March 21

Deep-Dive: Psyker


Overview

Psyker is a Web3 Play to Earn (P2E) fighting game built on the Solana blockchain. The game is based on a constantly evolving universe called the Psykerverse where players can immerse themselves in a fight for supremacy in a dystopian cyberpunk like world, blending both science-fiction and post-apocalyptic themes. Psyker is aiming to deliver a crisp Unreal Engine 5 powered explosive, action packed Free to Play (F2P) AAA fighting experience similar to that of nostalgic fan favorites such Mortal Kombat, Tekken or Street Fighter. The main difference is that Psyker is utilizing the innovation and power of blockchain technology to take the fighting game category to the next level. With the incorporation of blockchain technology gamers will not only be able to own the assets they use (i.e., characters/avatars) due to the use of non-fungible tokens (NFTs); they will also be valued for their time. This is incredibly powerful as in the traditional gaming space gamers dedicate countless hours to playing titles they enjoy, but do not generate any financial benefit for investing their time and energy in those titles. However, with P2E, time spent gaming will be time spent earning!

In order to reward players, Psyker will be creating a utility/governance token called PSYK. Players can earn these tokens by engaging in the various game modes as an incentive to both steer game development; and play the game and increase skill i.e., the more skilled a player is the better their earnings potential will be.

Psyker will be a mobile native game (MOBA) available on both IOS (Apple) and Android, and is scheduled for release in Q4 2022, however, there will be several closed beta opportunities prior to the full game launch. Gamers who are eager to play the game will be able to access the closed beta by purchasing a Key Card, which is available on the Fractal marketplace. These key cards will also have added utility in addition to access to the closed beta. The key cards are currently trading as cheap as 0.35 SOL (Solana token) or c. $32 for a common card, which is an absolute bargain.

Deep Dive

Team

Psyker is being built by a team of experienced entrepreneurs with a background in building start-up businesses, marketing, blockchain and consulting in crypto gaming.

The parent company behind Psyker, Respawn Limited was founded in September 2021 by Rhys Boulanger. Rhys is a marketing veteran with extensive experience in digital marketing, and results driven analytics. He is currently the President of RAB Digital, which is a technology company specialising in digital design and SEO (Search Engine Optimisation). He is also the Co-Founder of Bitspawn Protocol, which is an eSports platform utilising blockchain to provide analytical tools for eSports tournaments. These include player development solutions, player analytics and online tournament ladder creation.

In addition to Mr Boulanger, the founding team also includes Eric Godwin, and Lukas Kamandulis. Both are Co-Founders of Bitspawn; while Eric also brings significant experience from blockchain consulting; and Lukas a seasoned marketing veteran.

Rating: 4.0 out of 5.0 stars

Investors & Advisors

Having just finished the Key Card NFT launch, the Psyker team are likely to just now be turning their attention to the token sale and thus conversation with investors. As such there isn’t any information available about the likely backers or investors. However, given that their NFT sale was on Fractal.is (the leading NFT Gaming Marketing place on Solana), which is headed up by Justin Kan, Founder of Twitch; and the Fractal team are incredibly bullish about the project, it is likely that they and similar high calibre investors will be on Psyker’s list of backers.

Rating – TBA

Concept/Features/Gameplay

In terms of the gameplay Psyker will have the following key modes:

  • Story Mode (normal, hard, psyker difficulty)
  • PVPArcade Mode
  • PVEArcade Mode
  • Ladder Mode
  • Best of # Series
  • Token & NFT Rewards
  • Tournaments

Like a traditional fighting game, the game modes in Psyker range from your PVE (Player vs Enemy) story mode where players progress through a stage-based journey of battling various opponents, leading up to the final boss fight. The better the skill level of the player then the harder the difficulty they can use to play the game to add a level of progressive challenge to the experience. And then there is the Arcade modes in both Player vs Player (PVP) mode, and PVE where gamers go head-to-head with other players in matches and fight. However, what is interesting about Psyker, and arguably it’s key differentiator from the typical fighting game, is the introduction of Gamified Finance (GameFi), which essentially means earning through gaming. As well as earning through playing in the various game modes mentioned earlier, Psyker will have leader boards, seasonal rankings, tournaments, and team battles. This creates a system where the most skilled and dedicated players will be able to compete for a share of earnings in a growing prize pool. This might be in the form of NFT items or PSYK tokens. This is extremely exciting as for the first-time gamers are not just incentivised to become better as a means of ‘bragging’ rights, but as a means of generating a substantial financial income. The perfect combination of fun and financial reward.

