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Kieran Warkwick, Co-Founder of Illivium, on Building AAA Blockchain Games, Raising Money, and Interoperability | Ep. 209

In an exclusive interview with cryptonews.com, Kieran Warwick, Co-Founder of Illuvium, talks about building the first interoperable blockchain game, the process of building AAA web3 games, and the long-term vision for Illuvium.

About Kieran Warwick

Kieran Warwick is the Co-Founder of Illuvium and is a proven serial entrepreneur. Working alongside his brother Kain Warwick in e-commerce, Kieran was exposed to Bitcoin and Ethereum early on. His enthusiasm for the crypto space led to joining Blueshyft. While there, Kieran successfully onboarded major Australian Exchanges and started the world’s first OTC cryptocurrency exchange.

Additionally, Kieran helped The Burger Collective amass 100,000 unique reviews, 20,000 monthly web app users, and established a partnership with the global business, DoorDash. At the same time, DeFi was quickly growing, and Kieran and Kain (Synthetix.io) wanted to explore uncharted areas of opportunity. With his background and interest in trading penny stocks, Kieran wanted to pioneer a DeFi project that would be a game-changer (pun intended) for the industries it represented. With this in mind, he tapped his brother Aaron (Co-Founder/Game Designer) to develop what will be the first AAA gaming title on the Ethereum blockchain, and Illuvium was born.

Kieran Warwick gave a wide-ranging exclusive interview which you can see below, and we are happy for you to use it for publication provided there is a credit to www.cryptonews.com. 

Highlights Of The Interview

  • Illuvium building the first Interoperable Blockchain Game
  • Launch of Season One of Illuvium Zero
  • Importance of developing an IP in an industry full of subpar products.
  • Long-term vision for Illuvium and our plans to get there.
  • DAO voting against Kieran to bring on Zhu Su for an Illuvitar D1sk

 

 

 

Full Transcript Of The Interview

Matt Zahab 
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome back to the Cryptonews Podcast. We are buzzing as always, and today’s guest is coming in hot across the pond. Today we have Kieran Warwick, the Co-Founder of Illuvium, the probably number one ranked AAA Rated Blockchain Game. Super pumped to have Kieran on proven serial entrepreneur. Working alongside his brother Kain, in e-commerce. Kieran was exposed to Bitcoin and Ethereum early on, and his enthusiasm for the Cryptospace led to joining Blueshyft where he successfully on boarded major Australian Exchanges and started the world’s first OTC Crypto exchange. Kieran also helped The Burger Collective amass 100,000 unique views 20,000 monthly web app users and establish a partnership with the Global Business DoorDash. At the same time, DeFi was quickly growing, and Kieran and Kain wanted to explore the uncharted areas of opportunity. With background interest in penny stocks. Kieran wants to pioneer a DeFi project that would be a game changer pun intended for the industries that represented with this in mind, he tapped his brother Aaron, Co-Founder and Game Designer to help develop which would be the first AAA game title on the Ethereum Blockchain, and that is how Illuvium was born. Super pumped to get into this one, Kieran welcome to show my friend.

Kieran Warwick 
Thanks, Matt. Thanks for having me.

Matt Zahab 
What a journey it’s been for you and the team. I remember seeing Illuvium I want to say early summer last year, I was absolutely blown away by the graphics that you guys have. I want to jump right into it. Before we get into that about your past and all the incredible things that you’ve grown and developed. What exactly does it take to build a AAA rated Blockchain game like Illuvium, and looks like it’s absolute bananas.

Kieran Warwick 
Though the graphic side of things is actually our other brother with this four of us, Grant and he’s been one of the top modelers in CGI for the past sort of 10 15 years, and when I say top, I mean like top, and so when I spoke to him about coming on board, he basically said look like let’s blow people away with the greatest graphics that they’ve ever seen in gaming. So that’s where it comes from, and but obviously you know, one person it basically starts with him, and then it goes down the pipeline, and we have amazing people inside our team, you know that worked out and on extremely good projects that considered AAA, and we just, we were ruthless, with our hiring efforts to ensure that we got the best people in the world to be able to not only deliver the quality, but deliver it in a timeframe, which fits in with that Crypto model of there’s a lot of speculators out there that don’t want to wait, and so you know, we needed to build things fast, and these guys just they’re insane. They’re extremely talented and they work just ruthlessly.

