Interview with Timothy Jooste
Using Blockchain Technology to Redefine the Gaming Industry with Timothy Jooste
Did you know that the global gaming market is set to reach $256 billion by 2025 and that more than 3.2 billion people worldwide play video games?
Another astonishing stat… According to Sensor Tower, players worldwide spent $41.2 billion on mobile games and in-app purchases in Q1 of 2022.
Sadly, with all the money being spent on in-game assets or currencies in video games, the total that players have true ownership over is ZERO!
To give you context, with traditional gaming, players will spend money to buy digital assets, like skins, weapons, and other virtual items. The problem is that they can’t trade them, sell them, or even use them across different games.
Today’s guest, Timothy Jooste, is on a mission to solve that problem. Tim is the Founder of Koin Games, a game development studio focused on building triple-A blockchain games. His team is revolutionizing the gaming industry and bridging the gap between traditional and blockchain video games.
Tim’s vision is to not only develop high-quality games with great gameplay, but ones that will allow players to own their in-game assets, so they can do whatever they want with them.
In this episode, you’ll learn:
✅ How Web3 is revolutionizing the world of gaming and is becoming a $200+ billion market that investors need to pay attention to.
✅ Why Tim quit his cushy sales job making over $3M per year during the recession to pursue his passion for gaming.
✅ The values required to build a world-class team that will 10x the growth of your business.
Featured on This Episode: Timothy Jooste
✅ What he does: Timothy Jooste is the Founder of Koin Games and one of the top salesmen in the country with a passion for crypto and gaming. Tim’s interest in NFTs peaked at a stage in his life when he’d already had a hugely successful career in sales as one of the key salespeople at Vivint Smart Home Services, helping the company grow to 700 employees and up to $300 million of revenue generated in a single year. In 2017, he won the Gold Stevie Award for Sales Director of the Year, beating out more than 2300 sales directors from every industry imaginable. Koin Games is blending years of blockchain experience with decades of award-winning game development experience, bringing a deep understanding of traditional and web3 gaming audiences that almost nobody else in the web3 gaming space has.
💬 Words of wisdom: “That’s actually how we make the world a better place, rising to the very top of our potential as that’s how you affect the world and make it a better place.” – Timothy Jooste
🔎 Where to find Timothy Jooste: LinkedIn | Instagram | Twitter
Key Takeaways with Timothy Jooste
- The sacrifice required to build your dream life.
- The great things that happen when you push beyond your comfort zone.
- How Tim went from working for $12 an hour to earning six figures as a 20-year-old.
- Mastering the art of showing up and working hard will pay more dividends than chasing shortcuts.
- Reach out to your role models – you may be surprised by their answers.
- Men who are great leaders in their families and community are great leaders in business.
- How Tim helped scale Vivint to almost 700 employees and $300 million in revenue.
- Selling an NFT to Gary Vee for $11,000.
- How Koin Games sold out their first NFT launch and brought in $1.5 million in five minutes.
- How he assembled an All-Star team, including the former lead designer of Solitaire, that’s now revolutionizing blockchain gaming.
Timothy Jooste on Leaving a 7-Figure Income to Change the Game
Timothy Jooste Tweetables“I believe there’s greatness inside of everyone. And the only way you see it is by putting yourself in tough situations, doing hard things, and then reaching for your highest potential.” - @TimothyJooste Click To Tweet “I owe it to my mom to be the best version of myself that I can possibly be in my life. And so, that means aiming as high as I can, and then giving every ounce of effort every day when I wake up to do it.” - @TimothyJooste Click To Tweet
- Koin Games
- Follow Timothy Jooste on LinkedIn | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter
- OpenSea – Koin Games Dev Squad
- Silicon Valley Bank
- Signature Bank
- Credit Suisse
- Immigrant Founders
- Square Enix
- Legend of Zelda
- Gary Vaynerchuk
- Kevin Lambert
- Microsoft Solitaire Collection
- World of Warcraft
- Brian Goble
- Michael Marr
- Hidden Pixel Games
- Candy Crush
- Apex Legends Mobile
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Read the Full Transcript with Timothy Jooste
Justin Donald: What’s up, Tim? So glad to have you on the show.