The fighters in the game will belong to one of four fighter classes: Street Thug, Bounty Hunter, Cyborg, and Reptoid. Each class will have their own unique abilities, attributes, and characteristics. In addition, each fighter will have 5 categories of items that can be equipped: Helmet, Arms, Chest, Legs, and Weapon with rarities ranging from common, rare, epic, and legendary. Each item will offer a different power-up/enhancement targeted on the following areas:

  • Intellect (decreases psyker recharge time)
  • Strength (increases damage)
  • Mobility (increases jump height and movement speed)
  • Discipline (increases attack speed)
  • Vitality (increases health)

It is also important to note that NFT Items are not limited to power-ups/skill enhancements in the form of weapons and/or body items, they will also be used for cosmetics upgrades too such as outfits/skins, intro animations, victory animations, and special KO animations. This is some of the other unique features that the Psyker team is bringing to the Fight to Earn/Fighting Game category.

Rating: 5.0 out of 5.0 stars

Community

Psyker are growing a very engaged and organic community on their socials. This includes c.11k followers on Twitter, and 36K members on Discord, which is the preferred social media platform for crypto/blockchain gamers. A useful fact to also note is that their discord community is very active with c. 3k people online at certain points in time. These are very positive foundations for a game to build on.

Another interesting gauge of community strength and sentiment was the recent Key Card mint/sale on Fractal.is, which was a huge success. The team were able to sell c. 7k NFTs priced at 0.5 SOL each or c. $45 within 25 minutes in a relatively slow/soft market showing significant community engagement.

In addition to this impressive feat, almost 6 days after the sale, Psyker’s Key Card NFTs are still the #1 trending game on the Fractal marketplace, with a lot of sales activity taking place. These are key metrics of community engagement as it shows that people both know about the game and are actively willing to participate in the ecosystem.

Rating: 4.0 out of 5.0 stars

Financial Analysis & Potential Opportunity

It is our opinion that Psyker is likely to present a very interesting and potentially lucrative opportunity to add to a gaming/metaverse portfolio. To date the P2E space has mainly been dominated by turn based card games like Axie Infinity or simulation type games like Pegaxy. Where these games have and can be very financially lucrative for asset owners and gamers, they tend to negate the rich or engaging gameplay features of a traditional MOBA or console game. The only blockchain game that has offered anything like the experience a traditional MOBA or console gamer would be used to is Thetan Arena; and this has proven to be very popular with over 10m downloads of the game within the first week of launch. Inevitably we believe that blockchain games will evolve and start to focus as much on gameplay as they do on GameFi mechanics, but games like Psyker that have a ‘game play first experience’ are likely to be desirable to the traditional mass market gamer and thus will likely have high levels of engagement, which will impact the token price very positively due to increased demand.

In terms of tokenomics below is a breakdown of how the team plan to structure and distribute the PSYK tokens.

In terms of the vesting schedule, it is obvious that the team have put a good amount of thought into inflation mechanics by spreading the bulk of the investor distribution over 24 months. The seed and private rounds make up for c. 17% of all tokens and these are the investors that are likely to hold the largest number of tokens. This means that there will be less sell pressure on the tokens, which should offer price support, which is very positive. However, one area of concern though is the 40% of tokens reserved for staking, rewards, farming and the DAO. These currently don’t have a vesting schedule which could mean they are fully unlocked. It would be important to understand how the team plan to emit these tokens as the inflation would create new supply and thus drag on token price. Similarly, the vesting schedule for the marketing tokens could do with a revisit, as on month 2, 6 million tokens could be unlocked, which could effectively 3x the circulating supply. The token price is unlikely to sustain such a significant unlock, and thus this is something to pay attention to. Though it is highly unlikely the team will distribute all 6m marketing tokens in the same month, but this is something to consider when doing your research and coming to an investment decision.

In terms of the financial opportunity around how much Return on Investment (ROI) an investor could generate form investing in Psyker it is important to do some comparable analysis. In terms of concept and target market, Psyker is in a unique position in that there aren’t any significant fighting games currently on the market and thus a like for like comparison could be challenging. However, there is the opportunity to do a category comparison by comparing Psyker to blockchain MOBA or Solana based games. In terms of a MOBA game, Thetan Arena might be a useful comparator. Unlike Psyker, Thetan Arena has two tokens: a DAO/governance token called Thetan Gem (THG), and an in-game currency called Thetan Coin (THC), thus for the purpose of this analysis we will only be using the more popular DAO/governance THG token as a comparator. This allows a like for like comparison due to the features of the PSYK token, as well as enabling us to be conservative with our valuation estimates by not combining the value of the two tokens. At its peak, the THG token achieved a fully diluted valuation (FDV) of $7.78bn, and the lowest range valuation of $315m. The average of this valuation range being $4.05bn.

