A concise summary about the project, risks involved and why I'm bullish on it
Aurory is a Pokemon inspired F2P and P2E blockchain game - one of the first “AAA” to be built on Solana. Players can directly hop in and start playing by collecting pet’s called “Nefties” which enable them to play two gameplay modes: PVE - for solo adventures and PVP - for a turn based tactical RPG styled battle, similar to Pokemon dueling.
Additionally early supporters were also given a chance to mint Aurorians - a 10,000 NFT avatar collection which was released at a mint price of 1 SOL and sold out in 3 seconds with 118,000 people trying to mint simultaneously. These NFT’s are high in demand since mint and the supply will continue to shrink as the game proceeds. As of now the floor price of Aurorians on the secondary market (Magiceden, Solanart, AlphaArt) is ~24 SOL with only 12% of them listed for sale which looks pretty promising. Holding an Aurorian also entitles you to exclusive perks like bi-weekly treasure airdrops, special modes with boosted rewards, participation in their DAO, early access to future releases, 3D skins, and they also can be used as collateral to borrow liquidity for Serum DEX.
Their game economy design is centered around the $AURY token, which was initially offered through an IDO in October, that raised $108.5 million of funds at a token price of $15.54. This type of model was quite different from the traditional fundraisers that come in the form of initial NFT sales or through ICO platforms employing whitelists. This move thus ensured a proper and transparent public distribution of their tokens enhancing the exposure to multiple stakeholders, with no gas wars, allowing for the real time price discovery of their tokens. $AURY tokens can also be further staked to generate yield, another way to compound your gains. Currently they have two types of staking pools ($53M TVL) - unlocked and locked with 36% and 66% APR respectively. $AURY is currently listed on FTX, Huobi, KuCoin, Raydium and Orca.
With ~108.5M raised in their IDO for 7% of their total supply of AURY tokens (7M out of 100M cap), this puts them at a 1.55B $AURY valuation, along with another 10,000 SOL coming in from the initial Aurorian NFT sale. Drawing in this amount of funding at initial stages of the project is quite a significant feat which they achieved via a highly sophisticated stakeholder and player engagement strategy through Discord, iterative delivery of content (gameplay trailers), social media engagement on different platforms, pre-game activities and marketing.
For enabling a decentralized way of decision making they are building their own DAO called “DAOrory” where token holders can collectively vote on the future game development ideas, upcoming upgrades, investing decisions on upcoming Solana projects through DAO treasury - thus fostering community growth and ensuring transparent governance.
The DAO treasury will be made of:
1000 SOL (from 10% of the initial Aurorian sale proceeds)
1.75% of future NFT sales
5% of the supply of $AURY
and a % of all sales for in-game items.
Similar to the Axie model, they will also be introducing land ownership in the near future with rarities ranging from common to legendary. This can indeed lay a strong foundation for a long-term sustainable player-owned economy. Owning land will unlock the ability to generate dungeons based on land rarity, which other players can explore by paying a small percentage of fee that will go straight to the land owner. This will thus incentivize players to collect and hold different types of lands for unlocking additional revenue which they can further re-invest into the game.
They have an all-star team consisting of 30+ people from major gaming studios like Ubisoft, EA, Warner Bros & Gameloft with years of experience combined in 2D, 3D game development with highly well regarded leaders like Jonathan Campeau - head of production at Ubisoft for AAA games like Assassin's Creed, Farcry joining them recently. Along with this they have a strong team of advisors with people like Tristan Yver, head of strategy FTX US and Darren Lau, founder of The Daily Ape bringing in the industry-leading expertise.
The competitor landscape for Aurory in the Solana gaming space looks stiff with different games targeting different market segments from power users to more basic ones, everyone trying to get a piece of the emerging ~$336B gaming industry. With a plethora of innovative concepts coming out like move-to-earn from Genopets, space fantasy & exploration from Star Atlas, more DeFi intensive simple games focused on increasing DeFi adoption to masses like DeFi Land, Solana Valley, the space is indeed getting crowded with each passing day. Along with this already well established competitors on other chains like Axie Infinity, Gods Unchained, Illuvium, PVU, Crypto Raiders are sitting as gatekeepers constantly sucking up liquidity from the market and making it even harder for the upcoming games to stand out and sway the market away.
On the contrary, there are various risks associated to different facets of the Aurory project which include:
Building features that no one has ever implemented before like a DEX integration (Serum) for their in-game marketplace and delivering them on time.
Decline in the price of $AURY is perhaps the most substantial risk to the economics of Aurory’s P2E model as it will directly impact the real value of earnings.
Adoption challenges - Making the player experience frictionless, requiring least effort from them, no upfront expenses and most importantly making the transactions seamless.
Distribution problem - According to Newzoo ~2.8B gamers play games on mobile phones compared to ~1.4B on PC and ~0.9B on consoles. Aurory will be releasing a desktop only version for now, with the mobile game planned for later stages which might take quite some time, thus delaying mass adoption.This might just give enough time to their competitors for capturing the market.
Tokenomics and financial modeling, building a sustainable in-game economy to reward the players putting in more sweat, proper staking and liquidity provisioning - if any one of these things is not taken care of properly, the whole equation becomes imbalanced which can result in prices falling sharply for their tokens, something that Axie had to recover from recently.
Taking everything into consideration, I’m pretty bullish on the project mainly because:
The team consists of a lot of game industry veterans who have worked years in major game publishing studios. Also a positive note on having few high technical profiles (CTO, Blockchain Engineer and others). Along with this the team keeps on hiring exceptional people and bringing in great advisors.
The project did not spend heavily on marketing campaigns, putting the funds back into building. Their partnerships with TSM FTX - a global name in e-sports gaming and Fractal have been very strategic giving them exposure to normal players who are willing to have a taste of the P2E and crypto world.
They extended the cliff for investors and the team two months after IDO, which shows their resolve in the project. (Team/Adv - 10 months cliff + 4 yr linear vest | Seed Investors - 8 months cliff + 2 yr linear vest)
I am confident in the potential of $AURY as the only currency for the upcoming game (land can only be bought using $AURY too). $AURY is currently sitting at a price of $10 compared to $15.5 at the time of IDO, the descending price although has nothing to do with AURY itself but with the general sentiment of the market lately. AURY has actually performed in line with both ETH and BTC in the last 60 days.
Around 50% of the $AURY supply has been staked right now and only 12% of the Aurorians are listed for sale on the secondary market which shows the conviction of people in expecting a lot of value to be coming out of the project in the following months.
The team’s overall vision is clear - to build a real blockchain gaming studio which will push multiple games within the industry, not just Aurory. It’s pretty clear that they are in it for the long run.
Aurory has it all when it comes to a great team that’s quick in delivering, idea and token utility, with investors like Almada Research, CMS Holdings, Genblock Capital and others already backing them; which makes it a good investment prospect that can return significant gains in the near future.
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