Matt Zahab 
It is true. Rome wasn’t built in a day and you definitely need that crazy army alongside just for the listeners could you just give a quick sort of primer on what exactly is Illuvium? What you and the team are building and then we’ll get into some of the fun, nitty, gritty stuff.

Kieran Warwick 
Yeah, so it’s the first interoperable Blockchain game. So essentially what that means is, we’ve got a universe of games that are all interconnected, that utilize the same assets. They’re all NFTs, and you can take them from one game to another to another and any future games that we create. The first three games that are in the public’s hands now in private alpha or private beta, our Illuvium Zero is your city builder type of game. I like to think it’s very similar to SimCity. You’re building out this complex, you need to make it as optimized as possible, and what you’re trying to do is get resources out of that complex that you’re building. Those resources are what’s used inside our second game Illuvium Overworld, and Illuvium Overworld is more like your creature capture a Pokémon style of game. We’ve got 200 Illuvials that rub around the seven different very distinct and beautiful regions, and you’ve got a utilize this fuel that you’ve taken from one game you’ve extracted from one game and you don’t have to do that you can sell it on the marketplace and earn money from doing that. Or inside capturing these Illuvials, and you know, harvesting the plants in the Overworld, and stuff like that which creates allows you to create skins allows you to create armor, weapons, and what you’re doing is you’re trying to build the most powerful team you can to go into our third game, which is Illuvium Arena, and that’s more your competitive eSports type of game, where very similar to Teamfight Tactics from League of Legends, it’s an order battle by your utilizing these NFTs that you’ve caught in another game, right? So that’s how they’re all interconnected, and any future games that we build. One example that I use is like a Kart Racer, if you decide you don’t want to go and battle these things in an arena, sort of chest like competition, you can go for the more fun route where it’s still competition, but it’s a little bit more laid back and, poured your Atlas or your Rhamphyre or whatever, into this kart racer game, and you’re not buying a new game, you’re not downloading a new game, it’s just all interconnected.

Matt Zahab 
It’s ready to go, and that will be one of the themes of the pod interoperability that will definitely go over. I want to go back to square one here before square one in regards to Illuvium, and we’ll also get into your square one too. But how the heck did you and your bros come up with the idea for this game? Like it’s so futuristic, there’s so many moving parts, like walk me through the inception of you know, you guys working some magic on a perhaps whiteboard to actually you know, raising millions of dollars and making this happen? Because I couldn’t imagine even getting this started, like walk me through that whole process? How did it start? You’re not even close to finished, you know, because you guys are gonna be buzzing forever. But like how did this whole thing come to fruition?

Kieran Warwick 
As you said in the intro, Kain our eldest brother went back into Crypto in, I don’t know when that was it was like 2018 or 17 or something like that, and he created synthetics, and that started taking off around 2020, and when that started taking off the pandemic hit and I was thinking about leaving Burger Collective, and he was pestering me you got to do it, and so finally he’s like he has a whole bunch of money as well. Get back into Crypto and just trade with this, see how you go, you may find a niche in the in the market, and if you do let me know and you can start your own project and all investor and all this kind of stuff. So I spent probably nine months learning the ropes again, and getting pretty deeply involved in DeFi and I throw a whole bunch of ideas at him. None were really sticking, and then I came across a game one day inside of Web3 that was utilizing NFTs and I was like, Okay, this is something big here, right? Like I wasn’t impressed by the game. But it was the utilization of NFTs inside of this game, and so that’s when I spoke to Grant and I said, dude like you got to come help me build a game in this space, we need to get something to we need enough like characters and stuff to get to a point where we can go to Kain and say, hey we’re actually serious about this. We want to raise money and then we want to build a team, and it took a while for me to convince him to do that. Because, you know there’s a whole bunch of you know, this negative cloud of a Crypto of like he’s sitting in the real world and he’s looking at it. He’s like, I can’t attach my world class brand nation. Yeah, reputation damages, all that kind of stuff, and so once I convince him, then we convince our other brother who was able to create the game design, we came together and we said, what game do we want to build here? Grant and I was super keen on collectibles. I knew that collectibles were sort of the flavour inside of NFT. So I was keen on that as well. But Aaron, he didn’t grow up in the Pokémon era and so he was like, I don’t want to do Pokemon. I would much rather do something like a League of Legends, and so yeah, we just kind of amalgamated the two and then Illuvium Zero came a little bit later, when we wanted to build the fuel system.

