So Now What Do We Do?
Today was quite the day in the world of Splinterlands
It was announced early this morning that the company had laid off about 45% of it's staff. As soon as the news started to break, the rumors where rampant and the questions started
For me personally, this was a cause for concern but decided to wait until their impromptu Town Hall that took place at 6pm eastern. I figured a lot of the concerns we all had as investors and players of the game, would be addressed.
After listening to the entire talk, and from a number of questions from the community, I'm still...A little concerned.
I'm not sure exactly how we got to this spot as everything seemed to be working out, with the big sales that were happening, all the attention and passion from the community.
But what it came down to for me was two factors..
The bear market as a whole and the over confidence of the game itself.
The bear market is something I don't think anyone could fault the company for. Obviously, no one reading this or anyone in the Splinterlands community can dictate what the rest of crypto does. But where my concern lays is how Splinterlands became such a powerhouse product in the blockchain gaming space.
You see, this thing was built in the last bear market. So to me, Splinterlands should have been 'bear market proof' but what happened almost 2 years is where I feel things may have gone wrong.
Right when the bull run was on, the Untamed packs in the Splinterlands game were close to being sold out. The 'Play 2 Earn' brand was becoming all the rage thanks to things like Axie Infinity and of course, Splinterlands. It was a perfect storm, card prices on the market were through the roof and Untamed AND Dice sets, were sold out on the site.
And as we anticipated the launch of Chaos Legion, there was a fever pitch for the community to buy new packs and get in on the hype.
Here's what I always think was a problem....Chaos Legion packs were more expensive to buy than Untamed. And there was 15 million of them to be sold...
This sounded great when the bulls were in town and there was huge demand for packs as well as the promised LAND expansion. Not so great during this bear market. So much so that a proposal was put out to actually burn unsold packs of Chaos Legion.
Personally, I didn't have a problem with the price increase. I WANT the company to make money. The issue I always had was that I felt like 15 million packs, doesn't create the same demand as Untamed did with it's 1 million packs. Combine this with Riftwatchers launching, Runi sales, Tower Defence and most recently, Lux Vega....And there was just too much to spend our money on, it felt like something was bound to happen.
Well today it did.
One of the biggest head scratchers for me was the announcement that they had let go of @bulldog1205 , the community manager for Splinterlands. But above that, he was one of the premier content creators for the game and responsible for helping the Splinterlands brand grow on social media.
Splinterlands was always a community based game, so to get rid of one of the faces of the community...Just seemed odd.
So does this mean I'm exiting the game?
Am I selling it all? Closing up shop?
I'm really in wait and see mode for the time being, mainly because I still believe in Splinterlands the brand and the experience. I love the card ownership. I love the game play. And I'm still very hopeful for the future of not only Land expansion but all the exciting things they have planned.
Granted, the roadmap may be reworked and edited a bit going forward, but generally....Layoffs do happen in business all the time. We're in a 'black swan' event as Aggroed called it on the town hall and generally, since day one, I haven't seen anything that makes me think, Splinterlands doesn't want to become better each and every day.
So....I'm cautious. Maybe the better thing to say is that I'm cautiously optimistic because the company has plenty of good will in my opinion over the past 4 years to see the rough patches through.
But enough of my thoughts.....
What do you think of the announcement today?
Are you still in love with the game?
Or do you feel like this is something that won't be fixed?
I'd love to hear your opinion on the entire situation...
Damn that sucks x)
Well, I wasn't in the town hall meeting, but I would be more interested in seeing the actually numbers the company is doing and see if it justified to let anyone go or if this was a bit of greed from the founders.
I am very spectic when it comes to layoff in the real worlds since CEO takes home millions sometimes.
But splinterland might be different :D
They didn't dive into too many numbers, but did say they are operating at about 1 million dollars in costs per month.
1 million in cost alone oO
Holy shit, thats a lot
agreed, this is what I was thinking... with raising over 40 million USD in chaos sales plus all the other things they have launched just seems strange
Well, the money can be going fast when you scale, no doubt. But I am more worried about founders being greedy.