Tim Jooste: Hey, thank you, Justin, really excited to be here. And yeah, always loved the show and honored to be a guest.
Justin Donald: Well, cool, this is fun. I think this is one of the ones that I’ve looked forward to for a while because the more I get to know you, and obviously, it’s been really easy to get to know you, we’ve got some mutual connections, some mutual friends. You’re part of the Lifestyle Investor Mastermind. So, I’ve gotten a chance to get a front-row seat for all the cool things that you’re up to in the world. And I am really just excited to have people hear about your incredible story, hear about the cool things you’re up to, and even offer just some great insight into this world of Web 3 and gaming and NFTs and skins and blockchain technology at its most foundational root level, and I know you’re the perfect person for that.
Tim Jooste: Well, thank you. Yeah, it’s an exciting world for sure. There’s a lot going on. And I think there’s a lot of folks out there who have seen bits and pieces, and they either range from totally confused by it or think it’s crazy, all the way to those that believe like myself that it’s a trend that’s going to change a couple $100 billion a year industry. So, yeah, I’m excited to chat about it.
Justin Donald: Well, cool. We’ll fully dig in. I think it’d be fun to kind of take a step back because you’re not originally from the US, but you spent the majority of your adult years here in the US. But you had a different upbringing and a different experience via just really through your childhood growing up in South Africa. And I’d love to kind of hear what that was like for you and why did you come to the US.
Tim Jooste: Yeah, so like you said, we grew up in South Africa. I moved here when I was 11. I’m 38 now, so I’ve been here most of my life. But my family always wanted to move to America. I think, growing up in other countries, you have this view of America as the land of opportunity, which even though it’s maybe not exactly what we thought it would be, it truly is still that. I mean, I think it’s a place where you can, especially if you’re willing to work hard and do what others are not willing to do, you can have an amazing life here.
And so, my mom had a comfortable life there. And prior to my dad passing, it was always a desire of ours to move to America and really to give us kids, my brother and I, an opportunity at a better life. And they had that plan. And then my dad passed, which sent our family into kind of a tailwind situation. And things went from bad to worse as the economy kind of started to tank and then unrest in the country. And it kind of hit a fever pitch for us where we found ourselves in the school, I mean, much like it is today, but just they’re teaching us what happens if people come in and shoot in the school. And we were barely surviving, but we really still had a very strong desire and hung on to that dream of one day coming to America.
And I could talk for hours on just this one subject, but we started doing a little thing we called envisioning, where we would take time every night, despite the fact that in the natural, we didn’t have the money or the resources or anything. And as a family, my mom would sit us down with her two boys and we would dream about coming to America. And we would actually take turns talking about going on the flight and what are you going to eat the morning of the flight and when are you packing and what movie are you watching on the flight, and she would get us to engage, I guess, our imaginations and our belief and our faith that that was going to be a reality one day.
And yeah, just almost like a miracle, we got a phone call from a family that knew my dad before he passed, and we hadn’t talked to him in years. And they said, “Would you want to come to America? We’re moving. And we could apply for a visa.” And my mom was a teacher at one time. And so, she came over and taught their kids and us, and so, we had our way and we sold everything we had and it amounted to around $3,000. That was all our net worth at the time. And with $3,000 and a bed to sleep on, we moved. And the rest is history. So, yeah, that’s the short version of a long, amazing story.
Justin Donald: That’s incredible. And I love how your mom was doing some vision painting for you kids and kind of walking you through, like tell me about the meal, tell me what it’s going to be like, I think that’s amazing. And for those that are watching and listening, I think it’s important to recognize the unrest that happened during that era, compared to kind of what’s going on now. So, right now, we’re experiencing kind of the end of the fallout of Silicon Valley Bank. And so, there’s this frenzy with that. You have Signature Bank. You’ve got really in the stock market yesterday. And this will come out here, in a couple of weeks, we’re going to fast-forward this one and kind of move it up. But right now, today, it was interesting to see how shaky these banks are. We still have Credit Suisse kind of on their heels.
