Interview Dom Hofmann Loot: Much of the excitement around blockchain projects is rooted in their potential to disrupt and transform sectors — everything from finance to education. But what if, instead, they were just another way to create and sell video games?
Loot is a blockchain-based game that allows players to earn cryptocurrency by playing. But as gaming industry veteran Dom Hofmann explains in this interview, Loot has faced a number of setbacks since its ICO. And yet … “It’s still 200 developers strong for us,” he says.
Below, he discusses the project’s long-term vision, its current progress and the challenges it faces.
Disclaimer: This interview should not be taken as investment advice.
What is Loot? What is the vision of your project?
We want to make a distributed video game platform where players earn cryptocurrency by playing games. We started with that idea and we’re very far along with it, but I think we were trying to do too many things at once. We looked at blockchain and we said, “Okay, this is going to be a lot of effort and it’s going to take time.” And we decided to kind of side-step the whole blockchain thing for now. So now our MVP is called Loot, and it’s just a casino game.
I think that was a big mistake in that we still own the [Loot.one] domain and we still have a lot of followers. I think the way we went about marketing it was wrong — I think we were too low-key with it when we should have been more aggressive with it, kind of like how we were with Vine. But there are still people who are excited about it and we’re continuing on.
We have a huge amount of work to do — no one is going to feel like this is ready for the market for another year, at least. We have a lot of bugs to work out and we have to do a lot of marketing. But it’s still 200 developers strong for us — and I think that’s what people don’t appreciate, the sheer amount of work that needs to be done on these video game platforms before you can get millions of people playing it.
And is the vision for Loot kind of the same as it was when you started?
It is. It’s that exact same vision. We just want to make a video game platform where people play and they earn cryptocurrency, and they can use those tokens to get all kinds of stuff. The only difference is that we’re not selling it as a blockchain game any more — we’re selling it right now as a casino game. But we still have that platform, and it could go back to being a blockchain-based video game at any time.
How did you first come up with the idea for Loot?
I was invited to pitch the idea for a blockchain project at a conference in LA called CoinSummit. I had been working on it on and off for a couple years, and I had been releasing things like videos of how we were doing stuff, but they were really raw, really technical things. I also wanted to do a Kickstarter video, but it’s hard to make money on Kickstarter when you’re not selling physical products.