Around the Block With Jefferson Nunn – Interview With Tony Pearce of Reality Gaming Group

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Around the Block With Jefferson Nunn – Interview With Tony Pearce of Reality Gaming Group

Catch the latest episode of Around the Block With Jefferson Nunn. On this episode, Jefferson interviews Tony Pearce, who is the Co-Founder of Reality Gaming Group, a developer of blockchain games and NFT projects ranging from mobile shooter Reality Clash to Doctor Who: Worlds Apart and digital collectibles from Floyd Mayweather Jr.

Click the link below to listen to the podcast:

Around The Block

See the full transcript of the interview below:

Jefferson Nunn  0:08   

Welcome to another episode of Around the block with Jefferson Nunn and I’m here today with a very special guest, Tony Pearce of Reality Gaming Group. How you doing today? 

Tony Pearce  0:19   

All good Jefferson, how you doing? 

Jefferson Nunn  0:22   

Awesome. Awesome. So, Reality Gaming Group Tell me a little bit more that, you know where gaming meets reality. Tell me more. 

Tony Pearce  0:32   

Okay, well, so just some background firstly, in myself because I’m a gamer, I come from 25 years in from traditional games. So, I started back in Sega Nintendo PlayStation one, then then very early on into mobile gaming. We were actually doing texting games, when before you know, before color, handsets even came out. So really was sort of sort of pioneering that market then into blue, Java, and then Apple and Google Apps. And then in 2017, we had a mobile game called Reality clash, which actually is available on the App Store now both Apple and Google and it was an augmented reality combat game. Really cool. You know, it’s like Pokemon GO and Call of Duty. You go outside and you meet up with your friends and you defend a park or something outside. And you go into combat mode by going into AR and you turn into an avatar and you have a sort of AR shipped out because it’s super fun.

Anyway, we looked at how the blockchain could tokenize some of our in-game items for that game and to look at offering some of our users Limited Edition guns with super cool skins, like we and we actually launched a whole crypto skin, gums from Bitcoin skin, so Ethereum skins to Litecoin skins to dog skins [unintelligible]. And we took this idea to Apple back in 2018, I think it was saying that we’ve got this idea of doing tokenized in game items, but people buy them off our website. And obviously, it’s against the terms and conditions of Apple because they don’t make any revenue. But we were such a big partner of ours. We wanted to be upfront with those guys and go, “how do we do this with you?.” So, they actually agreed. And I still think reality cash is the only officially approved game on the App Store that has NFTs in it.

And the way the deal that we did with Apple was if a user buys an NFT gun on our website and downloads it into the game and uses it, they have to unlock it by buying an in-app purchase. So that’s how Apple got their revenue. And it was that game that really was a game changer for us. It really made us think about, you know, the opportunities around players owning in game items, and being able to sell them when they finished with it, or the longer-term vision was the interoperability of taking that gun into another game. And I think we kind of it was that that eye opening moment of going, this could be massive and the word NFT by the way, didn’t even exist when we were doing this, now that we were literally working out what to do as we went along. And obviously tokenizing endgame items became known as NFTs and that that we doubled down on it basically.

So that’s it all of our games now will be connected to the blockchain or have some kind of NFTs inside them. And three years on from that we’re now a top 20 blockchain games developer in the world we now work with some massive brands including the BBC and I know you’re a fan of Doctor Who, we have a license to create a Doctor Who trading card game where every card is an NFT. And that the game itself comes out officially into open beta in October this year 2022. So it is in private beta now, it is actually playable but it’s only playable to people that have found as tokens which we offer on our website and that gets you access to the to the alpha version which is out now where we’re getting feedback. Our feedback is awesome by the way. But if you go on to the website, Doctor Who Worlds Apart, so the games called worlds apart, you can buy the cards now. So, we’ve been selling packs of Doctor Who cards in in limited edition. So, once they run out, we can never we never make them again. So, people are buying them now for a couple of reasons. One is they are simply Doctor Who fans and want to collect everything. These cards by the way are almost in their hand drawer. I mean literally, we have the rights for every doctor who character going back to 1967, right? And what we didn’t want to do, we didn’t want to go to the BBC and just take archive images, right? We wanted these cards to look like collectibles to be original, right? So, every card was handled, every card had to go through, not choking, a million approvals within the BBC.

