Web 3 Round Table: Basic Tokenomics

OP Games
7 min readMay 4, 2022

This is a wrap-up of episode 3 of our Web 3 Round Table series where we talked about token economics and how it can benefit games and their communities.

Token economics isn’t the easiest thing in the world to understand….right? Right. But that didn’t stop us from bringing the conversation to the community through another captivating and engaging episode of Web 3 Round Table. Surprisingly (or not?), this episode actually saw the biggest number of listeners so far since we began the W3RT series. Was it the opportunity to learn about a hot and spicy topic through deliberate discussion? Perhaps the pull came from our prestigious panel of personalities.

Maybe both. Yea, Probably both.

Steering the conversation were leading minds, heavyweights in the realm of token economy and strategy and more importantly, a bunch of crypto degens smart and useful enough to maybe make real, positive impact to the space.

Meet the panel: Rick Laig, Juntaro Iwase and Alex Ye.

Rick Laig, OP Games
Chief Strategy Officer

Rick picked up hosting duties and represented OP Games. He is OP Games’ Master of Tokenomics and truly the right man for the job. He has spent many hours in DeFi and GameFi, has participated in many protocols across several blockchains and has read lots of whitepapers (whiskey in hand, of course). He owns more NFTs than he probably should and has played pretty much every type of game ever created in the history of humankind — physical, digital and imaginary. With a career in finance and a life-long interest in tech, media and gaming, Rick fits comfortably in the seat OP Games has laid out for him.

Juntaro Iwase, GM Frens
Head of Tokenomics

Juntaro is the Head of Tokenomics for GM Frens Web 3 Game Development Accelerator. He worked at Facebook as a Strategy Lead for global gaming and managed digital instructors and entertainment for South East Asia. He is a certified Defi Degen and lifelong gamer. “I was a Nintendo kid smashing all the friends around the block.” Ah, just the kind of guy we want on our show.

Alex Ye, Republic Crypto
Managing Partner of Strategic Advisory

Our superstar guest helps manage projects and their token economies all the way from seed rounds to adding liquidity to their liquidity pools. He’s worked with projects such as Avalanche, Algorand, Pocket Network and Fountain. On the gaming side, he’s worked on the token economics of Star Atlas, Zed Run, Pocket Worlds, Moonray and of course, Arcadia by OP Games. Is this man even real you ask?? Yes, he is real-ly involved in this field.

Alex in 10 years — probably.

This episode of W3RT, “Basic Tokenomics” saw a hefty audience gather ‘round to listen in on everything tokenization, tokenomics, tokenology, tokenometry — whatever you want to call this emerging phenomenon in the Web 3 space.

From the basics to the more complex, the trio tackled the topic from the bottom up in illuminative conversation. This discussion could not have come at a better time, with OP Games spilling the beans on its token launch to the Discord community soon after. This was a golden opportunity to not only educate and broaden the public’s perspective on token economics, but also to frame OP Games’ approach on the matter and set a standard for everyone to expect.

We’ll share the link to the full episode on Twitter Spaces at the end of the article. For those of you looking for a bite-sized serving, read along for a few key takeaways.

Alex Ye broadly describes token economics as an “umbrella of practices in and related to everything from finance to macro and microeconomics, game theory, and consumer psychology.” It has to do with “how tokens integrate with platforms that are revenue generating.”

So really, the big question is, how does a project create a sustainable token economy to ensure a fruitful and balanced environment?

For many projects, their tokens pretty much turn out to be THE project itself. Many gaming projects operate in a way that the actual game becomes just a fancy interface to do DeFi. The game becomes less of a game and more of a chore. The play-to-earn model has yet to show us that it is sustainable long-term. If you did have fun playing the game at the start, chances are, you aren’t having much fun anymore. All three of our speakers are of the thinking that it is most important for the game (or games, in the case of Arcadia) itself to be fun and for the community to be emotionally invested in the brand. This is the path towards sustainability.

Juntaro emphasizes the need for a project to have a vibrant community genuinely excited about the IP. At the worst of times, this protects against dumping. We are seeing over and over again that attention and loyalty are the most scarce things in this space. There is a “lack of narrative” says Juntaro. A project needs to build a “strong emotional connection, a story — there must be community nurturing and we must care about holders and create narratives beyond existing holders.”

This is the way Arcadia must be built. By sticking to the fundamentals and being much more intentional with game design, we build towards making games a fun, meaningful experience instead of producing speculative games that end up just rendering these games into funky, colorful interfaces to do DeFi.

“If you want a game, go find a game. If you want an investment, go find an investment.” Rick says. “Because usually the half measures of being a good game and making a sound crypto environment don’t necessarily go together well.”

At the end of the day, it is very difficult to find a project that has a team that specializes in game development as well as DeFi. And even if you have that, marrying the two aspects in a way where both can blast off to the moon in a short amount of time has proven to be a rarity in this space.

Can you really go wrong when you build towards fun?

For Arcadia, the vision is never lost among all the things that will help us get to where we want to be and what we want to be for our community. We put the community first and doing that means focus must go to building the platform, the games and the narrative. Our token is just another aspect of Arcadia built to boost and enhance user experience within our world. The idea is to maximize the potency and the number of reasons why a user would hold, use and ultimately not sell the token on the secondary market. This requires a careful and intentional approach to token economy that looks at gameplay and IP first. How to tether tokens as a reward and user mechanism comes after.

Choosing this path is choosing long-term. Those who continue to build upon their fundamentals and keep sight of the mission will be the ones rewarded in the end. We wholeheartedly believe that this is the way. Even from the perspective of an investor (whether big or small), the likelihood you make returns in the long-term depends greatly on the fundamental quality of the project you’ve decided to support. Projects that do things the right way will be the ones to survive regardless of the market.

Mando knows what’s up.

“The more we can reward users with assets and resources that are going to encourage them to further play the game as opposed to cash out and exit the game is going to be the most conducive towards long term success and retention of users.” Alex hits the nail in the head right there.

At the end of the day we are here to have fun. To make and to play games together. Tokens, if done right, can help make the experience even better. In any case, OP Games will always build towards user experience and towards the idea that we are all able to have fun and enjoy Arcadia with our friends at every stage of the journey.

If you want the full plate of tasty nuggets, I strongly encourage you to listen in on the whole Twitter Spaces session right here: https://twitter.com/i/spaces/1PlKQaYmenkKE?s=20

If this read got you itching to play some games, go ahead and visit Arcadia here: https://alpha.outplay.games/