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Meet Gamestar – The Netflix of game night

Gamestar, a company co-founded by Steve Harvey, aims to disrupt the $16 billion dollar board games industry. An industry which is expected to grow to the value of $30.9 billion by 2028. Let’s take a closer look at how they are tackling the traditional board game format and coming for their share of the pie.

An intro to Gamestar+

Let’s start with the industry they are trying to disrupt; the board game industry. As mentioned in the intro, SkyQuest Technology Consulting expects the board games market to grow to $30.9 billion by 2028.
According to the Gamestar+ team however, this is an industry that has clung to the same format for ages. In their words, this industry hasn’t had its “Netflix moment” yet. Gamestar is here to change that, and disrupt this the traditional game night as we know it. How will they do it? Read on!

Disruption doesn’t come easy, what are their big plans?

First, let’s look at the progress of other entertainment industries. It’s quite clear that a lot of verticals are moving towards a streaming model;

  • People don’t have video tapes or DVDs anymore — they have Netflix
  • Majority of the people don’t have Vinyl records or CDs anymore — they have Spotify
  • And while lots of people still read physical books — a large majority has turned to streaming audiobooks via Audible

Streaming has even made its way to Playstation games, with their PS remote play that allows you to stream your Playstation games to other devices and resume playing them from there.

So, you might’ve guessed it by now, but Gamestar is bringing the streaming model to the traditional board game format. They’re building an immersive entertainment platform that delivers a multimedia driven social gaming experience. Gamestar calls its streaming model “Social Games On Demand” — or SGOD for short.

Games? Which games? Let’s talk IP.

As we can learn from other streaming platforms like Netflix, a platform is only as strong as its content offering. It’s why Netflix spends as much money as they currently do, to make quality content that attracts users. 

As I mentioned, Steve Harvey is one of the co-founders. So it doesn’t come as a surprise that Family Feud is one of the games on the platform. ‘Scene It?’ has also been integrated

Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune are two large titles that can be found on Gamestar very soon.

But, Gamestar’s IP portfolio is much bigger than that. Gamestar was established in 2019, and they’ve been able to use their strong connections to acquire licensing rights to major gaming and TV show titles. 

To name a few: Family Feud, Jeopardy, Wheel of Fortune, Price is Right, and Deal or No Deal; and titles from Marvel, Disney, Lucasfilm, Universal Studios, Sony Pictures and more. They’re currently in negotiations with more brands.

Recently, Gamestar made some large content acquisitions to make the Gamestar game night experience available for kids as well. Think Rainbow High, LOL Surprise, Blippi and Cocomelon.

Star power meets industry veterans: Gamestar’s strong leadership team and advisory board

Like I mentioned before, Gamestar was able to leverage their connections to acquire the long line-up of licenses they have. It’s not a surprise the team had those connections when you look at the leadership team and the advisory board.

Leadership team

  • Shane Yeend — Co-founder & CEO of Gamestar – Founded Imagination Games and revolutionized the traditional board game industry with patented DVD software. EY Australian Entrepreneur of the Year. Over $500 million in global gaming sales.
  • Todd Young — Co-founder & COO of Gamestar – ex-Sony interactive UX-focused streaming expert with extensive global games, business, marketing and development experience. Closed deals with over 3 dozen Fortune 500s. 
  • Shane Pike — CXO of Gamestar – An interactive producer with 20+ years of experience producing innovative interactive content for Disney, HBO, NBC Universal, Fox and Warner Bros. 
  • Jamie Parker — Chief Product Officer – Full-stack tech, prototyping at Disney+, exceptional experience in gaming, app dev & emerging platforms. Founded and exited AR app company. Architected and launched high-profile products while at Sony, Disney, & Dolby. 
GSTAR advisors

Is GSTAR just another inflationary GameFi project?

Short answer: no. Long answer: nah.

I understand the skepticism though, we’ve had plenty of this type of token this cycle. While I do believe Gamestar+ is a high quality project, let’s set that aside for a sec and purely look at the tokenomics.

Most P2E/GameFi projects have a very large selling pressure on their token, as users earn it as a P2E reward and immediately sell it for stables. Often, projects try to minimize this by offering various in-game utilities for the token to incentivize usage over selling. Usually in the form of cosmetics, power-ups or level-ups.

The first way inflation is minimized, is through the dual-token economy consisting of $GSTAR and $GBUCKS. GSTAR mainly serves as the governance token, which can also be staked to earn a share of the platform fees. 

GBUCKS can be earned through winning competitions and many other parts of the games. GBUCKS have a deep token utility, as they can be used for in-game packs, new games, NFT purchases, premium services, and more.

Furthermore, Gamestar has developed their Staking+ program, through which stakers get access to exclusive privileges. For example, unique avatar NFTs, beta access to test games, Real world experiences (for example; winning yourself a spot on the actual TV show after your in-game performance!) and lastly you earn early access to new titles.

Most importantly, $GSTAR is designed to be deflationary. The deflation rate will depend on the amount of users that are attracted to the Gamestar ecosystem and how fast that growth occurs. And, judging by the impressive content rights and IP portfolio, I think this should be no issue at all.

Gaming is a competitive industry, does Gamestar have what it takes to successfully break through?

Nothing is guaranteed, of course. Gaming is a highly competitive industry where each company battles for people’s attention and precious time.

Gamestar already has two games integrated (Family Feud and Scene it?) which are already available in the app and as physical copies. The physical copies are located in 1200 store shelves at the largest game retailer in the US: Target. With two more well-known titles coming soon, and many more in the pipeline.

The people involved with Gamestar have the ties needed to acquire content rights to globally recognized IP. 

So; two of the main critical success factors are covered: interesting content offering, and a way to generate awareness for the content. But, what about the actual game development?

Gamestar recently announced a $7 Million dollar investment into Mighty Kingdom. This investment will strongly accelerate Gamestar’s game production pipeline, as they are able to utilize the highly skilled dev team which boasts 130 experienced developers who have worked on titles for Disney, Lego and Mattel.

Gamestar has an existing user base of 40K monthly active users, and over 400K downloads of their Gamestar app. Impressive for a project which is still in its ‘pre-launch’ phase!

Curious to hear your thoughts on Gamestar! Tweet us @lvrsreflections!

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