Merit Circle

Creating the Gaming Community Platform that will accelerate the play & earn industry

Merit Circle - Full Screen

Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) in games are booming. The decentralised autonomous organisation Merit Circle foresees a new era in which gaming not only costs money but also creates financial opportunities. Merit Circle chose DEPT® to be its strategy & technology partner and develop a gaming community platform that brings capital, expertise and players together.

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Next level gaming

Gamers play for fun, to be challenged or to experience a sense of belonging. NFTs bring gaming to a whole new level by adding an earning element on top of this gaming experience and opening up the possibility to easily create open economies . Play & earn blends video games with in-game economics that reward players with NFTs for their performance. Gamers can sell their NFTs in games and across marketplaces to other players and collectors. Ownership of NFTs can also grant access, rights and benefits from reward schemes, live events and early releases. NFTs make certain aspects of games tradeable and turned the play & earn industry into the biggest development in gaming nowadays. According to Alexis Ohanian, the founder of Reddit, 90 per cent of people within the next five years will not play a video game unless they are being properly valued for that time.

Starting in 2021, Merit Circle focuses on developing the play & earn economy and has already gathered a massive community that’s now the most significant gaming DAO in the industry, both in market value and treasury size. To pave the way for future growth, Merit Circle asked DEPT® to create a revolutionary NFT marketplace that will truly make its gamers’ lives better. Specific wishes were to automate the onboarding process for gamers and enrich their community with coaching and education that goes beyond gaming. And finally, to create a clear financial overview with a pay-out function that integrates multiple crypto wallets.

Developing a whole new market

The community is an essential part of the world of gaming, but onboarding new gamers was very labour-intensive. This goes beyond just creating an account: it’s about getting familiar with the concept of Play & Earn gaming, helping with the right set-up of the wallet and game device, choosing the right game and teaching newcomers the basics. In a new platform built from scratch, we automated this whole process while still ensuring every single gamer feels comfortable, welcome and heard. By adding elements of comradery, advice and interaction to the community, we aim to make play & earn gaming more accessible.

Currently, Merit Circle provides thousands of gamers with scholarships to play the popular games Axie Infinity, and Vulcan Forged for free. Making actively participating in the games more accessible to the masses, as for some NFTs, prices can run up to thousands of dollars. In exchange, Merit Circle receives 30% of everything a gamer earns. The community platform supports scholars in all kinds of areas. Scholars and more experienced gamers with the right social skills, so-called coaches, come together here to learn from each other. Progress and achievements are tracked via leaderboards. Coaches not only coach their scholars with game challenges and skill learning but also help with operational processes and educate scholars on crypto, finance and personal development. The platform integrates and facilitates learning, earning and community and forms a significant step towards a competitive and scalable platform in the play & earn gaming industry.

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DEPT®’s approach is unique! There are only a small number of agencies that can fulfil this role within a blockchain scale-up like Merit Circle, as DEPT® is doing now.

Thale Sonnemans, Head of Operations at Merit Circle

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Meeting all the gamers’ needs

The first version of the gaming community platform is set to release early in Q2 of 2022, with more than 30 exciting play & earn games in the pipeline that are sure to attract new gamers. Through open and transparent in-game performance tracking, points for improvement are found and addressed. When the platform is finalised and functioning as envisioned, DEPT® will guide Merit Circle in forming a dedicated team to sustain the platform and improve as the industry evolves. Possible future additions are team play, switching easily between different games and gamification of the whole scholarship process. Merit Circle aims to raise the industry standard by developing a platform that covers everything a gamer could need. With DEPT® in the game, Merit Circle is expected to be a kingmaker in the new land of play & earn.

Questions?

Strategist

Jochem van Rossem

Merit Circle

Developing the leading NFT marketplace for gamers

merit circle

Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are at the heart of Merit Circle, a rising star in the crypto industry. NFTs enable the play & earn economy that Merit Circle focuses on, in which gamers buy and earn NFTs that they can sell and trade. For this, Merit Circle asked DEPT® to develop an NFT marketplace that distinguishes with an experience that is devoted to both gamers and game developers.

By gamers, for gamers

Merit Circle is all about games. Investing, playing, building and now the trading of the assets that power the play & earn economy with an NFT marketplace. For Merit Circle, it’s the final piece in their portfolio that closes the circle. While most NFTs are being bought and sold for their aesthetic and speculative properties, gaming NFTs add a new layer by enhancing the gaming experience. Instead of just displaying your shiny item, you can also use it in a gaming metaverse to slay that terrifying dragon. This allows for its own niche in the crypto industry, one that Merit Circle is set on conquering.


With a massive market share, OpenSea is currently the most dominant NFT marketplace by far. Still, new players with a heavy focus on the gaming industry such as Fractal, are popping up every day. However, what better company to build an NFT marketplace than a community owned gaming DAO, which is already fully tailored towards helping gamers succeed in this space. And on top of that, Merit Circle has another advantage that most competitors lack: the actual content. It has the benefit of being able to leverage a rich network of games, each bringing its own gaming community. To accommodate this expected growth, we built a gaming community platform from scratch that makes onboarding and interacting more user-friendly. At the same time, we developed the NFT marketplace for this community to trade their gaming NFTs.

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Upgrading the gaming NFT marketplace experience

At OpenSea, NFTs for gaming are treated like any other NFTs and every profile looks the same. Creators have few options to display the usage of an NFT in a game, or to tell the larger story behind it, which is essential for the world-building on which games rely. Without these two essential properties, gaming NFTs are mostly considered for their financial history and possible value gain. In a nothing about us, without us approach, we held a series of 1-on-1 interviews with game studios, gamers and investors. In three explorative design sprints, we listened to user experiences, complaints and wishes, and discussed prototypes and new solutions. This way, we learned what would be needed to upgrade the current experience of trading NFTs for gaming. At the same time, we also aspire to address the general issues with NFT trading that we currently see.

Anyone who has taken a dive into the world of crypto, wallets, NFTs and gas fees, can tell you how incredibly difficult it can be to truly get in to the crypto industry. Especially if you are not tech-savvy. The UI is often lacking, and sometimes it’s unclear what is happening or how to get engaged. We decided to meet this challenge head-on with contextual education in an approach called just-in-time learning. Instead of referring users to support forums and FAQ repositories in which they have to find their own way, we provide short explanations and next steps. By applying proven design patterns that users will know from webshops, the user experience becomes smoother. Transparency was another key factor, for which we ensured the fees and value of the NFT are clearly visible. We also worked with Game Development Studios from the very start of the project, which allowed us to lower the threshold for creators and Game Developing Studios to create their own marketplace. The Merit Circle Marketplace will be giving them a good deal of options to customise their own landing pages, enabling them to create a unique environment that fits their identity and needs.

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Wider appeal to the masses

Together with Merit Circle, we firmly believe that a better user experience is essential for Web 3.0 to break through to the masses. With the launch of an NFT marketplace for and by gamers, we aim to move the needle and make the trading of NFTs for gaming more accessible for everyone. Authentic to the Merit Circle brand, and with a clear focus on creating value and improving the gaming experience. Merit Circle has the clear ambition to lead the play & earn industry, and with the addition of this NFT marketplace to its ecosystem, Merit Circle is one step closer to minting that role.

Questions?

Strategist

Jochem van Rossem

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