Building a game on the blockchain
“A good technology doesn’t’ necessarily translate into a great business, because the era of virtual reality (VR) came slower than expected,” explained Son Woo-ram, head of Mossland, a mobile game start-up built upon augmented reality (AR) and blockchain. Son reoriented his business focus to blockchain because he “needs to make a living.” This is how he has come to terms with the reality that he needed to remain flexible in business, which led to the launch of Mossland. JoinD sat down with Son on July 4. Following are edited excerpts. Q. Please introduce yourself. I majored in computer science in college and researched software systems that analyze video clips at graduate school. After graduation, I worked at Samsung Electronics to make cameras. Then, it just occurred to me that I wanted to lead my own life as we all only live once. I thought running my own business could open the way and jumped into the field. I first founded a company called Ram Technology, named after the end letter of my name. I just named it without too much thought. The company developed software that shows before and after images for plastic surgery. One of the biggest lessons that I learned from it is that great technology doesn’t necessarily ensure a successful business. If you come up with too realistic images, they typically disappoint people since surgery doesn’t make a big difference. Q. What is the difference between VR and AR? AR combines the real world with VR. But VR is all about virtual world. Let’s take the case of Decentraland, which uses VR to manage real estate properties in the game. But Mossland is built on AR. For example, AR uses graphics to apply a virtual signboard to a real city hall background. Q. Mossland plans to release a new game dubbed “Marbles.” Is the new release a cryptocurrency version of the video game “Everybody’s Marble”? It will be similar but still different. The concept will not be that different, but anyway our goal is that existing “Everybody’s Marble” users might not recognize “Marbles” as a cryptocurrency-based game. Q. Mossland said it adopted a centralized system to stabilize server systems, but later will switch to a Dapp system. When will the platform be changed? The top priority for Mossland is gamers and then content and finally blockchain technology. There shouldn’t be sources that make users feel uncomfortable. We tested several well-known platforms, but it was far from satisfying. Considering the game system as a user experience, this is not the right time for that change.