And I share all this because it creates some financial unrest. But I would love for you just to describe what it was like in South Africa at the time that you were moving. You had to get out because it was really crazy. This was life and death going on in South Africa, right?
Tim Jooste: Yeah, I mean, obviously, the circumstances were different, but ultimately, the elements were exactly the same where there was a country being shaken at its roots. And you had kind of the powers that be that it controlled maybe the last 50 years where it was shifting into new hands. And that produced good and bad at the same time. And unfortunately, in a time where there’s turmoil, that’s when the worst people in society decide to take advantage of that unsettled nature. So, crime was crazy.
And that’s why again, there had been a school we were in– my mom spent probably half our income putting us in a small Christian school to try to give my brother and I a great environment to learn, and really, her whole life was being lived to give us a better opportunity. And so, there were times where she didn’t always have food to send with me to school or barely had food for me, but she kept us in a good school. So, that was kind of just the circumstances.
But even in the school that was meant to be as the best she could do to scrape everything together every month to meet the payment to keep us there, they started training us like drills to evacuate if shooters will come in because of school just a few miles down the road, it actually had that happen where a gunman came in and just shot at the kids and teachers. And so, it was definitely a crazy time. I was only 11. So, I was probably shielded from some of it, but I just remember it intensifying, but despite all that, we just stuck to just trusting that things were going to work out and applying the principles that we knew of the dream, the dream board, and envisioning that. And then it was just overnight, we got an opportunity that came out of nowhere for us to move and then got to America and had many years that struggled after that, but it’s gotten better really since that day. And it’s been amazing.
So, we’re super fortunate to now be American citizens. And I still have my South African citizenship. I love South Africa. And we go back as often as we can. We have some family that’s there. But yeah, I love America, despite the crazy times that we’re in as a country ourself.
Justin Donald: Yeah, well, I hear this a lot from different individuals, specifically those that were born in another country that moved here to the US. And in fact, one of the funds that I love investing in is Immigrant Founders because there’s a work ethic that is present that you just don’t see in many other founders. And there’s very much a strong consistency across the board. It’s fascinating.
And so, I know that you have this drive and this ability to hustle and work hard and put in the hours for whatever the thing is. And I’m curious to see kind of what it was that got you into entrepreneurship. Was it when you first started working at Vivint? Was it something before that as a precursor to Vivint? Because you had a very long career with them where you did exceptionally well, and so did your team. And I’d love to get into that a little bit before we get into some of the fun Web 3 gaming type of content that we have to get into.
Tim Jooste: Yeah, that’s a great question that I’m excited to answer. I think, like you said, the reason Immigrant Founders, I believe, are in some cases as a category, a great bet to have is, for me at least, and I think for many, it’s a combination of being very close to having experienced a harder life. When you’re given that opportunity, you take advantage of it. And I also think a lot of times, and this is for sure, for me, as well, there’s the knowledge that my mom gave up her life.
And even though now in her later years, my brother and I are paying her back and we’re trying to make her life amazing. She gave up her young adult life that could have been more comfortable being surrounded by family, being surrounded by friends, and left all that with the sole purpose of giving your kids a better opportunity. And so, that’s both a pressure that could be negative, but really, for me, has been a great positive because I feel that I owe it to my mom to be the best version of myself that I can possibly be in my life. And so, that means aiming as high as I can, and then giving every ounce of effort every day when I wake up to do it.
And so, it’s been really just rooted in my heart that I love working, like to me, we’re on the earth to work and to produce and to create. And that’s actually how we make the world a better place is rising to the very top of our potential as that’s how you affect the world and make it a better place. And so, yeah, I think, for me, the work ethic that led me into Vivint, and then ultimately has led me to now take on this new venture in Web 3 has been that core desire that I believe there’s greatness inside of everyone. And the only way you see it is by putting yourself in tough situations, doing hard things, and then reaching for your highest potential.
And so, I did some hourly jobs. I went and got a degree in theology. And I love people. And so, I wanted to initially, the pathway was dedicate my life just to helping people. And then when I got my first couple jobs, I very quickly realized I just wasn’t cut out to be told that you’re worth $10 an hour and just show up, and whether you work or don’t work, that’s what you get. And I wanted to push myself, so I’d be outworking everyone, but the guy making 10 bucks an hour who barely works and the guy making 10 bucks an hour works really hard, they still get paid the same, and the pay is actually based on the lazy guy, it’s the lowest the employer is willing to settle for is what they base it on.
