presale also caught my attention, as they have presented one of the best ways to reward the earliest investors that I have ever seen. This is a crucial aspect of presale with which many companies struggle to find balance. The trick is to make the earliest investors with the greatest degree of faith feel special without overpromising or worse, giving them so much that you torpedo your own business. After all, presales are always a method of raising money for a company, and companies need to make money.
admiring the Synergy of Serra booth at DYGYCON's premier event
THE SOS Presale
My absolute favorite thing about the SOS presale is its structure. Two types of Crates are being sold by a system of pricing tiers. Each tier contains various numbers of Crates available for always increasing prices. This means that if you're one of the earliest to notice Synergy of Serra, sure, you'll have to wait a long while until the game is ready, but you'll also have access to the Crates for a fraction of the final retail price. Sounds like a fair trade to me, and the fact that the plan is laid out entirely in advance means that they have run the numbers. And with the Calystral team at the helm, I trust that these numbers will work.
In the above snap, taken 12/13 around Noon EST, you can see that they have not yet sold out of Transcendent Crates at the lowest price of $2. These are the more expensive of the 2 types of Crates available. The Base Crates are currently only $1 each. You can also see that as they near the end of their presale in Tier 10, the exact same Crates will cost $11 each. There is no telling when that Tier will arrive because it depends entirely on how quickly the Crates sell. But the Crates are already transferable, which is excellent!
Well done, Calystral! I can tell that you have a great project here. A marathon, not a sprint.
Splinterlands Land Expansion
This is a unique presale in that it's coming from an established blockchain game, and one of the leaders in the industry. Of course I am heavily biased toward Splinterlands as their Content Director, but I'll do my best here to give you an honest rundown and explain the reasons that I believe in this presale.
Just a few months ago, Splinterlands announced the details of their long-anticipated Land Expansion. Basically the addition of Land into the Splinterlands ecosystem will bring in yet another revenue stream for the players and collectors, not the company. With this expansion, player-owned land will produce resources and goods that will ultimately be made into Items and Spells. These items and spells will only be available player-to-player, meaning that they will never be sold by Splinterlands the company. It will be a free for all. Players will need to work together. Some will rise as merchants, and others will produce and hoard certain crucial resources to corner the free market.
Items and spells will eventually be added into the current Splinterlands gameplay as a new phase of creating a team. After teams have been submitted, a second round will occur that allows players to equip items and spells to give their teams an extra edge in battle. Participating in the Land Expansion will not be required to enjoy the game, but it will add many more dimensions of strategy to what is already a strategic giant of a game.
My Favorite Things about the Presale
1. Cheap Land - In some of these virtual land sales, I have seen some incredibly high prices. While these have their place (see Mirandus below), they come with greater expectations of not only gaming utility, but value. This means that the higher the price, the greater the pressure will be on the presale company to succeed.
Splinterlands Praetorian Land will be sold for $20 "retail" for each Plot. The 3 stages of presale have offered varying discounts from 50% off to 30% off. In the 3rd and final discounted presale on December 19th, Plots will be sold for $14 each, with bulk discounts and additional bonuses available for purchases of Tracts (100 Plots) and Regions (1000 Plots).
Because there is such a limited amount of alpha land available (150,000 Plots), there is a very good chance that once they are no longer available, the secondary market prices will rise. Just before the release of the Land Expansion, the final Land Sale will sell the last 60,000 Plots at the "retail price" of $20 each. Scarcity: Nobody does it better than Splinterlands.
2. The Praetorian Raffle - In addition to selling all land for a substantial discount in the presale, Splinterlands is giving away well over $100,000 in NFT prizes as incentives to purchase. Every dollar you spend in the presale will earn you a single Raffle Ticket, meaning that if you buy a Region Claim for $10,500 in the third stage, you'll also receive 10,500 Raffle Tickets.
These Raffle Tickets are fungible tokens themselves, already being traded on the secondary market at HIVE-Engine. At a TBD date in January, drawings will be made for the following list of high-dollar prizes:
Notice the Totems toward the bottom of the chart and the question marks next to them. These Totems will never again be available, and with a to-be-determined degree of in-game utility, no one can even guess their value. The portions of prize pool with already established values alone already equals about $105,000 - This includes nothing for the 31,200 Totems that will also be won.
3. I'm Helping - We all tend to trust ourselves, especially if we're hard workers. I am a hard worker, and I am a skilled and creative individual. I have already created the map of Praetoria that is currently being digitized by Splinterlands Designer Nate Aguila and his art team. We are working hard to deliver compelling and innovative value to this huge project, which will be released some time next year. Here is one of my maps, from which Praetoria is being designed:
You'll find all the necessary details of the Land Expansion at THIS POST, and details of the presale itself at THIS POST. You can buy Land Claims now at SPLINTERLANDS.
Mirandus - By Gala Games
Here is another presale project that has the video game-playing child inside me incredibly excited: Mirandus, the upcoming blockchain RPG being created by the geniuses over at Gala Games. One thing I can say confidently about this team is that they know games. Another is that they know how to hold an exciting presale.
Prepare yourselves to hear a lot more about Gala Games in the coming months and years. They're out there building a play-to-earn model that will probably be cranking out quality games left and right. Plus, the team led by Eric Schiermeyer (co-founder of Zynga), Michael McCarthy, Jason Brink, and some other big names from the mainstream gaming industry has the knowledge and clout to push blockchain and play-to-earn gaming to mainstream mass adoption. That means millions of players, and these guys will not fail.
The first play-to-earn offering from Gala Games has been Townstar, a strategic town-builder with real money prizes for competitive play, staking rewards and a killer affiliate program. Additionally, GALA holders have the option of purchasing and running a Gala Node to contribute computing power to the decentralized Gala Games network. Running such a node may be pricey, but so is anything that guarantees a completely passive income. If you are at all interested in purchasing and running a Gala Node, please contact me in Discord - ChrisRoberts#5514 I'll get you all the necessary information, the pros and cons, and who knows? I might even be able to finagle you a special deal!
New to Gala? Please use THIS LINK to claim your Townstar Beta Key, which you need to play (and so I know how I'm doing). Thanks! Gala Games is creating a powerhouse of referral-based marketing that gives its power back to the players.
The Mirandus presale is currently underway, with deeds to in-game land and buildings already being sold. Some of them (Homesteads) are going fast, while others (Citadel 1 of 1s) are awaiting the arrival of individual king investors. Some of them carry heavy price tags, and others are available for budget players. All units are sold for GALA, which can be purchased directly through Gala.Games
I have personally fallen in love with the Mirandus Presale - I intend to snag as many of these properties as I can before they are gone, and for the reasons described above, I am confident in the Gala team's ability to deliver real value (both entertainment and monetary) to this upcoming RPG.
Again, if you are considering land from Mirandus and you have not signed up for Gala yet, please use THIS LINK so we'll be linked by future rewards and we can be friends as we delve into the play-to-earn future together. Thanks!
Phew! Those ended up being some pretty extensive write-ups of three presales that I love! There are many others out there, but I don't want to wear my readers out and this article has already become longer than those I usually compose.
I am thrilled with the engagement that blogging on Publish0x yields, and I always look forward to discussions and offshoots of discussions in the comments below. I'm happy to get to know each and every one of you, and to continue to bring you news, reviews, and views you can use about the wide, confusing world of non-fungible tokens.