But I ofc hope the Splinterlands are different :'D
I was shocked to see @bulldog1205 being retrenched and it was sad to watch his livestream reaction to the news. Regardless, I will be a continual supporter of his content as he was doing a fantastic service to the community by keeping them abreast and updated with everyone going on in the world of splinterlands.
And thats the thing - there was so much going on in splinterlands and I am not mr moneybags and therefore unable to participate in all the pre-sales, sales, drops etc etc etc. And with that much going on - you need people to be able to be working on all these things. Maybe this is a good time for splinterlands to go back to the roadmap and get clear and get hyper focus on its mission and vision it had originally for splinterlands.
He was pretty much the face of the game for social media and streaming along with some other very talented people. Hate seeing it.
And he was working all the long, creating videos on youtube, then answer questions on twitter. Sad new :( .But i still believe in the game and the community. We need to stay strong and try to avoid risky moves or crazy invest. Stay focus guys and don't invest the money you don't have.
If I understand correctly the development team has been downsized. Unfortunately Splinterlands is facing a difficult time. I have always supported the project, but I must admit that all the people I invited to play in the last 6 months have left the game. Maybe for new users it's not a fun game anymore.
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That really needs to be a priority, attracting new players and keeping them engaged.
In my opinion they have cracked the nutshell and now the big concern may be if it affects game assets especially the prices of cards, vouchers price is already declining, after this news DEC and SPS are also affected. We need to follow the situation very carefully.
But, we are hopeful that things will go back to normal. Bulldog1205's lay off is unimaginable, he was kind biggest promoter on many social media platforms. It hurts mate.
They cracked the Nutshell ha? Never heard that one before.
Oh, it's kinda local idiom, when someone is sick and does not show up but suddenly collapses. 😉
I think long term, they should be good. It's a rough patch for sure, and is concerning. But the game was literally built in a bear market.
Yes true, bear markets increases buying power of traders.
I'm still digesting and not sure what to make of it. But a leaner organisation should be a good thing.
Hope so, crossing my fingers for a big push to end the year!
Me too. Stake SPS for GLX or in the Liquidity Pool! So many choices! 😀
Wow. I had no clue!!! Wow that's insane..
Crazy news, never stops here in the crypto space.
I just wish it wasn't our ecosystem taking a big hit...
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Interesting updates Jon, thanks. I didn't know about this. Things will keep changing and adapting, hopefully the core of the game stays strong. Maybe thats why SPS price been getting smashed.
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Yeah we're a long ways since 50 cent SPS lol THose were great days!
Layoff's are real. And once the February comes in we will be seeing it's results in the real life. Like not just IT companies but many other industries too would go through it. It's not a time to invest into the new people or hiring new people. It's letting go time and cleaning up restructuring time.
I am sure everything will rebound in the 10th month of 2023 like every recession worked out in like 1 year 10 months. We already seen entire 2022 in recession due to pandemic effects as it is and so now the few more months.
Splinterlands is here to stay!
I think so too, hope so for sure lol
It happens, just the timing of it was bad for everyone involved.
Wow, 45% layoff, is huge. For comparison, Amazon's layoffs amount to roughly one percent or less of their workforce, and the way Wall Street's reacting is like Amazon is DED RIP, so if Splinterlands was a stock, I'd say it might be in for a rough patch or two.
I believe they will pull through, I'm cautiously optimistic lol
Oh yeah, where there's a will, there's a way! Thanks!!
This is sad :( ... I do hope it was for the right reasons, and things work out :(
A lot of people do as well, it's been such an awesome experience.
Maybe they will get back to their roots soon, if they've left them. Anyone can make a mistake?
