Introducing AAG Ventures, a new #play2earn tech firm focusing on developing THE PLATFORM to democratize #play2earn for global economic freedom via the metaverse economy. The article is the opinion of the author Fiona Thompson - a member of the RADA community.
Introducing AAG Ventures - creating a new kind of guild
1. Project Introduction
AAG Ventures has a mission to create economic freedom worldwide through the MetaVerse economy. Their goal: to democratize #play2earn and onboard 100 million (from 3 million) people to the MetaVerse by 2030!
AAG (Achip & Achair Guild), one of the fastest-growing guilds in the #play2earn industry, was founded by AAG Ventures, a leading tech company with deep global expertise in blockchain, gaming, and enterprise software, to name just a few areas.
Within just seven weeks, AAG was able to bootstrap a guild of 1,500 scholars (i.e. new team members) in the red hot Axie Infinity environment using their skills in service operations, big data, and capital deployment. AAG currently has the world's second-largest #play2earn guild, behind YGG, which has 4,700 scholars (as of August 2021).
Here’s their story...
Blockchain has transformed both finance and gaming with the arrival of #play2earn. People all across the world can earn real money by playing video games through #play2earn. And possibly because of the pandemic's extensive impact on employment and income, this unique approach has taken off more so in recent years. People have been given a chance to obtain money for food, rent, medical bills, and other essentials that they might not otherwise have had.
But unfortunately, with the growth in popularity of #play2earn games, the costs have grown equally, making them too expensive for many new players.
Scholarship programs have since changed all that.
AAG was founded to assist individuals in need. They set out to develop a new sort of guild based on their conviction in “doing well by doing good”.
Scholars (team members) are chosen based on their ability to persevere in the face of adversity as well as their #play2earn performance potential. AAG keeps students from becoming reliant on #play2earn by encouraging and motivating them to master new skills like arithmetic and programming.
Since the beginning of the operation, AAG has generated returns to help those in need worldwide who are suffering from unemployment due to Covid-19. So far, they have expanded into seven countries (Philippines, Indonesia, Brazil, India, Russia, Nigeria, and Argentina), and are exploring many more markets.
AAG has witnessed unprecedented, mind-boggling, life-changing positive impacts within their scholars, who can now generate significant income for themselves and their families. Most importantly, AAG is empowering scholars to change their lives and inspiring them to "Pay It Forward" to impact the lives of others.
2. Market Review
The use of blockchain technology in gaming has improved the efficiency and security of the #play2earn space. Blockchain legalizes and encourages the transfer of in-game currencies and assets between players who love playing the game and investors who see great potential returns in the newly discovered metaverse economy.
Play2Earn is Hot!
Play2earn is hot in 2021. Play2earn projects such as Axie Infinity (AXS) and Yield Guild Games (YGG) experienced hyper growth, increasing 147X and 17X respectively.
Unprecedented growth in the #play2earn market
AAG has demonstrated tremendous success to date, even when compared to YGG:
The recent success of AAG
- Number of Axie Scholars - 1.5k
- Farmed SLP - $6.3M (annualized)
- Profit Margin - 35% (Vs. 10% for YGG)
- Initial Scholar Onboarding Rate - 4.2X (Vs. YGG)
Because of its competence in data analytics and capital distribution strategy, AAG has had significant success as a guild so far. After only seven weeks of operation, they became the world's second-largest guild (behind only YGG!) and achieved a $6.3 million annualized revenue run rate. This path suggests a growth rate of 4.2 times that of YGG (currently the largest guild in the world).
3. Product Review
AAG Ventures is quite simply changing the face of #play2earn by making it accessible for all through a variety of means.
The steps to democratizing #play2earn
From guild to Platform
After successfully providing a stable income for 1,500 people around the world, AAG are now taking the next step to democratize #play2earn. By creating a PLATFORM to connect every stakeholder in the space, they are enabling guilds, players, investors, game developers, and more to participate and collaborate to make #play2earn become sustainable and help many more people along the way.
#play2earn" target="_blank" rel="nofollow" title="Play-to-Earn">Play-to-Earn (play2earn or P2E) is not a new concept. The idea of earning fiat currency from playing video games has existed for many years. Even when there were no in-game mechanics to earn, there have always been ways to trade in-game assets or accounts for fiat currency. In many cases, these transactions occur on black markets because real-world trading often violates a game's terms of service. However, these markets still exist because people are always willing to Pay-to-Play (P2P).