And what’s interesting, the dialects, for instance, are owned, not by the BBC, they’re owned by the person that created the dialects, and every character has different approval press. It’s a nightmare. But we spent two years going through that nightmare, and now have something that’s quite incredible. And these packs are now on sale. We’ve now since putting the packs on sale tokenized one and a half million cards, as one of millions have been sold already. And the game’s not even out. And so, people are trading these cards. And now you can see them on secondary markets like OpenSea and we also have built our own marketplace you can trade them off chain on our on the website now. So that’s, that’s a key product release for this year. And we have also just recently about to announce a deal with ITV for Thunderbirds, if you ever remember the Thunderbolt stuff. 

Jefferson Nunn  6:18   

Oh Yeah.  

Tony Pearce  6:19   

Yeah, so, we will be launching later this year. You’ll see it when the announcement comes out. Thunderbirds generative art. So, it comes with 10,000 unique Thunderbird characters, of which you’ll be able to use that character as a voxel asset in the sandbox. And there’s a whole roadmap of stuffs you can use and it is going to be fun. And whether you’ve heard of Thunderbirds or not, because it is an old brand, but has a huge fan base, it doesn’t matter the actual the characters that we’re developing a fantastic. So, with what happened with creating all of these games and fun stuff is we also created our own Sidechain.

So, what we’ve always felt was an issue is the gas fees that people have to pay the speed and the not so much now because there’s a lot of blockchains you can choose but you know, energy and, and the sustainability on chains was a big concern for us and the BBC, right that, you know, they’re worried about this as anyone else’s so we built our own Sidechain. So, we have a full coffee Ethereum blockchain and everything that you buy NFT wise, whether it be Doctor Who or whatever, is minted on our side chain, all the marketplaces on our side chain. So, there’s no gas fees, it’s quick, it’s simple. You can buy the NFTs with a credit card with PayPal with crypto. You know, we want to make this as simple as possible. To the point we actually don’t even mention NFTs on the Doctor Who website. And that’s because we have these as collectible trading cards that you own.

We don’t want to confuse people; we don’t want you to plug in Meta mask. We don’t want to mention blockchain, where the tech shouldn’t be, what we’re shouting about the quality of the game. And the fun and the ease of it is what’s going to make this successful. So, the whole platform was built around that. Now if you want to dig into the FAQs, and really understand the technology, yes, that’s there, but it’s not, it’s not thrown in your face. And then if you want to decide to take it back to a secondary market, like OpenSea or to an external wallet, we bridge with polygon Binance chain, obviously Ethereum and about to be Solana. So, you choose which chain you want to use, when you export the card out of your account, you decide if you’re a fan of a particular chain, the price of the gas fees, we’re agnostic, it’s up to you. So then at that point of taking the NFT off of our side chain, you will need to have some kind of blockchain or NFT understanding but it’s only up until that point.

So, we now this platform that we built we now license to other companies. So, if they want to have an NFT store, with worldwide billing integrated into it, one on one it on our side chain on a marketplace, we can offer that as well. So that’s another division. And then and then finally, so I mean, there’s lots of different parts of us now, we also create what we call supposes NFTs as a service. So, if you are a celebrity, or you’re an IP owner or a brand that just simply wants to do in it an NFT and don’t know how to do it. Now we offer that full end to end service. So we can take the we can we can look at the product or the celebrity we can research whether there’s a market for it, we can do the tokenization and the smart contract the token makes the marketing we can create the NFTs whether it’s an image, Animated Video Music, we do all that in house. And, and we can work with secondary markets. So, we’re a preferred supplier into OpenSea and wearable. And one of the launches we did recently was for Floyd Mayweather, the boxer. So, we did all of his NFTs. And we did all the marketing, the whole shebang, and then launched it through wearable and wearable socket on their homepage, put it in their newsletters, so they partner with us to help market it. And it was the number one selling in NFT on wearable for 30 days in a row. So, we offer that as a service as well. So, we’re not just games, you know, we’re, we’re much bigger, and I’ve done a lot of talking. 

Jefferson Nunn  10:42   

No, this is fantastic. I’ve learned more in the last few minutes that I’ve learned in a long time. So, and you’ve touched on some of the topics that I’ve thought about over the last little while, for example, you know, the gas fees, for example, making this seamless to the end user. You know, if I talked about it a while back, we haven’t talked about TCP IP, for example, in a long time, because it just works. Yet in 1997 it’s all anything you know, anybody talked about because you are using the right you know, when sock or whatever.  

Tony Pearce  11:21   

Yeah. 

Jefferson Nunn  11:22   

So, but yeah, still going back to you know, so many different things that you touched on that it’s just fascinating. For example, the first game that you came up with augmented reality just even looked into the future a little bit. Apple was talking about potentially coming out with an augmented reality headset. Others thought I mean, Oculus Rift is certainly around, and HTC is talking about the whole Metaverse thing. How would you plug into all of it? What do you think is next? 

