Sergei Labutin

"In Blockchain, The Player Is Key"

We talk with Sergey Labutin, Executive Director of the Estonian company Ether Dale, about the upcoming release of Glitch Goons and the future of blockchain gaming on mobile.

Glitch Goons is a futuristic vaporwave saturated mobile game where cybernetic animal-humanoid fighters do battle. The game is one of the first multi-blockchain mobile games on the market, supporting a whole range of cryptocurrencies.

Why blockchain?

I have been making mobile games for a long time. Blockchain became a sort of lab experiment for me, which brought together programmers, mathematicians, financial and crypto specialists from around the world. When the crypto-gaming community was formed, my friends and I thought it was a brave new world where innovation is key and the player is valued above all else. We believe in the technology itself, we predict that AAA games will start embracing blockchain in the years to come. Reusing characters, items, equipment, etc. is a dream come true for many players. It's the dream of never having to lose the value invested in all the games you love to play.

Crypto-games are more valuable than the company who developed the game or the company which manufactured the phone you use. We decided we wanted to be part of this new world and build its future. We are working to make sure the values of this new world are available to all, not just a small community.


Tell us about the Ether Dale team. How many are you? What is your background?

The first Ether Dale project, Ether Quest, was a typical startup. There were only six enthusiastic developers who loved the idea of a blockchain community. It was a terrific experience: we were working non-stop with no days off, no vacations, pulling 16 hour days. We developed the game in about three months, containing the core of the blockchain ideology. We soon realized we could do something much more complex, so we started putting together a team of professionals.

I personally approved every candidate, the important thing for me was whether the person was enthusiastic about creating something that no one had ever done before. Of course, another important thing was that every team member had significant job experience and expertise in what they do. Now our team has grown to 22 people, we spent more than three months to find and choose the best of the best, and more than a month after that to immerse them into the blockchain world.

As far as I know, we have managed to put together the biggest and the most experienced team in the emerging crypto-game industry. The team is now actively working on Glitch Goons, which is set release in late November. This November will also be the first anniversary of our team, which is a very big milestone in the crypto-world, where the rules of the game are changing every six months. We have proved we can create quality products, and that we can be trusted.

Tell us about Glitch Goons, what is your new project's goal?

We set out to achieve a very ambitious goal: make blockchain games popular by attracting players from the mobile gaming market. In Glitch Goons, we plan to immerse players into the blockchain technology world by demonstrating to them all the advantages they will have. In blockchain, there is no market commission (which is always paid for by the player eventually). Game characters are owned exclusively by players, who can always sell or exchange them, thus bringing value to the time they have spent playing.

We have been busy making all the necessary agreements to issue our own GameCoin (GC) token based on the ERC-20 crypto token. What makes our coin special is that its economy is pegged to the US Dollar (1 GC = $1 USD ≈ 0.005 ETH) and we aim to make this particular cryptocurrency less volatile. This is vital for most people interested in investing since no one wants their investments to devalue, even if it's into a game.

Another goal we have is to build the first multi-blockchain game. This means that the player can choose which blockchain they want to use to store their game characters, which cryptocurrency to use while paying to enter tournaments, and which cryptocurrency to use when exchanging their GameCoin tokens.

We want to give the player the freedom to choose what is valuable to them, what they want to store, and where they want to do it. Moreover, we are working to ensure that players who store game assets from other games can enjoy our game too, (for example we will keep all the characters from our first game Ether Quest.) We plan to go one step further and support a range of other companies, which have a proven track record with their players, in order to help the emerging crypto-currency game industry grow healthier.

Can you tell us what the future development plans are Glitch Goons?

We want to build a whole world around Glitch Goons, create numerous fighters and a huge variety of real-time tournaments. The game will be launched on Android and the web in late November. After that, we will be adding different combat modes and in-game events to the game.

We hope that the community will give us lots of feedback and tell us which game features they want the most. Their feedback will determine the game's development roadmap moving forward.

Interestingly enough, the writer of the Glitch Goons background story has been inspired to continue writing an entire novel set in the game's universe. So who knows – maybe we will soon have our own book series as well!