The Importance of Being Candid

Sanctor Capital
6 min readNov 21, 2023

The authors or their affiliates have ownership or other economic interests or intend to have interests in BTC, ETH, SOL, and may have ownership or other economic interests or intend to have interests in other organizations and/or crypto assets discussed as well as other crypto assets not referenced.

While the tech world was shaken by the unfolding of the drama at OpenAI, the gaming world wrestled with its own issues of transparency and progress. For web3, new games are hitting the market, and while numbers don’t lie, they don’t have to tell the whole truth either:

  • Game companies are fighting bots, or are they?
  • Unix Gaming is farming Fortnite for new gamers
  • Unity is giving AI another go
  • Is catering to players’ needs killing gaming?
  • Updates to prime titles leave fans furious
  • Hot Potato captured good crypto vibes

Let’s dive in!

Bot Kingdoms

Bots are a real problem in gaming, and traditional studios spend vast sums of money to curtail their presence and protect the integrity of the games. In the web3 space the story is different, as many games are chasing traction KPIs to appease investors and speculators, and bots help.


The use of UAW as a proxy for active gamers has been a key enabler of this behavior. To be fair, not all teams are acting with malicious intent. Most recently the Pixels’ team caught a lot of heat for celebrating botted UAW metrics, but they have been trying to address the issue.

However, there are lots of things pointing to the fact that just like in the early days of DeFi, teams are manipulating vanity metrics to affect public opinion. This is prompting bot businesses to cater to the demand. The space needs more transparency and better metrics.

Converting Gamers to Web3

Unix Gaming is launching a seven figure prize pool event on its platform, Owned, to try and onboard gamers into web3. The company is playing the long-game, giving prizes to gamers for games they are already playing, like Fortnite and showing them web3 titles alongside them.


The approach has merit as traditional companies have seen success with tournaments and real world item prizes. Users come in droves, and the cost of acquisition can end up being a lot lower than going through ads.

However, while the strategy may work with traditional games, getting players to give web3 games a shot may be more difficult. Moreover, getting users to try a game and getting users to stay is not the same thing. So it will be curious to see conversion and retention metrics.

Unity is Giving AI Another Go

Unity’s first attempt got a lot of blowback for the lack of transparency around data usage and attribution of its tools. Then again, it feels like everything Unity has done over the past few months has gone terribly wrong.


Still, the company is trying again, and is looking to be more candid with its users. Not even the board of OpenAI can hold back the tide of AI innovation, so it makes sense for Unity to get in front of it. However, this is a worrisome signal for startups working on AI game tooling.

Just like OpenAI keeps wiping out startups with every new release, so too can Unity given the horizontal and vertical reach of its ecosystem. Then again, the company is struggling financially, and may need to do more layoffs, so it’s unclear how fast it can progress.

Studios Wither Catering to Gamer Wants

The old adage that the customer is always right has prompted significant shake ups in the gaming ecosystem. Amazon Gaming is going through significant layoffs to focus on free gaming content and Digital Bros is also scaling back, with 505 Games focusing on sequels.


Those are just a few examples of studios listening, and adjusting to what the gamers want. Other popular trends have included the casual-ization and mechanics simplification. Teams have made changes in response to user wants, but are they making “faster horses”?

It is clear that the way content is being consumed is changing. However, the current approach may be leading us into a cookiecutter gaming universe that will recursively deteriorate itself. Kind of feels like a Marvel superhero-movies path, and we are heading towards The Marvels.

When Updates Fail

Releasing the title is just the beginning of the journey, especially if you are developing a franchise. The challenging thing is, no matter how much success you’ve had in the past, gamers will still give you a hard time if you disappoint with the latest release.


Nobody’s feeling that pain quite like Activision’s CoD team. The new MW3 is getting review-bombed on Steam, and even the revitalized zombie mode can’t save it. Fortnite ran into its own problems with new age restrictions preventing gamers from using items in certain maps.

All in all it’s tough to appease gamers. Fortnite’s issues in particular indicate the challenge of trying to expand to a younger demographic as you have to simultaneously cater to the player’s needs and address the concerns of the parents.

Hot Potato Brings Back Crypto Magic

The last few weeks the web3 market has been waking up, and that has started to affect the NFT space as well. However, what made the NFT focused community really special in the past, were the vibes of experimentation and friendliness.


The Hot Potato project appears to be bringing some of that back. The idea is to pass around a hot potato NFT, and if someone holds it for too long it gets burned. It is a surprisingly simple concept, but it cleverly incorporates the blockchain and social engagement.

While it is unclear if it’s really a game, or an art project, or someone just having a bit of fun, the memes, and the engagement of the space has been remarkable. It will be interesting to see if others follow suit and explore social engagement dynamics in games utilizing blockchain tech.

This wraps it up for this entry. As always, if you are working on something exciting in the web3 gaming space, or are a traditional gaming team looking to explore the possibilities, don’t hesitate to reach out to any of us at Sanctor Capital. Have a great rest of your week!

Ilya Abugov (@AbugovIlya)

Disclaimer: This commentary is not investment advice. It does not purport to include any recommendation as to any particular investment, transaction or investment strategy, or any recommendation to buy or sell any investment. It does not reflect any attempt to effect any transactions or render any investment advice.

This post is solely for informational and entertainment purposes. It is inherently limited and does not purport to be a complete discussion of the issues presented or the risks involved. Readers should seek their own independent legal, tax, accounting, and investment advice from professional advisors. The views reflected in this commentary are subject to change at any time without notice.



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