The introduction of NFTs has revolutionized digital asset ownership. In traditional gaming, an in-game asset is simply data in the game regulated by a centralized system. For the first time in gaming history, with in-game characters and items as NFTs, in-game assets are unique, and players have full control over them. Thus, blockchain technology provides an elegant solution to a long-standing problem in the gaming industry.
New Breed of eSports Guilds
Traditionally, eSports are organizations of elite gamers who compete professionally. However, the advent of the scholarship programs and guilds popularized through Axie Infinity expands player engagement beyond these traditional elite gamer organizations. The concept is simple. A guild recruits a scholar (i.e., player) and allows the scholar to borrow the guild's NFTs to play in exchange for a cut of what the scholar earns. As a result, scholars can now avoid unaffordable upfront costs for the NFTs and earn money at no risk.
Creating a guild and building an NFT portfolio is a high-risk endeavor because of volatile NFT prices. So why would a guild owner decide to absorb all the risk? Because with the right strategy, running a horizontally scalable guild can become very lucrative. With the guild owner earning anywhere from 10 - 50% of an NFTs’ yield, a guild can become a cash cow with proper management. As a result, the number of guilds in Axie Infinity has grown rapidly, for example, the number of Axie Infinity-related guilds grew to 74 in a matter of 9 months (Jan to Sep 2021).
AAG Venture’s View
Their view is that the number of PTE-enabled games will increase in the future. Because earning real-world income while you play is so compelling to players, they believe that more video game studios will create or convert existing games into P2E.
Currently, the most popular game is Axie Infinity, but emerging games have attracted generous funding, such as Illuvium, Star Atlas, and Mirandus.
The keys to success for P2E games are:
- Provide the ability for the player to earn a significant amount of money.
- Create and sustain the demand for in-game assets by making the game fun, complex and extendable.
- Architect a tokenomics monetary policy that avoids hyperinflation and otherwise ensures a sustainable in-game economy.
P2E is just the beginning. There are many more concepts that can be introduced into the metaverse (e.g., Learn-To-Earn, Donate-To-Earn, Volunteer-To-Earn). AAG Ventures continue to monitor the metaverse ecosystem and make timely investments.
Becoming THE Backbone for Play2Eearn
In the first two months of existence, AAG was able to build the second largest guild. Their go-forward vision is to become the largest and most impactful PTE platform to bring good economic opportunities to as many as possible. Rather than compete with other guilds, they would like to help them scale their operations and support more scholars.
They believe that the P2E space will likely grow 100x from where it is at the beginning of 2021, and aim to be a major player in the space believing the five main players will be the following:
- Video game developers
- Platforms for managing guilds
- NFT lenders
AAG Ventures will initially focus primarily on two and three while providing basic functionality for four and five. In the upcoming months, AAG Ventures anticipate the entrance of some big NFT lenders, and we are planning to integrate with them to reduce the amount of capital required for expanding the guild. This will allow us to continue rapidly onboarding more scholars and providing access to the P2E space.
High-Level Architecture Diagram
AAGV is currently finalizing a joint venture with Republic Realm (NFT investment unit of Republic.co) to launch the first-ever Learn-To-Earn (L2E) blockchain game in Indonesia in 2022. The L2E initiative will leverage the success of P2E and allow people to earn crypto for learning real-world skills (e.g. programming, maths).
4. Unique Selling Points
AAG Cloud Services
Scholarship Payout Manager (SPM)
SPM will enable scholarship managers to automate the payout process and provide a portal for each scholar to withdraw their tokens (including conversion to fiat in the future). In addition, AAG’s smart contract will allow the manager to customize the commission structure down to the individual scholar-level if required.
SPM will also allow the manager and scholar to specify the payout currency. They are planning to offer the following choices:
- Tokens earned from the games.
- AAG tokens.
- Guild tokens, such as YGG, if the guild has its own token.
- Fiat currencies.
Performance Monitoring and Coaching (PMC)
Managing a team of scholars is not an easy task. The PMC will allow each manager to create KPI-based rules to monitor scholars and provide alerts if there is a drop in performance. PMC will also provide a knowledge base for scholars so that they can perform well from day one.
Using PMC, the scholars will monitor and optimize their own performance, maintaining motivation and productivity for themselves and their guilds.
Axie Breeding Manager (ABM)
As the size of the team grows, the time required for breeding also grows exponentially. The problem with breeding is not just the sheer number, but the manager generally has to try to optimize the genes to increase the chance of yielding good Axies.