Matt Zahab 
And that was a wow. Yeah, how many crazy, perhaps stories do you have? And if you could do you have any in particular like just that stick out from the grind of building perhaps a late night or a call from someone in the space that you would have never expected to get a call from any story stick out, there must be a couple.

Kieran Warwick 
There’s a lot, right. There’s a ton of them, and I know one super early on, which I think was pretty cool was, Greg has a way of getting things out of me and being brothers, you can push the line a little bit further than the normal, and he was totally right, you know, we’d had a bunch of other ideas over the last, you know 10 15 years that I’d come up with, where he’s like, this is stupid, you know, we’re not going to be able to, we’re not gonna be able to raise money and then I’d borrow his time and say, Hey, I need a pitch deck could you design that and all this kind of stuff, and he basically said to me he said, I’m gonna give you two weeks, and I’m gonna design because this the previous idea that we had that we’re working on about six months prior to Illuvium, it just with the tech and the actual hardware just wasn’t working, we just kept on breaking the prototypes, and so he was fed up that he had spent so much time building and designing such a really deep like he did his job, we weren’t able to do our job, and so I convinced him, but he said you got two weeks to go and get money after I give you this deck. If you don’t do that, I’m out right? I’m just, it’s not happening. I’m not wasting another six months of my life doing this shit again, I’m out, and I went as soon as I got the pitch deck, actually, those two days before he delivered, he pissed me off so much in questioning me like that I said, you know what I’m gonna do, I’m gonna go and raise the money without the pitch deck, because we’d all been brainstorming and talking about this for like three weeks at this stage. So in my head, I had the concept of what we were gonna go and pitch and didn’t really need a document, and so without telling you, I just went and pitched to investors, one of them now Danny he’s our CFO, he was so convinced he was like, I’m in like, I mean not just money wise, I mean.

Matt Zahab 
Joining the squad.

Kieran Warwick 
I want to put my life into this thing, and so I came back and I said, I don’t even need your pitch deck, your graphics or anything like that. I just want to raise $250,000. Now we have our seed money, and he hears responses. Well, that’s what I made you do, and I was like, you know what? Maybe you did, which I mean, to be honest, it’s not hard to trigger. But you just told me I can’t do something, and I’ll probably knocked out a few doors to do it.

Matt Zahab 
I love that. That’s awesome, and you guys have raised a healthy amount of cash. Last year as well.

Kieran Warwick 
Yeah, after we raised the precede, I basically raised the seed blackout immediately backed onto it, we just had so much demand was so lucky at the timing of when we went out to raise that. It just all fell into place, and so that preceded seed was almost one thing.

Matt Zahab 
Right. Yeah.

Kieran Warwick 
And then once we’ve done that, I was working on getting articles in Cointelegraph and CoinDesk and getting our name out there before we add and obviously the other guys were working on building concepts and characters and design and like what actually everything was going to be, and so we’re all like working in our own little areas to try and get everything together before we did a public sale, and then that public sale, we broke the record for balancer and it was something like 45 million that we raised and so it was a total of about 50 million in capital that we raised.

Matt Zahab 
Congrats on that. That is absolutely incredible. 

Kieran Warwick 
Thank you.

Matt Zahab 
And that brings us to our next point which is the importance of building the first interoperable Blockchain game with that kind of money and that kind of cash in the bank. Obviously, you do need a decent sized runway to achieve such a lofty goal and that is building the first successful interoperable Blockchain game. I’d love for you to take a quick second and just sort of explain the importance and the need for a true interoperability game in the space.

