Netflix for Game Night: AMA Recap
Todd Young, Co-founder and COO Gamestar+
Jamie Parker, Chief Product Officer Gamestar+
Luke Lombe, Partner Faculty Group, Advisor Gamestar+
Andy, Associate Faculty Group
Andy: What is Gamestar+, and what are you trying to achieve?
Todd: Our vision for Gamestar is to be the Netflix of game night. At this point, pretty much any device can stream Netflix. However, although classic video games are useful as entertainment vehicles, they create antisocial behavior and pull people out of the real world. So what we wanted to do is bring the genuinely social games, the game nights we all know and love, and where meaningful interactions between friends and family can happen with ease to your devices. We see this as an irresistible value proposition; if you compare the cost analysis of buying albums for 15 or 20 bucks a pop, or buying board games for a similar price, it just seems like a no-brainer to get access to all the great titles, familiar IPs, games you grew up with that you know how to play and enjoy, all for an affordable monthly fee.
Andy: What is it like to produce content for Gamestar+?
Jamie: You know, we’re not making video games or free-to-play games.
I think at the heart of what we’re trying to make, with all these titles, is the memorable experience. I would personally love to create an experience where you always feel like you’re at the center of the show. It’s just going to be about bringing the people you care about together in one room and connecting those social experiences across our platform.
Andy: One problem with all these top content producers like HBO, Netflix, and Disney is spending so much money to produce their content. How will Gamestar tackle this issue?
Todd: For the folks interested in the business side, I think the following is a valuable component of our business. Recent analysis shows Netflix pays 3$ million per hour of content produced on average. And most of that content is single-use; how often do you rewatch a show? But the games we make have replayability. Nobody just plays a game and says, “Okay, I played that, let’s move on..” In social gaming, every gaming session is a new and memorable experience. This characteristic keeps our costs low on the business side of things but maximizes entertainment for consumers.
Andy: Can you tell us more about the blockchain element and how that is enhancing the gameplay? Could you just talk to us about the big picture there and give us as much detail as you can at this point?
Todd: You will usually have the ability to play the games without using blockchain. Blockchain technology adds a layer that augments and amplifies the capabilities here with the platform. We have sort of a two-fold thing here: You can chase the GSTAR token itself, which is like the in-game currency. Like in Call of Duty, the COD points, or the V-bucks in Fortnite — the GSTAR token provides you with a mechanism to use these credits for several different purposes.
With the GSTAR token, you can experience the games on a new level. Usually, when you are watching Jeopardy, for example, and you just scream out the answer, you could instead use the token to create an actual tournament with other people playing in real time. You can compete, for example, for $5 of GSTAR tokens. As you guess the correct answers, you climb up the leaderboard, and you get a chance to unlock achievements. You could, for example, win NFTs that go into your trophy room. You can also unlock premium access with our tokens, and you can exchange GSTAR for money as well.
As you make your way up the leaderboard, the grand prize could be $10,000 in GSTAR tokens for the winner.
We’re creating this economy with an entire generation of people who don’t even know what blockchain is. They will get to know this more and more as they use the platform and compete with the tokens. There is more planned in the future, but I cannot say much more right now.
Andy: Can you tell us more about the Team at Gamestar+?
Todd: Sure. I think we have an excellent team top to bottom, starting with Kevin, our CTO, who was most recently at Disney+ and has also been in leadership roles at Sony Pictures. Then we have Shane Pike, our Chief Experience Officer, a phenomenal content producer. He has been creating games in this general form for longer than anybody. He produced creative content for Disney, HBO, Fox, and Warner Bros. We have Shane Yeend, our Co-founder and CEO. He is the founder of Imagination Games and revolutionized the traditional board game industry with patented DVD software. Our investors include substantial funds and high-profile individual investors like Daymond John from Shark Tank.
Luke: How does this year look in terms of product release? Do you have anything you could share with us?
Todd: The first title will be Family Feud with Steve Harvey (around early March). Then we will work on games like Wheel of Fortune, Jeopardy to Disney content that covers Marvel, Lucasfilm, and Pixar. After that, we’ve got pretty much every other AAA game show you could imagine.
Gamestar, the “Netflix for Games,” is the next-generation streaming app that combines an innovative ‘Play to Earn’ blockchain architecture to deliver unique social gaming content through TV, mobile, and connected devices. Industry experts from Sony, Imagination Entertainment, Disney, HBO have formed an incredible executive suite with advisors from Hasbro, CNN, Jeopardy, and Shark Tank are already on board. In addition, Gamestar has secured globally recognized IP rights with titles such as Family Feud, Jeopardy, Wheel of Fortune, Scene It?, and more.