Using ABM, a manager can specify a set of parameters and let the application take over instead of spending hours or even days breeding thousands of Axies.
NFT Asset Intelligence (NFT-AI)
As AAG Ventures continues to integrate deeper into each game, they plan to use data collected across their platform to help predict the profitability of each NFT asset by suggesting strategies for deployment, trade, etc.
AAG Token Utility
The AAG Token will have an array of different utilities, which will bolster demand for the token.
AAG Token As The Universal Currency for Play2Earn
As the space becomes larger, there will be more and more tokens from each game. Since players in the P2E space are not typically crypto-savvy, this can become very complicated. The learning curve is steep, and players face many problems. For example:
- Losing funds due to mismanagement of wallets or scams.
- Gaining an understanding of how to trade or cash out cryptocurrencies on either centralized or decentralized exchanges.
AAG ia aiming to solve these problems in multiple steps by providing:
- An option to automatically convert in-game tokens to AAG tokens. This will allow a player to only have to deal with a single currency.
- An AAG wallet fully integrated with P2E games that will allow players to manage their earnings in one application.
- A functionality to exchange to another crypto asset within the wallet.
- The ability to cash out to the desired fiat currency.
AAG believes that for P2E to become mainstream, it must reduce the friction caused by the management of cryptocurrencies. Not everyone is interested in dealing with cryptocurrencies, but many will want to have a chance to earn while playing their favorite games.
Fractional Ownership Using AAG Token
The cost has always been a factor when investing in NFT and #play2earn. For example, a piece of land in Axie Infinity can cost a minimum of $5,000, and you need a minimum of $1,000 to purchase Axie NFTs to start a game. Unfortunately, these costs are beyond the reach of most people, even in a developed country like the USA.
AAG believes that investment in these assets should be for everyone, and is planning to provide fractional ownership of any NFTs. Below is an example of how it works:
- AAG discovers an NFT that they think is worth investing in and purchases the NFT.
- AAG provides a 50% ownership share.
- Anyone in the AAG ecosystem can invest by sending AAG tokens to the smart contract.
- AAG deploys the NFT into a game to start generating yield.
- AAG distributes earned yield monthly, proportional to percentage ownership.
- If AAG decides to sell the NFT, the proceeds will be distributed based on the ownership percentage.
As a result, anyone interested can invest for as low as $1.
AAG Token As A Form Of Payment For AAG Cloud Services
Users can pay for AAG Cloud Services with AAG tokens. All tokens paid for these services will go into the treasury and be used to fund further development.
Turnkey Yield Generation for NFT Owners (DeFi Guild Builder)
AAG will provide access to their pool of scholars by allowing anyone to deploy NFT assets via their smart contracts. This means that anyone can choose to build a guild without having to ever interact with a scholar.
Believing that they have the expertise in recruiting and coaching scholars, AAG Ventures extends it to anyone without the complexity of managing a team of scholars. The split will look like the following:
- Scholar: 60%.
- NFT Owner: 35%.
- AAG: 5% (Reduced by 0.5% for every $1,000 worth of AAG staked with a minimum of 2.5%).
AAG may adjust these percentages based on market conditions. The owner of the NFT has an option to withdraw the NFT every 30 days.
AAG token holders will have the right to vote for certain operations within AAG. They are planning to launch many initiatives and allow all token holders to be part of the decision-making process.
To encourage participation in the process, AAG will reward an NFT depending on the type of DAO. For example, participating in the AAG Foundation DAO will earn the token holder a Basic Foundation NFT. As the token holder continues to participate, the NFT will be upgraded to a higher tier allowing a higher level of decision making. For example, the Basic Foundation NFT will allow the participant to vote to donate to a charity from a predetermined list of charities chosen by participants who earned a higher-tier NFT.
Project Trident - The Triple DAO
AAG is all about providing equal opportunity for those who struggle because of socioeconomic inequality, enabling others such as guilds to provide an opportunity for those in need, allowing participation and encouraging the idea of "Doing Well By Doing Good", and that spending power does not equate to voting power.
So what does this mean for the main pillars: AAG Guild, AAG Platform, and AAG Foundation?
Is AAG a Governance Token?
The simple answer is YES, but to ensure fairness, multiple mechanisms must be introduced.