Kieran Warwick 
So gave us for decades have, you know myself included, I just remember going back to like playing World of Warcraft and you’d spend so many hours like 1000s of hours playing these MMOs, and you couldn’t do anything with it right? Like you had all of these cool drops that you would get the super rare, you would get all of this gold, and instead of when you want to go to the next MMO, or if there’s an expansion or stuff like that, instead of you being able to take with you the things that you’ve earned, you’ve got to almost in every case start again, and so in the case of World of Warcraft, I wanted to be able to sell my assets right, like when I went from World of Warcraft to I think it was Guild Wars back there, I wanted to be able to say hey, like I’ve played for five years, there’s still people coming into this bottle, I want to sell these assets, and then move games now to do something that is different. It’s a new storyline. It’s something that I feel passionate about, but your stuck, right? And it’s like okay, now you got to put 1000 hours into this game, and it just leaves a bad taste in your mouth, and you feel like I should be able to own these assets. But it’s you know, they’re sitting on a server inside of this publishers system, and you can’t get them out right? So it’s not something that just Web3 people have been talking about. It’s something that has been going on for years and years, and you would even get people try to sell their accounts on eBay and stuff like that. So they’re doing like criminal stuff. But you know, they’re all at least against Terms of Service and stuff, and so the funny thing is that Crypto and having it on chain with verifiable assets and utilizing NFTs you actually make it more secure and safer for users to be able to go and do these actions, because you can try and block humans from doing things like this. But usually they’ll find a workaround, and it’s usually not the most ethical or safe way to do it. So the need for this has definitely been there. But the added advantage that you get on top of that verifiable ownership is that ability to take an asset from one part of the IP one game and put it into another game, and immediately off you go right like there’s no yeah, there’s no additional downloads, there’s no you don’t need to go and buy another game. There’s not skins that only work in this game, but don’t work in this game. You know, if Fortnite brought out another game the question is you know, are they going to gate that and say, you now can’t use these Fortnite skins in this new game that we bring out. Whereas we look at it and we go take your skins that you earn in Illuvium Zero, bring them into the Overworld bring them into Arena, if we come out with that racing kart game or whatever game like town events, skinnier towers, with Atlas and whatever, like all of these things is possible, and we think that it’s going to open up the minds of gamers and once it’s executed in a way that people are playing a game that’s just as fun as what mainstream is.

Matt Zahab 
Bingo.

Kieran Warwick 
Don’t think with that agency. You gotta you gotta give that back as a gamer, right? Like I just think it would be silly to think that the people are gonna go no, I don’t want to own the Pokémon that I’ve captured inside of the game, right? Like it just it’s an alien sort of way of thinking.

Matt Zahab 
That I completely agree with you Kieran you and I are in the same yacht there as soon as an invariable could be you guys but as soon as there is a mass adopted Blockchain AAA rated game where the users can come in and have interoperable assets and actually have something to show for instead of the you know, 1000s of hours played on set game. I just can’t see how the gen pop would want to jump in like as a gamer why wouldn’t you want to participate in said community instead economy? You know what I mean?

Kieran Warwick 
Absolutely. You just the hard part is you got to have a game that’s comparable to something in mainstream and we just don’t have that yet.

Matt Zahab 
It’s true. That’s another point in Crypto Blockchain Web3, whatever you want to call it. The, it seems like the whole sort of catalog of games just has such a subpar sort of IP and just experience to it, and obviously you and the team are trying to break that quota. Is there a reason, besides the obvious being just the whole get rich quick you know, people come in build subpar IP to create a community and economy, make money off a bunch of people and leave kind of thing. Is there another reason why perhaps Web3 hasn’t had a true legit, beautiful, fun, engaging game for gamers to play?