If we assume that Psyker will perform comparable to Thetan Arena, then that would mean the price we can expect each PSYK token to reach is c. $40.50 per token ($4.05bn indicative fair valuation /0.100bn total supply).

Similarly, we can also compare Psyker to Cryowar (CWAR) which is an Unreal Engine 5 open world fighting style game based on Solana. At its peak, the CWAR token achieved a fully diluted valuation (FDV) of $4.62bn, and the lowest range valuation of $172m. The average of this valuation range being $2.40bn. If we assume that Psyker will perform comparable to Cryowar then that would mean the price we can expect each PSYK token to reach is c. $24.00 per token ($2.40bn indicative fair valuation /0.100bn total supply).

Return on Investment (ROI) Analysis

We ascertained earlier that the fair value of the PSYK token is between $24.00 and $40.50. From forecasted circulating supply of 2.8m tokens we can assume that the PSYK token is likely to be priced at somewhere between c. $0.20 and $1 at launch as most early projects target a $500k to $3m market cap at launch. If we are conservative and go for the top range price of $1 this would mean investing in the PSYK token at launch price will likely yield a return of between 24.00x or 2400%, and 40.5x or 4050%. This presents a very attractive opportunity for investors. Purchasing the PSYK token anywhere under a $1.00bn FDV or $10 is where we think an investor could generate the most value.

Rating: 5.0 out of 5.0 stars

Summary

It is our opinion that Psyker is a very ambitious game and one that is likely to be a category leader. Currently the blockchain gaming space doesn’t have any strong players in the fighting style category, which makes what the Psyker team are building even more compelling as there’s an opportunity for first mover advantage. Similarly, Solana have a very engaged community and is quickly becoming one of the key blockchains for building games due to its high throughput and scalability being able to process up to 50,000 transactions per second (compare this to Ethereum’s 15-30 transactions per second, or Binance Smart Chain’s 60 transactions per second). And thus, decision to build on Solana is likely to support Psyker is delivering an industry leading experience to gamers.

In addition, the action-packed rich gameplay is another strong differentiating feature; and the addition of utility to the ecosystem through the use of skill based NFTs, and skins will add in a strong layer of sustainable economics to the game, which is something many blockchain games are currently missing.

Psyker is being developed by a veteran team with a wealth of experience building and growing businesses. The team also have proven pedigree in the gaming space having founded an essential eSports software company; and consulting for blockchain gaming projects. The experience founding Bitspawn should be very useful in driving the GameFi mechanics the team are building into Psyker, with the creation of competitive experiences through leader boards and building highly engaged tournaments.

However, one of the potential weaknesses of the team is the lack of experience in developing or building games themselves. As none of the founders have direct experience working for a game developer or publisher this is likely to add a layer of complexity to achieving their ambitions of developing a AAA game. As hiring talent and having a deep understanding of how to utilise the skills set of that talent are very different requirements. However, the team have proven themselves to be true entrepreneurs and have had success in many unrelated industries and thus do inspire confidence that they can assemble and manage a team of core game developers and lead them to deliver on the vision.

I would also emphasize that the team have significant experience in marketing. This is likely to be very advantageous as it shows that they have the knowledge to build an audience and raise awareness of the Psyker game. A significant amount of quality projects fail because they do not know how to market and engage an audience, and thus a team who are naturally proficient at marketing are likely to drive strong brand awareness for their product, which will be very positive for the development of the Psyker.

In addition, this team have been able to get the backing of Fractal, who only support AAA projects. Having Justin and his team give Psyker the vote of approval should be strong validation for investors that the team have the depth to pull off the project and thus succeed in delivering a high quality fighting game. All these factors considered, Psyker is definitely a project that we believe investors should keep on their radars.

Overall Rating: 4.5 out of 5.0 stars

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Disclaimer

Please note that nothing here should be interpreted as financial advice. At Hard Fork Gaming we aim to provide cutting edge, detailed content for our community members and at times we may offer our opinion on various projects. However, any decision to invest is solely on the end of the reader doing further research.

Sources

  1. Psyker – Legendary Fighting Gameplay on Solana
  2. Pysker-Whitepaper-January-2022-Updated.docx (website-files.com)

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