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'Match Made in Heaven': Why Ethereum RPG Kaidro Migrated to Ronin

source-logo  decrypt.co 12 April 2024 21:00, UTC

Anime-inspired role-playing game Kaidro has already made waves on Ethereum scaling network Ronin since announcing its plans to migrate in February.

A buzzy free mint in March saw nearly 350,000 free NFTs claimed by Ronin wallets, while Kaidro’s first premium mint on Ronin this week sold out some 9,999 Spark Suit NFTs—with 2,400 of those going in a public sale in just 10 seconds—generating $2 million in the process and pushing Kaidro to become the third most-traded collection on the Mavis Market.

Kaidro planned to launch on one of Immutable’s gaming-centric Ethereum scaling networks, as originally announced last year. However, in February, the webcomic-inspired game rerouted to Ronin instead—a pivotal turning point for the project, the co-creators told Decrypt’s GG.

After receiving investment from yet another Ethereum scaling network, Polygon, the creators thought that they’d found their home. That is, until Immutable partnered with Polygon to co-develop Immutable zkEVM, a next-gen gaming chain. Things changed after that.

🐉 9,999 Kaidro Spark Suits minted!

⚡️2,400 crates in Public Stage minted out under 10 seconds.

🧡 We are blessed by Gaia's light. pic.twitter.com/23XnxZ6YYe

— Kaidro 🐉 (@kaidrochronicle) April 9, 2024

Polygon was originally planning more of a gaming push on its own, Kaidro co-creator Robert Simons said—but after the network team-up, Kaidro was “kind of handed off” to Immutable, he felt. While he said that Immutable has “really great people” and had “good energy” around the game, the Kaidro team felt a vibe shift amid the transition.

“We personally didn't feel like we were getting the same level of engagement we were getting with Polygon early on,” Simons told Decrypt. “It was a little frustrating from our side.”

Around this time, the team met Sky Mavis co-founder Jeffery “Jihoz” Zirlin in Japan. Already fans of Sky Mavis’ Ronin network and Axie Infinity, the group got to chatting and realized they aligned perfectly around blockchain gaming and the future of that space.

Zirlin admitted to Decrypt’s GG that he was disappointed at first to find out that Kaidro was already building on another chain, as he saw potential in the creators and their project.

“There have been attempts at an anime PFP/gaming crossover, but we felt like there was no team that really did it justice,” he said. “We felt like this was the team that could actually dominate that niche.”

He continued to praise the Kaidro team, highlighting their communication skills. “You can tell that they're authentic and they love what they're doing, when you meet them,” he said.

“It was a match made in heaven,” Simons added. This might sound like a cheesy romance, but in conversation, it was clear that the two sides feel very much in sync around their shared path.

Fortunately, the honeymoon period hasn’t ended yet, with Kaidro feeling “very appreciated” on Ronin—a stark difference from how they felt just a few months ago with Immutable. Now, they work with different Sky Mavis departments “every day,” who support Kaidro when it comes to strategy, marketing, social media, and more

“It really feels like an extension of our team,” Simons explained. “It's really this big, symbiotic relationship that sort of feeds into every ‘blood vessel’ of their company and our company, and partners beyond them.”

Kaidro's next moves

With this newfound marriage injecting fresh life into the creators, Kaidro is gearing up for a closed alpha for its Clan Battles game “within the next couple of weeks”, first available to Spark Suit NFT holders.

In its current state, the developers are solely focused on nailing down the mechanics of the game despite being a story-driven RPG—this element of Kaidro will not be available until launch.

Unlike most Web3 games, Kaidro will be available on Steam. The Valve-owned gaming store notoriously banned blockchain games in 2021, which has led to many Web3 games launching on the Epic Games Store instead, or debuting via blockchain-centric launchers.

Kaidro: Clan Battles game. Sign up for the wishlist now on steam: https://t.co/B86JBi5xDm pic.twitter.com/757vRV3XC5

— Kaidro 🐉 (@kaidrochronicle) March 26, 2024

Kaidro’s game will be free-to-play with no Web3 integrations necessary. As a result, gamers can download the game on Steam and play it without ever touching a crypto wallet. It’s by loading up the Kaidro website that the world of Web3 benefits is unlocked.

“Our website is sort of like our own Xbox Live achievements to a certain degree,” Simons told Decrypt. “As you're playing the game, those achievements are being unlocked over on the website, and now you're earning rewards in the process of doing it. When you attach your NFT, you actually attach your NFT on the website and you get a skin in-game.”

A screenshot from Kaidro: Clan Battles. Image: Kaidro

With this anticipation growing, the creators want to temper expectations that the Kaidro animated project is just around the corner, following February’s trailer launch. In reality, that part of the Kaidro project is still over a year from being ready for release. But the game launch is poised to help spread the comic-based IP to a much broader audience in the meantime.

“We feel that this year and next year are going to be very big years for Kaidro, as it continues to ramp up and we start to reach game launch. We have seasons and things like that coming out for it,” Simons said. “We're just really excited for it.”

Edited by Andrew Hayward