Introducing Proof-of-Participation (PoP)
AAG strongly believes that unless you get your hands dirty, you will not be able to help them make the right decisions to help move the technology and ecosystem forward. In a typical DAO (Decentralized Autonomous Organization), community members with high spending power (a.k.a. whales) can dominate the outcome. AAG thinks that this is wrong because they may not be the group of people who are most affected by the results. This does not only frustrate the community, but it may completely take the product in the wrong direction. As such, AAG will introduce Proof-of-Participation (PoP) NFTs, which are rewarded to community members based on the length and level of their participation, and correlated with their voting power in a DAO.
So how does this work?
AAG Platform DAO
Being both a platform and a guild, one question that often came up is about conflict of interests. For example, in an event that there are multiple features requested by AAG Guild and other guilds, which one has a higher priority? So how to solve this?
The DAO process will be based on 3 factors:
- Length of participation (i.e. How long have you been using the AAG Platform).
- Level of participation (e.g. For guilds: number of scholars and features used).
- Amount of AAG staked.
In terms of participants in the platform DAO, this will include all stakeholders. The more relevant they are to the topic on the ballot, the more voting power they receive.
AAG will dive deeper into the exact formula and actual mechanics as it gets closer to turning the platform to be a full DAO. Until then here are some of the examples of what can be part of the DAO-based decisions:
- Priority on which product feature will be developed
- Games to integrate with
- Platform fees
So how does the AAG token come into the picture? The AAG Platform runs on AAG tokens. They can be used for payments on cloud services or fuel for smart contracts. This is one way they can measure the length and level of participation for example.
AAG Guild DAO
This is perhaps the most common type of DAO in P2E. AAG wants their scholars and country ambassadors to have a say in how the guild operates. Some examples of the decision points include:
- Country expansion
- Changes to the commission structure
- New game to enable
- Tournaments (e.g. game selection, tournament format, etc.)
In this case, the DAO process will be based on the following factors:
- Whether you are a part of the AAG guild
- Amount of AAG staked
You may have noticed that this is very different from how other DAOs operate. Although non-guild members will have the opportunity to shape the future of the DAO, AAG believes that the stakeholders who are affected most by decisions should have the strongest voice: the guild members.
AAG Foundation DAO
The AAG Foundation is essentially a non-profit guild, so this DAO will inherit some of the characteristics of the AAG Guild DAO. However, there are unique aspects to support the non-profit initiatives which can be divided into 2 categories:
- Advisor-led initiatives. AAG have onboarded many advisors who will run a non-profit project as part of the AAG Foundation or continue to run once they are already working on. As a member of the Foundation DAO, each member can vote to continue to support the effort.
- Community-led initiatives. These types of initiatives will be nominated by DAO members who have reached a certain participation level. Other members can participate in the voting process.
In this case, the DAO process will be based on the following factors:
- Prior participation in the DAO process
- Prior participation in real-world such as on the RAK campaign (Random Act of Kindness)
- Amount of AAG staked
Although AAG intends to have the process independent of their decision, they reserve the right to cancel any initiative that may result in harm or break laws within the target countries.
The DAO process, as implemented widely in blockchain space, is unfair and AAG intends to provide methods to equalize it so that interested parties will be able to influence their own destiny. Some may say that this is not a true DAO, but if a true DAO is what continues to cause inequality to widen, they rather follow their own path and create what they believe is fair.
If one token, one vote is ever implemented in real life, the wealthiest will always control everything. Isn’t a DAO supposed to change that?
We will let you decide.
This section describes the allocation of tokens for various stakeholders and purposes, as well as the token release schedule (subject to change).
AAG plans to issue a total of 1,000,000,000 utility tokens over 4 years.
The token allocation is designed to maximize the DAO's ability to execute its mission of creating economic freedom worldwide through the metaverse economy.
- Team – to Co-Founders and Core Team, who will drive AAG Ventures from concept to reality
- Advisors – to experts who will contribute special expertise, access, and other help
- Private Backers – to early backers of the project before the public offering
- Public IDO – to token holders in the general public who believe in the AAG Ventures mission, vision and project, and wish to be co-owners and participants of the DAO
- Community & Ecosystem – a reserve fund to be utilized to encourage participation and contribution to the AAG Ventures community and ecosystem
- Partnership Incentives - a reserve fund for incentivizing partnership with AAG Ventures
- Treasury – a reserve fund for implementation of the AAG Ventures roadmap and R&D
- Liquidity – an initial allocation so that public trading and price discovery can begin
Vesting Schedule (Subject to Change)
Total tokens released will follow the table above, with 6.8% (2.75% from Public IDO + 3.00% from Liquidity + 1.05% from Private Backers) released at the Token Generation Event (TGE).