Tony Pearce  11:58   

So, I mean, web 3.0 literally is the talk of the town right now. So, I think that it’s a big subject which intertwines ownership, and NFTs blockchain, Metaverses VR. And all of that is part of that bigger conversation. So, you know, we are myself and everyone in Reality Game Group, a massive fan of the Metaverse. You know, we haven’t built our own yet, but we certainly love the idea of perhaps building one in the future. But at the moment, we know we’re partnering with sandbox and we work with decentraland. And I think they’ve done an incredible job and I don’t think there’s ever going to be one metaverse. I think there will be many where hopefully having NFTs means that interoperable so you can take it from one to the other.

I think the reason you go to a Metaverse is the content within it. So, I think a lot of the metaverse is now doing a great, great job of getting brands in there. Think of it as you know, a Disneyland you know, you need you need good rides to be bothered to go there and it’s going to be the same with a metaverse. You know, it needs to be is there a reason to go there and fun. So, you know, we’re looking at we own land ourselves in the sandbox and looking to build things inside our land. Perhaps it could be a Doctor Who area knows. But no, great, great fans of that. And now it’s a brilliant time the whole decentralized world that’s appearing is something that that we back in 2017 just was an eye opener just going this is going to be massive. And you know there are lots of people go no, it’s not. It’s not my mobile phone games came out. People laughed at us now we were one of the first as a texting games. And then we got into we had the rights to the Space Invaders from Tyros. So, we had Space Invaders on a black and white handset was a Nokia handset. And then no one’s ever gonna play that on a black crappy little hand it guesses what, you know, it is now $70 billion business right? So, you cannot underestimate I think what’s about to happen over the next five years. 

Jefferson Nunn  14:10   

Yeah, I would agree with that. There’s just so much I think revitalization of old brands and old ideas. What’s old is new again, as the famous saying goes, right? 

Tony Pearce  14:25   

Yeah. 

Jefferson Nunn  14:26   

So, but along those same lines, I mean, if you’re a content creator, and you’re looking to get into this space, that just seemingly overwhelming, what’s a good guy to think about to get into this space?

Tony Pearce  14:43   

Come and talk to us?  

Jefferson Nunn  14:45   

That’s the easy way out. 

Tony Pearce  14:46   

Yeah, That’s the easy way out. It’s the other thing that amazes me about this industry is even though it’s really four years old, that people have started to tokenize things. So it has moved so fast, it changes every month. So, if I was a games company, or if I was someone looking into this, I’d step into it and do one thing at a time and learn about it. And don’t think you can do everything because things, you know, play to earn wasn’t around, really until Xinfinity came out. And now it’s all you ever hear about. And that’s, that’s two years ago max and really only became popular last year.

Now everyone wants to do play to earn well, that step into its play to earn is an incredibly hard thing to do properly. The token omics and the math slick go behind that game. So, the value of that token stays, you know, has value and doesn’t die. Because people are either winning too much, or they’re selling too much, you know, that the brains behind that is incredible. And it’s a hot, they’re not games developers, these are mathematicians, right? And then you need on top of that good games, developers, and you need to make it fun and easy. So, you know, it’s easy to hang Oh, yeah, I’m gonna do pay to earn and all this kind of stuff. Actually, the reality is, it’s an incredibly hard thing to do properly. And there’s not many people that can do it. And so, I step into this by creating some NFTs first that you can use in your game. And then look at how users can use them in the game, how they can trade them, are they doing it? Are is this engaging? Is it fun are people do and then maybe launch a token and then then look at governance and look at staking and do it one at a time, right? Just build on it. Now game never ends? Right? You can always update it. 

Jefferson Nunn  16:48   

Right, so, but tell me a little bit more about yourself. How did you come across? Crypto to begin with? If this? Like you say so new. 

Tony Pearce  16:59   

Yeah, actually, it was back to the reality crash game and the AR game that finally when we were creating the AR game, we were also looking for funding for it. So, we had my co-founder Morton Ron guard, he’s based out in Copenhagen. It was his idea. He came up with an awesome game design doc. And we went out to get funding through the normal roots of Los Angeles, VCs. And we couldn’t get funding anywhere. And the it was, again, AR was so new, a lot of the handsets couldn’t do it. And back in 2016, PokemonGo hadn’t even come out. And, and it was just, it was just incredibly difficult. So that was problem is after these things, you have these great ideas, but you’ve got to think, can the technology do it and it’s the same with Blockchain games, you know, it’s only now that it’s getting quick and easy and cheaper. And that’s for years, right? And so anyway, so we went out to get funding, we couldn’t get it and I came across ICOs in 2017 have thought, that’s an interesting way of raising cash.

