IGO: Grabbing Game Assets Early
An IGO, or an Initial Game Offering, is the latest form of token placement, tailored for play to earn projects. The continuation of an IDO, or Initial Decentralized Offering, those token sales focus on a specific game environment and a potential economic system based on tokenized assets.
What is the Advantage of an IGO
An IGO offers potential early access to a game environment, along with rare items, exclusive early collections of images, or other perks.
Before all, participation in an IGO is a way to have a high-risk, potentially high-return investment. Play to earn assets, both native tokens or other reward assets, can reach significant appreciation, especially in the case of a solid project with regular game releases.
IGO sales may also grant early access to game assets such as land plots or terrains access. Games like The Sandbox or the Decentraland environment have established this model, opening up to early adoption and the potential to apply metaverse terrains.
Whitelisting and Limits: Achieving Better Distribution
Game offerings and in-game NFT mints have learned from previous token sales. To avoid bot bidding or chaotic buying, a game may whitelist addresses before the token sale. This would also place limits on buying, to avoid the appearance of highly influential “whales”.
More IGO projects offer a fraction of their entire token supply during the IGO, while preserving the rest for in-game rewards. The token distribution is thus more gradual and reaches a wider audience, while avoiding token flash sales right after exchange listings.
Whitelisting also means a project can choose the best moment to distribute tokens, to avoid gas fees. Most IGOs are still held on the Ethereum (ETH) blockchain, though a wider share goes through Binance Smart Chain (BSC), which has even lower barriers to access. Those IGOs also use Binance Coin (BNB) for whitelisting and token purchase.
The IGO has also altered the model of a token launch platform. Hubs specializing in IGOs have appeared, or have been modified from ICO accelerators and platforms.
Most commonly, IGO hubs are startups with their native asset, who then use their influence to aggregate new offers with potential buyers from the community. The advantage of launchpad platforms is the presence of demand and expectation of regular new launches, of which some may prove to be a great success.
IGO hubs and platforms have a differing size and influence. Those hubs also offer lowered risks and more thorough whitelisting, while also precluding some scams from copied sites or direct messaging. Their other advantage is using a unified token for sales, as well as establishing that token as an entry ticket to new sales.
Some of the most influential IGO hubs include Seedify, GameFi, GameStarter and EnjinStarter. IGO hubs exist for specific blockchains as well, and are in charge of organizing sales on those networks.
CoinGecko lists dozens of tokens belonging to IGO hubs with their specialized advantages. The best approach is to stick to the larger platforms, while avoiding almost unknown startups. On some platforms, IGOs tend to be small or host projects with little chance of producing an actual game.
Binance Launchpad: The IGO Benchmark
Binance Launchpad is not specifically an IGO platform. The tokens offered on this platform usually turn into prominent crypto influences, whatever their business model. But in the past few months, Binance, Inc. also pointed its attention to play to earn projects, and thus made IGOs a part of the mix.
Binance also boosts the NFT collection sale, which is often the first step in game launches. Binance hosts special offers, blind boxes and start packages for selected games and projects. Binance also finances some of the best play to earn game development with its dedicated startup fund.
Centralized or Decentralized?
The biggest question of IGOs is where the token would be traded after its launch. The better-performing tokens manage to build a connection to influential centralized exchanges. A centralized exchange listing opens up the token to price discovery and sufficient liquidity for trading.
But with so many IGOs happening at the same time, most will resort to some form of decentralized trading. Some projects will hitch a listing on UniSwap or PancakeSwap, while also injecting liquidity to jump-start the price of their native token. It is best to be aware of very illiquid tokens, to either avoid or to wait out until the asset accrues more significant liquidity. Even some of the leading play to earn tokens took years following their initial launch to achieve their current valuation levels.
Token First or Game First
When choosing a play to earn game, the big question is whether to choose the token-first or game-first model. On the one hand, token-first projects may fail to produce a game for years – and yet offer immediate gains if their token appreciates.
Game-first projects are conservative about crypto, and will only add tokenization as an option. Project Quantum, for instance, has chosen to work as a traditional game studio, with its native token QBIT just an afterthought at this stage.
Other play to earn projects focus heavily on token ownership as a prerequisite to gameplay, item building or digital plot access.
IGOs are thus a model preferably used when looking for valuable tokens, with the potential to become the next game hit in crypto space. Those token sales also give value to other network tokens, as they create demand and scarcity.
Investment in early or developed crypto projects is inherently risky. Game reviews are not investment advice. Investment in tokens and digital coins can lead to significant volatility. Do your own due diligence and avoid investing funds you cannot afford to lose.