Kieran Warwick 
I think there’s a couple of reasons. One might, you know be that in that early in those early days, when games started becoming mainstream, what started becoming popular inside of Web3 it was almost this race right? This rush of you need to get your product out as soon as possible, and you know any decent product would have won back then, because there just was nothing. So it could be a combination of that, and also games take a long time to build and I think you know, as I sort of intimated at the earlier in the conversation, you’ve got this misalignment with investors expectations in typical Web3 products, and how long it takes for games to actually be built, right like this and this misalignment is pretty catastrophic to what it comes through to these teams, right? You’ve got investors who are like, we want it now, and we don’t care how bad it is, and launch something and we can, once it’s you know, halfway there, we can we can build on top of that, and it’ll just all be good if we just launch it and to some extent that’s true. That’s why you see all these open betas inside of games, that’s the developers say okay we accept, we’ll just launch something and then build on top of that, but then you’ve got this new wave of gaming publishers that are coming through that are essentially saying no, this is going to take longer, we are going to delay things. Because we truly believe that you’ve only got that first impression, and it’s got to last, if you release something that subpar, it’s very hard to claw your way back and get those users to play. So I don’t know, I think that combination creates this situation where we’re just not creating games as fast as what investors want. But if you really zoom out, we’re creating games still very fast. There’s a lot of games out there, including us that have built faster than what you would see in in a mainstream situation. But it’s almost never enough for impatient investors in Web3, and I get that I used to be that you know, so it’s kind of funny.

Matt Zahab 
It’s also like one of the first times in the history of investing where you’ve had so many people invest in something that they know absolutely nothing about, right. Like there’s no accredited investor in Web3 like any heck you know, a 12 year old boy or girl could jump on and savvy their way into a Centralized Exchange, or even just get a transfer from a friend and then boom, fire up Metamask buy some NFTs, and then hammer away on Discord and Twitter, and chirp the creators like yourselves and be like, Hey, guys, where’s the game that you said you’d create? It’s like, you know, do your research, chill out a little and let the rest take care of itself. Yeah, that’s just that’s an interesting fact that I always sort of shake my head out, and candidly speaking, when the NFT Boom happened, I guess that would have been two summers ago. You know, I was one of those people where I’d invest in a project and a month later, I’d be like, You know what, you said a game is coming, where’s the game? It’s like, and then I’m like, Matt, give your head a shake, man. Look in the mirror give your head a gold shake. Like this is incredibly unrealistic. I’m only in it for the money. It’s true it was just a big casino. I’m sure you remember the biggest days of two years ago that how bananas was that?

Kieran Warwick 
I mean, I was in it. As I said, I was one of those people as well, where I would try and hold people accountable to the data that they said, you know, it’s so there’s culpability on the developers side as well. You know, like I’ve apologized profusely for us, saying, you know, we’re going to launch, we genuinely assumed that we were going to be able to, launch last year, and things you know our scope increased massively and there are a whole bunch of difficulties that we ran into that we didn’t foresee, and I’ve accepted responsibility for that. Because I know on the other side, what it’s like to be sitting there in the community, you’re helpless, you’ve in most cases, you’ve got your tokens staked in this, so you can’t even touch them and not even sell them even if you wanted to. So I get the other side as well. But there’s always going to be for projects like us, the reward for waiting is going to be much bigger than just the speculation in between, in my opinion anyway, obviously that’s not financial advice. That’s just me looking at do you want to be invested in a product that’s building or that actually is launched? You know, so but you got to do that early. That’s the problem.

Matt Zahab 
Very well said. Kieran were gonna take quick break give a huge shout out to our sponsor the show. This is a another Blockchain game who is just starting up and hopefully, and not hopefully will one day be on the same likes as Illuvium. The pod is brought to you by Undeads Metaverse the ultimate gaming experience with Undeads a post apocalyptic world with an above the ground city for humans and underground layers for zombies all powered by Blockchain. This unique game is designed to blend a top level mechanics with play to earn rewards. Undeads Metaverse has over 5 million already invested and is making waves in the space. The game is led by Leo Kahn, former PayPal Executive and Ash Hodgetts former CMO of Animoca Brands Phantom Galaxies. Undeads has secured partnerships with top industry players such as Warner Bros. and Wabi Sabi Sound with many more to come. Enjoy feature rich gameplay, a VR experience and a healthy and efficient game economy verified by machinations.io, join the conversation at undeads.com and sign up for the whitelist, and now back to the show with Kieran. So Kieran we got to we have discussed the upcoming launch of Illuvium Beyond which goes live. By the time this airs on March 2nd, it will be five days later on March 7th again, that is the launch of Illuvium Beyond. Tell me what’s poppin. What do us gamers have to look forward to.

