In the last couple of years, the blockchain gaming space has seen massive growth as people realise the potential of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and play-to-earn games. MonkeyLeague is one such up-and-coming blockchain game that offers AAA quality web3 soccer so players can have a blast while earning passive income. Today we’re joined by Oren Langberg – Uncaged Studios’ Head of Marketing & Partnerships to explore the game, the Solana blockchain, the current state of the market and more.
Thanks for joining us today, Oren Langberg. Could you please introduce yourself, MonkeyLeague, and share a little background on how and why your team started the project?
Greetings! I’m a lifelong gamer who has worked in startups and listed companies over the last 15 years. I’ve been with MonkeyLeague for nearly a year now.
You’ll build your dream team of MonkeyPlayer digital assets, play matches against real people, win tournaments, and climb the ranks with MonkeyLeague.
Our founders recognized the incredible potential of blockchain technology within the world of gaming. This innovative system enables a decentralized model that gives players more control over their assets, content and profits. It also allows them to customize, trade and even sell their digital assets since they have value beyond the game. Plus, blockchain supports an in-game digital currency that can be used for transactions and for rewards for successful competition and tournaments.
Play-to-earn gaming, however, led to a lot of low-production value games that used earning as their primary incentive to play and strayed away from the core purpose of gaming, fun first.
How does MonkeyLeague differ from its competitors in NFT esports gaming?
The key differences between us are our team, partners, backers, and vision, as well as the production value, the development of sustainable game economies, the franchise of fun-first sports games that leverage the same game assets, and the use of soul-bound tokens.
Powered by high production value and fun-first gaming, MonkeyLeague and UnCaged are leading the way. With 45 people on our studio team, we have over 100 years of combined experience designing and developing top-quality web3 gaming experiences.
In the Web3 gaming industry, MonkeyLeague was a big deal at launch due to its connection to football. This opens up the blockchain gaming world to over 3 billion soccer fans. Will MonkeyLeague target this market and how will it compete with current console football games like FIFA and eFootball?
Ultimately, our games are casual – they won’t compete with games like FIFA or NBA Live as they are high production value, super fun, and fulfill a huge void in the market.
I’m curious why launching your NFTs on Solana was a crucial part of your team? How does this impact the gamers?
MonkeyLeague is the most anticipated web3 sports game on the planet, so MonkeyLeague MonkeyPlayers are one of the most popular NFTs on Solana.
With Solana, you get a powerful blockchain and a top-notch team that represents the future of web3 gaming. Their infrastructure, speed and flexibility, not to mention their ecosystem, made it a no-brainer for us. It is our long-term goal to be chain-agnostic, since with MonkeyLeague, the game is off-chain while the economy, game assets, and infrastructure are all on the blockchain.
Could Solana-based NFTs challenge Ethereum’s dominance in the near future?
Solana has the team, product, and vision to take blockchain infrastructure and technology to the next level and beyond. We are proud to work closely with them.
In your opinion, how long will it take Solana to surpass Ethereum?
They have a deep team, a deep philosophy and vision for web3, and are super proactive about being innovative and delivering.
Several Solana blockchain outages have occurred in the past. How does this affect MonkeyLeague?
In addition, we have a separation between the game itself and the web3 components which eliminates any potential issues arising from pioneering.
A growing number of gamers, especially millennials and Gen Z, are favoring esports as a career and play-to-earn games over traditional gaming. Do you see P2E gaming as a gateway to massive crypto adoption?
For web3 gaming to go mainstream, it needs to build on top of the best of web2 games and add blockchain features.
The substantial transition from web2 gaming to crypto can be daunting for some players. To ease this transition, we have created a free-to-play version of MonkeyLeague. This allows gamers to get familiar with the game and its inner workings before investing in digital game assets. Moreover, our platform has different paths for players based on their level of investment and commitment. The more dedicated or competitive they are, the more options open up; from just having one MonkeyPlayer asset they can earn rewards and improve it all the way to full teams which bring extended benefits.
The current web2 esports market is typically focused on hardcore games such as NFL Madden and League of Legends when opening the door to esports. As MonkeyLeague is a casual mid-core web3 sports game, it does open up the possibility down the road for everyday people to become esports stars and reap tons of benefits and rewards from that, including potential sponsorships.
However, I have interacted with several Solana-based NFT communities, which I found quite impressive. Could you explain the MonkeyLeague community and neighbourhood to our readers?
We have worked hard to build a strong, transparent and communicative community from the start. We could not be more delighted with the results; we like to call it the MonkeyTrain! Our Discord channel has over 80,000 members from all around the world who share different backgrounds, cultures and languages but are all united in this endeavour. The MonkeyTrain serves as the core of MonkeyLeague and we are so fortunate to have such passionate people on board.
Despite the ongoing bear market, how do you think NFTs, and MonkeyLeague in particular, will navigate it?
Although many solid web3 projects suffered in the worst way from this crypto winter, it is progressing web3 development much more quickly in the long run. It is no longer possible for a few people to create a low-quality 2D game and attach a simple earning mechanism and succeed. Survivors will have to adapt and evolve.
The future of web3 gaming is all about providing high quality entertainment while keeping a fair rewards system based on skill. The days when anyone could make a stick figure, mint it as an NFT and sell it for big money are gone. If you’re looking at collectible art pieces, their value will depend more on who created them and what can be done with them. It could be that owning such an item gives you access to something special, for example. As for games, NFTs will come with more practical uses and although technically they are still NFTs, people will refer to them as digital assets. Ultimately, what matters is how useful they are.
Up until the launch of MonkeyLeague, we are continuously improving the functionality of MonkeyPlayers, our digital game assets.
In the coming months, what can gamers expect from MonkeyLeague?
Over the next few months, we’ll be releasing some really exciting milestones and features. A Monkey Breeding season is coming up at the end of September, followed by a Closed Alpha and Closed Beta, leading up to the full public release of the game. We will release some crazy sports and brand partnerships during this time.
Do you have any final words for the MonkeyLeague community?
It’s just the beginning…
Oren Langberg is a graduate of business operations and has an MBA in strategic management from Bar Ilan University. Prior to joining the tech industry in 2012, Oren worked as a Partner at M.E Care and Head of Marketing in Canada. Before joining Uncaged Studios, the developer of MonkeyLeague, Oren also served as the Co-Founder and Head of Marketing at ellee.