And so, we did an ICO for reality cash. And we had an RCC token, which we created with a relative cash coin, and we raised 9000 ethers in four weeks for that, and at the time, that was about two and a half million dollars, which was the price of that we said cost to make the game if I’d have set on it, it was worth about 34 million. We were gonna think like that, and we were a proper company, not a scammer company. So as soon as we raise the amount we cashed out, and we built the game, and that’s how we got by creating our own token. That’s how we got into crypto. And then that’s how we looked at blockchain. And that’s how we looked at NFTs. And that’s how it grew to what we are now. So, timing, you know, something different didn’t know it’s gonna work. Kinda like right my face right time. 

Jefferson Nunn  19:00   

And that’s the thing crypto brought your idea to life. And now you’re getting into Doctor Who and so many more amazing things. And like I said, Doctor Who is one of my all-time favorite sci-fi. I remember watching it fondly on PBS. Public Broadcasting in the US. They were pirating BBC late at night. Yeah. But hey, you know, it’s good stuff. So, to that end, I mean, what do you think about all the different rights sings as we go on because think about it. People are now going to be using NFT to prove ownership. It’s stronger than a copyright. Right. Do you think that’s gonna be the future of rights ownership? 

Tony Pearce  19:46   

Yeah, everything will be tokenized at some point, houses cars. They were looking at pitch or houses or whatever now tokenizing bypass for house. You know, you’ve seen artwork being done. You know, when The I think the what’s changing with NFTs is it’s much harder now just to sell a limited-edition print or a limited-edition bit of art, right? There has to be a reason. Beyond the art, this is mostly if you’re a famous artist with different than just the art in other words, it has to have a utility. So, whether that’s whether it’s like board a yacht club, where, you know, people that why, why are people spending hundreds or 1000s on a picture of an ape? What is not a picture of an ape, it’s, it’s a membership to a private club that you can only get into if you own one of these. And it’s that that gives it its value, right is the fact that this picture now gets me into these things and a roadmap of stuff that only I can get because I own one. And that’s where NFTs are exciting. It’s the it’s the it’s the VIP card, two more things and the image is just the NFT. And that the proof of you owning it that opens the doors is the blockchain. 

Jefferson Nunn  21:09   

I think that developed the most elegant description I’ve heard in a long time. So, because there’s certainly if you look on go out to in some regard, but I don’t know how to take a print magazine name, but all these magazines that are day magazines and so forth, saying I NFTs are a scam or whatever, I think largely because they haven’t taken the time to understand the utility value. And so do that in do you think all of these things that we have are gonna get more utilizable for example, the Doctor Who entities, the brands will continue to evolve and grant those future opportunities to NFT holder? Do you think that will happen?  

Tony Pearce  21:52 

Yeah. one day [unintelligible] of course, yep. And, you know, we, you know, we sell, we have a founder’s token, of which there’s 1967 of them, because that was the year Doctor Who came on tele, because that’s where that number Council. And if you own one of those, you know, you that I mentioned earlier, you get access to the game now and you can feed back you get private discord channels, but you’re gonna get merch, you’re gonna get air drops, you’re gonna get things that you won’t get unless you have one of these tokens. And, and so, so the value of that token, because there’s so limited, you know, should be should go up, and you know, because there’s, there’s a roadmap of stuff ahead that you’re gonna get by only one. 

Jefferson Nun  22:35 

I know, there are certainly more than 1967 doctors and fans. So yes, that’s gonna get very exciting indeed. Well, this has been a very informative talk. I really appreciate your time telling me here. Do you have any final thoughts for our listeners? 

Tony Pearce  22:54   

No. I mean, you know, and you’re welcome to speak to anyone you can find me on LinkedIn. And, you know, happy to help anyone that has any questions or wants to get into this business. 

Jefferson Nunn  23:04   

All right, thank you so much for being on the show, Tony. Thank you.  

Tony Pearce  23:08   

Thanks.  

Jefferson Nunn

Since 1999, Jefferson Nunn has been a consultant to high net worth individuals. Always an innovator, his ideas have generated millions for his clients including Ronco and GoWireless. He has been involved in the CryptoCurrency industry since mining his first Bitcoin in 2010. Since then, he has met with many of the early pioneers in the CryptoCurrency space including the founders of Ethereum and the founders of Crypto Capital in Panama, and more.