Kieran Warwick 
That’s a way to bridge the gap between NFT communities and our community. I think there is this clear distinction that has occurred between people who are looking for collections, the latest mints, the whitelists all of this kind of quick fixed stuff for investors and you know, not too much you get rich quick, but there’s that dopamine hit as an investor that you get where is you don’t have to wait right? You know, the whitelist is coming up or the mint is coming up, and as soon as you get it, you’ve got that fix and you know that you’ve got something rare. So we wanted to create a product that we could tap into these communities and say hey, we’ve also got something for you guys, and that’s what Illuvitars is, which is inside of Illuvium Beyond so you can basically mint these things, they come in waves, if there’s a limited run of alpha discs, which a D1SK is what contains the actual Illuvitars and how it works is you get one of these Illuvials that comes out and you start bonding, these Illuvials with accessories. So there are five different accessory slots, and we utilize the same IP in Illuvium. But it’s a little bit more fun. So there’s things like clown noses, band aid scars, hats, props, all this kind of fun stuff that doesn’t sit inside of that core Illuvium IP and law, but it’s just a way to playfully dress up our characters, and on top of that, we’ve now taken it one step further and typical Illuvial fashion and we’ve turned it into a collection game. So there are 500 collections that you can get in the first wave, sorry in the first set, and it’s all about getting you know, five hollows or five of the same line in that, you know whether it be the different expressions from things like Atlas or Rhamphyre or you know, Totopy or Dorias, there’s just so many of these combinations, there’s literally billions of combinations that you can get out of these. There’s power ratings which you know, depending on how rare the drop is, if you get a super like a Blazing Rhamphyre out of that which is like a tier five stage three it’s like, as rare as you can get very similar to like a Charizard. It’s gotta be rare, that it’s going to be very rare. If you open that inside the Alpha D1SKs where there’s only 100,000 don’t even talk about it’s gonna be dancing, or a happy person trust me, and so we’re speaking to like the old Pokémon days where used to get that feeling of you’d go down to the store, and you’d use your pocket money to buy a Pokémon Card, Pokémon packet, open it up. We it’s digital those so you’ve got these crazy animations, and I think it’s going to be a really big shake up for the NFT space. I think just purely the UI that and UX that we’ve created is next level when you consider some of the mints that are out there when you’re talking about NFTs so I’m really excited about that. We’re also doing a whole bunch of battles with influencers, I call them celebrities inside of Crypto Twitter, and they’re going to be designed to give us exposure to new communities. They not just NFT communities but DeFi Bitcoin maximalists, ETH maxis all of this, these kinds of audiences and it’s an easy way where I can say all right, I battle you, Matt and the person who opens up these D1SK, whoever gets the rarest cards wins, and in a way you go right so it’s very simple. It’s a bit of RNG. But it’s a whole bunch of fun.

Matt Zahab 
And I love that you brought that topic up. You literally just put this on a platter for me an absolute layup and a half. Speaking of community, there was your DAO the Illuvium DAO voted against yourself, one of the co-founders to bring on Zhu Su, one of the Crypto GOATs, well, maybe not GOAT anymore, but at the time one of the Crypto GOATs for an Illuvitar D1SK battle, you got to go through the story. It’s absolutely world class, and I love how the community just literally said feel it and it got voted out veto deal.