Thanks for the tip :)
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glad I didn't sink any Hive into the game, there's plenty of FUD already out there and I'm happy I don't have another reason to be stressed out :P
I'm still playing with house money, never spent any fiat really, just Hive and other crypto I earned.
same here :)
its certainly a bad look. 45% layoffs is pretty extreme. Big moves are important in drastic times so its understandable for the long term development of splinterlands, but.... man.... nearly half the squad? How did they get so overinflated at the same time as having so much success lately? I guess thats just a painful reality to bear. The community has been chucking money at this team for the last couple of months at an exasperating rate and the phrase 'what bear market?' has been banded about a lot as we see incredibly fast sellouts of hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of product in minutes... surely splinterlands is closer to bear-proof than a lot of projects right now? And like you jongo, im still on the optimistic side. I believe in this team, and this project and this community, and the recent successes go a long way to support our bid for survival....but again.....45% is such a huge blow. Psychologically, 30% would have felt a lot less damaging. Obviously a business has to make cuts in an extended bear market.... but SURELY we've been raising enough money to avoid such an epic cull? What about the money in the DAO? This would have been an AMAZING time to give the community a chance to steer the ship a bit...maybe its not too late....you can imagine the headlines already, splinterlands community fires 30% of staff! haha. How much more revolutionary people power do you need? We should be using these moments to prove that splinterlands is truly leading the way in web3 governance.
The argument is, if the DAO funds it, it's all SPS...and all that SPS being sold would hurt it long term.
Lately they have wanted to grow too fast and perhaps have oversized their staff. Anyway, it's not the worst of news, they are adjusting costs and if users don't run out of the game they will come out stronger.
Crossing fingers for sure!
definitely was a surprise, considering that they always said that the company is bear market proof... I never had any doubt, but on hindsight all the signs were there. Like you said they just got the numbers wrong. Too many things to sell and at a too high of a price.... And then they kept shoving LAND back and back. I hope they can fix this!
Yeah Land needs to be a priority I think, that will open the game up. Not sure how they generate income from it tho.
well I would guess that it would again attract new/old players who will then buy SPL assets
I didn't watch the Town Hall, but from reading your post, it doesn't look good at all... It's easy to be a general after the battle, but... From my point of view, all this FOMO in the last 2-3 months (or a bit more) was too optimistic... Launching (planning to launch) multiple games in a heavy bear market was a very optimistic move (maybe too optimistic)...
Anyways, don't want to FUD too much, but this doesn't mean that we are at the end and sometimes these events are needed to reflect, cut losses, brainstorm more, and make "recovery plans" for the future...
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Yeah man, I didnt understand the launch after launch...I was running out of capital, so I know others must have been too. It was just too much for the community as a whole.
Crazy stuff I didn’t hear that but these decisions are difficult. I know aggr and Matt never wanted that to happen!
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Nah and they have the track record here on the blockchain of showing up every day and putting in the work. We'll be fine I'm sure.
I thought it was 45 staff out of the whole company which is closer to 30%?
But with that said, they tried to grow too much too fast and forgot to look after the basics.
The bear market just brought it to the fore with a lot of their reserves held in crypto but instead of delivering on a good game experience and on their promises the team tried to build ten projects at once.
None of which helped the game, user retention or growth.
Instead a lot of them were fads and money grabs. A long way from the early days.
It's been downhill since they nuked the lower leagues and killed off all the growth that was happening and driving the game forward.
I hope that this is a good reality check to focus on what's really important and to tighten up the team and the delays.
I'm sticking with it and watching their next moves but I think they will come though the bear intact.
Yeah they did seem to cater to the bigger players and those with more assets. Which kills growth because the little guy doesn't feel like he / she has a chance. Need to bring back that excitement for lower leagues for sure.
Maybe they spread to too many areas at the same time with good ambitions. Now the bear market reality makes it a challenge for the company.
Yeah they got really big quickly. Hope them pulling back helps them move forward.
I have seen this with quite a number of NFT projects over the past couple of years. They grew too quickly and they didn't have things in place to prepare for something like this. Heck, I actually worked for one of them for a time. Even after they had to let me go, I still helped out where I could because I believe in the team and the project. It's possible Bulldog had a similar agreement. He is pretty big, so he might make more from YouTube than he was from Splinterlands. It will be interesting to see if he still puts out content despite his new status. I agree with you, Splinterlands is big and they should have been more prepared for this. 15m packs was nuts to begin with. I think they let their greed guide them a little too much. I'm not bailing at this point. Most of what I have invested was free money, so I may as well ride it out.
