The Steem Monster game is already a success for creators @yabapmatt and @aggroed, with over $40,000 in SBD and Steem raised in the past two weeks to buy cards. There are plenty of great card pack opening videos already shared by fellow Steemians; click the steemmonsters tag below to see some of them and take a look at the product.

(Read my interview with @yabapmatt here.)

Overall, looks very slick! It is also incredibly easy to use. I’ll leave the superlatives to other posters, but I really like everything I’ve seen about this so far. For those interested, you can buy a starter pack for $5 (which gives you the cards necessary for playing a game) and then boosters are $2. These prices are likely to rise after the pre-sale. $2 gets you 5 cards, with at least one guaranteed rare card. Card rarity is as such: Common, Rare, Epic, Legendary.

The designers are both witnesses and huge boons to the Steem blockchain, so if you haven’t yet used all your witness votes, you might consider looking at them and rewarding their efforts (this costs you nothing).

As witnesses and steemians, the game designers are also very much community focused, and have already begun using meta in Steem to work into the game. This is going to be a party for everyone on Steem to participate in.

An ultra rare Legendary card, Lightning Dragon.

Is this sustainable?
Here’s the million Steem question: is the current Steem Monsters craze indicative of a great product, or is it driven, like Crypto Kitties, more by speculation and the desire to get in before the crowd?
This is a question every speculator needs to ask, as the actual game mechanics are not yet available, and the replayability of the game is unknown. However, there are some things we do know:

  1. Sending card packs/cards to other users is free. Combining cards-an ingenuous way to avoid stacks of common trash cards-is free. There are no gas fees like Crypto Kitties and other ETH based games have, and it’s really nice.
  2. Actually buying and aquiring new packs is fairly easy, and maybe a good opportunity for Steemians to begin to learn how to use Vessel.
  3. This is the sort of idea that EOS has sold itself on: instant, feeless transactions. Steem Monsters growing in popularity now, as the EOS genesis block is close to going live, is great timing for Steem and represents opportunities to bring in new users from the CCG (collectible card game) space.

Some things I’d like to see
I played Magic the Gathering in high school, and my first few packs were from the Unlimited release (Alpha, Limited, then Unlimited before Revised). Over time, cards were reprinted in great number, but the particulars of Alpha, Limited and Unlimited cards (limited quantity; some stylistic differences) made them worth more than their Revised counterparts. Cards were listed by their values in different releases, for example: $8, $4, $2.40, $0.60 (for A, L, U, R).
This is something that could be done with Steem Monsters. Maybe a particular change is added to cards that are sold after the pre-sale, that allows game players to show off they were INB4 when playing in tournaments, which might also raise the collectibility of the cards. It’s a bit like having a Gen 0 Crypto Kitty…but not having to spend thousands of dollars for it. People love this kind of thing and I’ve written before about vanity tokens.
I’d also like to see a Steem Monsters skin for the, which would seamlessly show a Steemian’s cards when viewing their blog. Players could select which cards to highlight. This seems like it could be done without too much difficulty, but I’m not a web designer and don’t know what would be required for this to work.

Of course, the holy grail would be an app for iOS and Android. While I didn’t see that on the official roadmap, I’m sure it has crossed the minds of the developers as a potential.
In closing, Steem Monsters is a great way to introduce card game fans into Steem, and even more importantly, show off Steem as a great platform for blockchain based games. I look forward to seeing what comes from this project and others that find inspiration from it.

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