Token release schedule
While AAG is relatively recent in development, the vision is clear: from guild to platform, they aim to become the backbone for #play2earn. There is a clear plan spanning into 2023 including all kinds of inspirational events.
Find out more about the project: the following are AAG Venture’s communication channels and communities. Subscribe to follow the latest news and keep up with important dates.
8. Partners & Investors
AAG Ventures has great potential which hasn’t gone unnoticed by dozens of backers.
Backers include Shima Capital, Republic Realm, Portico Ventures, Tess Ventures, Co-Founder of Polygon, Alan Seid (Advisor to the President of Palau) and George Chu (Founder & CEO of FiO.one).
Game Studio Backers
Chavamon Vinijtrongjit - EVP, Head of Retail Partnership Business Products at TMBThanachart Bank PCL
Parinya Narkprasert - Team Head, Corporate Banking at TMBThanachart Bank PCL
Dave Wang & Partners - SoftBank LatAm Fund
Sandeep Nailwal - Co-Founder of Polygon
Nguyen Trung Tin - Founder & CEO of Sipher
Antonny Liem - Investment Partner of GDP Venture
Alan Seid - Advisor to the President of Palau
George Chu - Founder & CEO of FiO.one
Kimiko Doan - Founder of YellowBlocks
Chris Gonsalves - CEO of Community Gaming
Ken Berger - CEO of Lorem Labs
Armando Aguilar - Digital Assets Strategist at Fundstrat
Carmen Feliciano - Managing Director of Access Ventures
Various angels from Hustle Fund’s Angel Squad
Founders of CUKIES.world
Willow Li - Founder and CEO of AyiConnect
Steven Bryson-Haynes - VP of Business Development, NFT & Gaming at Polygon
In order to further fund their efforts, AAG will be issuing a crypto token (“AAG”) and making a public offering (IDO) in Q4 2021. Prior to the IDO, they will conduct a pre-sale in a private round.
More strategic backers and top-tier VC funds will be revealed soon.
AAG Ventures has assembled a world-class team with deep expertise in 9 key areas:
- Global coverage
- Enterprise software
- Data science and AI
- Cross-border service operations
- Venture capital
Composed of a Core Team, Advisors, Country Ambassadors, Scholars, and Backers, AAG Ventures look for like-minded backers, partners, advisors, builders, players and other community members to join the team and help achieve their vision and dreams
There’s no denying AAG Ventures believe in #play2earn and the MetaVerse. Their faith and hope story that started from the desire to support others has turned into a company that truly provides a niche platform - one that is inclusive regardless of social constructs and one that gives people economic freedom through the power of the MetaVerse. The platform where play is not just another guild, but rather it enables guilds.
What they’ve achieved in a short space of time reflects their ambitions to onboard a whopping 100 million people by 2030. Building a guild of 1,500 scholars making AAG the second largest in the world in just seven weeks (a rate 4.2 times faster than YGG) and having 2,000 (and growing) Axie scholars in seven countries is no mean feat.
And when the people realize the current model of gaming provides no additional benefits like being able to earn real money from playing games, taking part in scholarship programs, or being paid to learn new skills (Learn2Earn), there will be a mass exodus from regular gaming to #play2earn, and specifically to communities like AAG.
AAG looks to streamline and optimize every operational part of guild management by providing cloud services. This should unite all stakeholders in this young market - fostering collaboration and partnerships.
The platform could abstract away the complexities of integration, allowing any dApp to take advantage of the entire set of functionalities supplied by other stakeholders in the #play2earn ecosystem. A guild like YGG can reduce the amount of labor required for integration by simply incorporating the AAG platform, which saves time, improves quality, and reduces time to market.
Who wouldn’t want that!
Disclaimer: Information is gathered through research from the project's official Whitepaper and other official sources. The content in this article is the author's personal views for informational purposes only and should not be considered investment or financial advice. RADA and the author are not financial advisors and will not bear any responsibility in connection to any potential investments.
Article Topic Ideas
A mini review - cover off all points succinctly.
Scholarships of the Future: How AAG Ventures is
A focus on the vision of creating economic freedom - detailing the people that have been supported and whose lives have changed (of course, all the data will be included about the project).
Press Release for the DAO start date.