Maybe over estimated the demand, because Untamed sold out and people were fighting for packs. Supply and demand....Lots of supply now, with not as much demand as before.
Yeah, for sure. I mean, I can't say as though I would have done a better job. I am sure I wouldn't have. I can't even begin to imagine all of the moving parts you have to consider for something like this.
They were obviously overstaffed and invented to many wheels at the same time. I still don’t get the SPS rewards for features/games that aren’t even due for another year.
The Core of the Game is solid, not bothered at all.
They did release SPS for guild battles today, which is a positive sign. But I really wanna see player staking!
Hey Jong, what do you mean by player staking?
That was one of the original use cases in the white paper for SPS....You stake SPS on certain players in the game, and share in their rewards if they win.
Yo, that sounds insane! So everyone goes full crazy staking into the Championsleague? T.b.h. not sure if I would stake on you doh.
I'm awful lol
That's a strange thing to say doh
This news is not good for splinterlands but I believe they will be fine. They are trying to rewrite their wrongs which is normal in every business.
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One step back, 2 steps forward!
Sadly in business cuts have to be made. Honestly For most of this year I really questioned in the back of my mind how they were able to have some many people on staff in what seemed like a very long bear market already.
It's actully bullish news for Splinterlands as they are now spending a lot less money but what worries me is when they said they could only make it another 12 or so bear market months at this rate. They seriously over reached I hate to say it but they did. The bullish part is focus is now back on Splinterlands but GLX is still a go and so is the tower defense game which will bring in some new revenue. It's really going to come down to a few things. How much hype Land brings in terms of trading fees value and also how long the bear market lasts. Some say it will end next year.
Yeah man, hope so. And I'd love to see them start making money too, to help the growth. Comes from adding new players for sure, which Land I hope does!
my take on it :)
Nice, looking forward to reading it.
I'm not the first to notice this (you did too in one of your comments), but since the big changes in mid 2021 to daily reward chests, nerfing the reward chest potions, bot dystopias in the low leagues, constantly ratcheting up the CP and everything else necessary to actually play to earn, I have felt discarded by this game. When the bear market killed 80% of the value of my cards, I really felt like I had wasted my time and money for sure. And, because I was not an OG or whale, every new change would just make it less appealing. I've been saying for a year at least that I can't imagine trying to enjoy this game as a new player. I'm all sunk cost fallacy for me right now, and tbh the only thing that keeps me engaged in the game is the community who share their experiences on Leo, Peakd, Hive. etc.
Not fun to be welcomed to a game and then have the inescapable feeling you're just krill for the whales. And it's whales all the way down, unfortunately.
It's kind of a shame, too, because I was pretty excited to try a tower defense game here. Who knows if nightmare tokens or plots will ever be worth anything at this point.
At the same time, I didn't lose my livelihood over this, so my heart goes out to the folks who were in that unfortunate 45%. :(
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I really do hope they bring the focus back on the bronze and silver leagues. I understand catering to your whales, but minnows eventually become whales. Need to onboard and keep the site sticky for new players.
Definitely true if it isn't going to eventually end up with whales swapping stuff with each other.
Thanks for replying :)
I think it's the case with everyone. Sometimes, it just doesn't make sense for them to keep everyone on board when the development or productivity is good enough. Right now, with the FTX FUD and everything, I can't see that many people joining a new game and especially one like Splinterlands where they have to spend a hefty amount to even earn decent rewards.
So I think it's time for them to focus on a few things that are needed and cut down the team until there is that much spare funds left.
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That's a good point, I think it will let them focus on the core products and improving things.
I was not surprised as several months ago I pointed out in an AMA that they are going to regret the changes they are making pushing rewards up and taking away small player rewards, even after implementing anti-bot technology they said they will never re-instate new player rewards and I would be banned if i kept asking... I sold my assets then and hoped they would do some turning around yet instead they sold more and more things, even making over $40 million USD in chaos sales alone someone is over paid with all the millions they are pulling in yet not able to stay afloat and keep growing... just saying something is not right
I think it was the hype from Untamed. It was on another level of excitement across the board and they went all in.