Jon Jacobs: Gamers “Looking at a $17 Trillion Economy”br>
The future of employment may not reside in the physical world. That’s the concept being pushed by Jon Jacobs, the first elected “President of Virtual Reality” and founder of NEVERDIE, a force in the world of massive multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs) and Virtual Worlds.
Jacobs will launch an initial coin offering (ICO) tomorrow in partnership with ICO Korea, the biggest cryptocurrency mining company in that country and the runner of its top three cryptocurrency communities, boasting more than 250,000 users. It also handles the largest Overwatch gaming community. The NEVERDIE Coin and Teleport token ICO aims to create monetized infrastructure that intends to drive the growth of an envisioned trillion-dollar virtual goods economy that will support a billion gamified jobs.
The ethereum blockchain’s ERC20 token standard will be used to provide a way for MMORPG and Virtual World goods to become inter-operable through peer-to-peer trading, the blockchain ledger, and decentralized, transparent smart contract game mechanics.
Jacobs answered a few questions about his plans.
BLOCK TRIBUNE: What are “gamified jobs?” Give a few examples.
JON JACOBS: Gamified Jobs take place inside MMORPGS or Virtual/mixed reality worlds. Currently in our MMORPG ROCKtropia, we pay players $10-$15 per month to hunt down AI bots inside the game. AI bots are created by us for game play, and the players compete with each other to be the first to spot an AI bot. They are given free ammo, they are able to keep the loot they find, and they are paid every day. They can accumulate this cash and withdraw it with no cost to the player. Very simply, we are paying people to play for a couple of hours a day and helping them to build net worth so they can get a foothold in the economy. We are also creating jobs where gamers will be paid to harvest virtual resources to build new games and content. We plan to gamify game development in this way and let players and developers earn together.
BLOCK TRIBUNE: How will the tokens be used within the games?
JON JACOBS: People “die” a lot when playing games. With games that use our APIs, they will need to have a NEVERDIE Coin to come back to life, otherwise they will lose a little of their progress. The Teleport token will be required when hopping around large worlds or teleporting from one game to another. As it stands today, you close one game and enter another. However, with our API designed to support a blockchain economy, a player will need a Teleport token to leave one game and enter another. Players will collect fragments and make the tokens themselves and trade between each other. So, it is more than just paying for play, it is about driving players to trade between each other.
BLOCK TRIBUNE: Is this intended for existing games? Or games that haven’t been created? If existing, which ones? If to be created, anything you can share on the worlds and their objectives?
JON JACOBS: I’m currently at Gamelab in Barcelona with some of the most influential creators of MMO’s, which are games where the economy of the game is a fundamental part of the design and longevity. So considering what the blockchain might offer is absolutely on people’s minds. There is an openness to the idea of connecting existing games, so that’s what we’re working on. We also have set-up game funds that will use the market cap of the coins to drive funding for independent games, as well as our launch titles AmeVRica and AsgardVR, both of which are going to be open-source, multi-platform worlds that will involve more than one developer. The idea here is to start developing epic scale mixed and Virtual Reality MMORPGS, but tackling the challenge in small bites that can stand alone until more pieces of the puzzle are added. I like the idea of starting with games that involve harvesting resources, so that then we can use the virtual resources to expand the worlds. We will be creating APIs in the process that all developers can use for all types of games, that may only be connected by the NEVERDIE Coin and Teleport tokens.
BLOCK TRIBUNE: How will gamified jobs lead to a shift in global governance?
JON JACOBS: People gravitate to where there is opportunity, and there are real opportunities in Real Cash Economy games. This is especially true as jobs start to dry up in the real world as a result of AI and robotics. It is natural that people will want to protect the value they create, so they will become more engaged. There are 400 million MMORPG players around the world. If we are able to fully connect those economies today and put a real cash value on all the items being harvested, crafted and traded, we would be looking at a $17 trillion economy, just under the GNP of the USA. This type of global community with real economic power will be taken into consideration by real world governments.
JON JACOBS: Tonight I had dinner with Richard Garriott aka Lord British ruler of Britannia and also Hilmar Veigar Petursson the Developer of Eve Online. In many respects they are the heads of states, so being the president has its benefits, sadly no one thought to invite the Orcs… I will have to arrange a state visit to make up for the oversight.
BLOCK TRIBUNE: Will gamers be able to convert their tokens to non-virtual goods?
JON JACOBS: I anticipate a very active market in these tokens, so gamers will be able to trade tokens for all kinds of stuff.
BLOCK TRIBUNE: When will your ICO start? How many available initially, how many withheld, what is the breakdown on ownership?
JON JACOBS: The ICO starts Friday June 30th. We are offering 40 million NEVERDIE Coins at 25 cents, and we have an initial goal of 500 million Teleport tokens at 10 cents. We have already brought in over a $1 million during our pre-sale and at the current rate it’s very possible that we will crack $2 million before Friday. We have been building awareness on a very grassroots level, so I’m very encouraged with these numbers. We will be holding back 90% of the NDC. They will be reserved for Loot Pools, Job Funds and development funds to accelerate adoption of the platform. In the event that there is a real swell of interest, we will sell up to 30% of the Teleport tokens. The business plan is to use the market cap of the coins and the funds to create real incentive to start playing on the blockchain, in much the same way that ICO’s are creating enormous interest in ethereum. Games are very often a huge factor in driving adoption of new platforms. With the right level of funding gamers will be a major growth factor for the ethereum blockchain,