Kieran Warwick 
Yeah. So look, it all started when Zhu Su and Kain had this big feud on Twitter back must’ve been over 12 months ago now, and I looked at that and it was it was pretty insane. There was a lot of back and forth, and at the time, there was actually more Zhu Su followers that was saying like shut the fuck up Kain you don’t know what you’re talking about? Can eventually, Kain got the last blow by saying Hey, I told you. So you know this was all going to come crumbling down, and so I sort of wanted to play off that it was one of maybe 15 or 20 battles that we’ve already organized and set up with huge influencers. I’m talking like, you know, 200 300k plus accounts on Twitter. But, I spoke to Kain about it and I said look, you know there’s probably going to be a whole bunch of backlash from this. I don’t know what the community is going to think, and he was like yeah, this is a bit of a risky move, and I said you know what though, if we can turn it into if the community does block it then, like I say with almost everything that is, you know, either controversial or at least heavily debated. Guess what? We’re sitting in a decentralized project where you guys, the people that community run things, you’ve elected this council utilize that, right? And in this case, I did the exact same thing. I said, go to the council create an IP and if you get the if you get a positive outcome from that vote as in they vote that I don’t do this battle, then I’ll cancel it. I totally accept that, and in the back of my mind, I thought you know, yes there’s going to be some backlash. I don’t believe that people are going to go you know, it was a personal battle from my own Twitter, we retweeted it from the Illuvium Macau, which kind of that’s what spurred it on and I can totally accept that’s when it starts blurring the lines that hey, this is like an official battle and all this kind of stuff. But it was more so for me just tapping into his community and just trying to get that audience. But at the same time, I knew that worst case we split it into this PR story just to demonstrate when Oh, yeah, I don’t call the shots, right. Like, I might make a marketing stunt and say, Hey, we want to go and do this. But if the community and the council don’t want me to do that, I’ll adhere to that, right? I’m not going to be some rogue person that goes out and does, you know, goes against the entire community. That’s just insanity. So yeah, from my perspective it was always going to be a win-win. But, you know, who knows, there’s always gonna be people on other side of the fence.

Matt Zahab 
I love that. Kieran couple more things and then we’ll wrap up and we’re getting tight for time here. One of my favorite parts about Illuvium is the marketplace, you guys got to have one of the clingiest, sexiest, most efficient, easy to use marketplaces and all of Crypto. How the heck did you guys make that bad boy?

Kieran Warwick 
That was Aaron and Pedro went to detail on that, obviously again, I keep on saying UX or UI. They’re probably one of the two of my favorite teams in our entire project, the UI and UX guys, and the reason is if you go back you remember back in 2020, every single UI was absolutely terrible, right? Like and maybe there were some exceptions. But like, so bad to the point where you’re like, I just transmitted something randomly, because there was some weird message that popped up and they didn’t think of that, and like you just, it would just be a super cumbersome, terrible experience almost across the board, and the projects that didn’t have a good UI didn’t even matter if they had a good product, you just sort of gravitate towards them, because it was just easier to use, and so I think when we brought on, we had six people in our UX and UI team, which in a Crypto project that’s insane. Most people have six people in general, right? But we knew that the importance of having a really good user experience, especially when you’re talking about onboarding millions of people from mainstream that have never used Crypto, that was at the forefront of what we wanted to create, and so Aaron and Pedro and the other Blockchain engineers, and the UX and UI team just went to town, and then got a shout out the web team as well, you know, it’s also huge, but they just did a fantastic job. 

Matt Zahab 
Yeah, it’s so clean and it’s nice not having to go through open sea or another, you know, Centralized marketplace. Obviously, they take a pretty fair penny from that as well, and I feel like that’s one of the it’s not a metric per se, but I think it’s one of the check points and check marks that sort of separate the games that are really have that long term vision from those that don’t, perhaps I’m completely wrong there. But I just feel like that’s something so paramount to success in Web3 gaming. 

Kieran Warwick 
I made a tweet the other day that says, it’s insane to me that there aren’t more marketplaces that are trying to officially partner like, in traditional business, what you would be doing is trying to lock up these games, right? Like, I would go to them, and I would say, hey, we will give you all of this marketing sport, all this. You know, exclusivity in this category, like some like, there’s not many games like us out there, where you can say that’s gonna be a big hit, or potentially going to be a big hit. So in my mind, I’d be going out and I’d be saying, Okay, let’s get the license for this game. Let’s tell them don’t build your own marketplace, will either white label it for you and connect it back up in the back end to our marketplace so we can get access to these royalties. But do it now and then get exclusivity and say, you can’t go to Blur, you can’t go to Luxray, you can’t go to all these other marketplaces, because we’re gonna invest you know, millions of dollars into making sure that your experience for your gamers is perfect, customized to what you guys need, and then because what do you think’s going to have the most amount of volume, a game that has 20 30 million active players in an ecosystem filled with NFTs where there’s other weapons, characters like, it’s a no brainer, right? Like I look at that I’m like, we’re gonna have billions of transactions eventually, five years down the track, and right now these games are just floating and they’re choosing their own marketplaces that well we’re in a situation where we’ve gone on to a specific layer two but you know, things like talk like blood talking to Immutable. OpenSea talking to Immutable, their onboarding a ton of games like that conversation, the fact that those and maybe they have in the background or whatever, but like, the fact that those deals are being done is mind blowing to me, right? Because that’s where the volume is gonna be in the future guarantee. 

Matt Zahab 
It’s definitely not the PFP collections that don’t have a whole lot of utility it’s going to be the game so we all know that and that will be exciting. I can’t wait for that to happen. We’ve been sort of beating this drum for a couple of years now and I think we’re getting close and it truly does fire me up. Kieran this is truly been a treat. One last segment before we let you go it’s called the hot take factory you and I step in we put our shit kickin boots on, and our guests let’s a couple hot takes fly can be doesn’t have to be Crypto or you know, NFT or gaming related can be health, wealth, happiness, politics, if you want to get rid of spicy sports, food, geo, space, VR, AR, AI, you name it. What are a couple of Kieran hot takes that only you believe in, whereas most other people do not? 

Kieran Warwick 
Well, I guess that’s probably one of them that, you know right now the NFT volume in the space is sitting with PFP projects and you know, Board Apes and Doodles, and all of these collections have the majority of it. But I think that’s definitely going to shift to gaming, and it’s going to be insane. I also think like also sitting on topic here, that DeFi isn’t going to be DeFi 2.0 isn’t going to be the next narrative. It’s going to be GameFi, and I truly think that we haven’t had our, like the catalysts for the last bull run was DeFi, right? They were Yield Farming and DeFi we have to attribute it to that. But the catalyst for the next bull run, I believe is as honestly going to be GameFi. 

Matt Zahab 
I love that. Kieran what a treat man. This was lot of fun, super pumped and I’m happy for you in the team, and I’m rooting for you guys. We the whole community needs that one game to pop off and if I was a betting man, and I am a betting man, I’d be throwing my chips in the Illuvium side of the poker table. Kieran before we let you go, can you please let our listeners know where they can find you and Illuvium online and on social? 

Kieran Warwick 
Yeah, so I’m mostly active on Twitter. But definitely in terms of our community, join our Discord. We do tons of giveaways, competitions, there’s quizzes, there’s all these types of stuff where we give away beta passes and just all sorts of fun stuff. So definitely join the Discord, and yeah follow us on Twitter as well. 

Matt Zahab 
What’s the plug for you and Illuvium? 

Kieran Warwick 
Mine is just @KieranWarwick and @illuviumio is the Twitter account. 

Matt Zahab 
Amazing. Kieran, thank you so much man. An absolute treat like I said, super pumped for you in the squad and can’t wait to have you guys on for round two. Couple months down the road. Maybe at the end of the year once Illuvium does that first domino to fall and the rest follows. Looking forward to round two my friend. 

Kieran Warwick 
Thanks Matt. Appreciate you having me on. 

Matt Zahab 
Folks want an episode with Kieran Warwick from Illuvium. These guys are moving and grooving making waves in the space and truly have a very legitimate shot at being that first domino to fall and allowing everyone else to piggyback off of the first AAA Rated Blockchain Game to pop off and go mainstream. Huge shout out to Kieran and the team for making this happen love having them on. To listeners love you guys thank you for listening. As always, if you enjoyed this one, please do subscribe. It would truly mean the world to my team and I. To the team love you guys. Justas my amazing sound editor appreciate you as always and back to the listeners. You guys are the best. Keep on growing those bags and keep on staying healthy, wealthy and, happy bye for now and we’ll talk soon.