So, I very quickly realized it wasn’t a system for me. So, that’s what led me into sales. I wanted a place where I could outwork everyone and then outearn everyone. And so, I worked extremely hard in sales my first year, and at 19, I made six figures and I went from $12 an hour to over 100 grand as a 20-year-old and still living at home, wasn’t even paying rent until I drove up with a 350Z that I’d stupidly purchased with my first little bit of money. And my mom said you need to pay rent, anyway.
But that set me on the pathway. And then I’m a quiet person, but I would say I’m viciously competitive. Anyone who really knows me knows that I just don’t settle for anything, except trying to be number one. If I do something, I don’t expect to be number one immediately, but I do believe that I will outwork almost anyone in that industry. And what I found is that when you’re a good learner, which I am, and when you are a hard worker, you will rise to the top.
And then, there are always some elements that are not in your control that might lead that have to happen in order to be number one, for instance. There’s a little magic in a bottle that always has to be there, but I find that if you show up consistently and you give your best effort and you’re always learning, you create a lot of opportunities for magic in a bottle to happen. And a lot of times, it eventually does, and so, that’s what has happened in my career, for sure.
Justin Donald: Man, I cannot believe as a 20-year-old, you made over $100,000. That is just mind boggling. And by the way, I remember kind of a similar situation where, because I was with Cutco, and so, similarly, we were rewarded based on our results. So, it wasn’t an hourly thing. If you did really well, you were going to make a really good income. And so, at the time, I was ecstatic because I ended up earning $30,000 for the summer and I was like, “This is amazing.” I cannot believe you can do this. And by the way, that was more than my parents earn for the summer, combined. And so, it was very eye opening as to what is possible, and to think that you made over $100,000 as a college student, that’s just incredible.
But you said something that I think is very profound. And I hope that everyone catches this. You said you were a good learner. And I think that there is a superpower that exists when you are curious and eager to learn and desiring knowledge. And I think when you have that or when you can train yourself to enjoy that, I think the world shifts in a very powerful place and really kind of opens up some paths and create some opportunities.
Tim Jooste: Yeah, it does. It also just limits the downside risk in entering into new things. And you have to have that when you’re venturing into new territory. And so, I kind of took myself through a process. That’s actually how I got into sales. I was working for a millionaire and I was sitting at my computer, and I decided, like I’m 19, turning 20, this is before I got into sales, and I thought what I have on my side is time. And so, if I start early enough, I could be a millionaire by 30, maybe 40, whatever. There’s a date, but I’ve got time on my side, but I need to make moves now. I can’t just hope one day, I’ll just blink and I’ll be there.
So, I took out a notepad and I wrote down three characteristics that these two millionaires that I had previously interned or worked for had in common, and they both had been in sales, they both were great leaders, and they both had great work ethic. And so, I circled sales as the one practical skill that I could set out to learn. And I just decided I’m going to go get a sales job. And this was actually in lieu of going back to school because I have a degree in theology, but I’ve never been to a business college or got a traditional business degree. And so, I was considering that. And I thought, well, let me try this first.
So, I walked into the office of one of those millionaires, I shared my plan with him that I wanted to be more like him, but I couldn’t just work for him to learn that, I needed to go learn the skills he had. And that’s when I just called my friend and said, “Hey, is that sales job still available?” And he’s like, “Sure, it’s door-to-door sales, but yeah, come on over.” And so, I was there to learn the skill of selling, actually wasn’t trying to make money really doing it, I wanted to learn the skill. And that led to an amazing career.
And I’m kind of doing that again now. I call that millionaire boot camp. And now, as a CEO of the game studio and working in blockchain, I’m starting to put myself through what I call CEO Academy instead of Millionaire Academy because I want to know how to be the best CEO I can possibly be. And I believe over the next year, my goal is to interview anywhere from 40 to 50 CEOs and just start asking questions, and I’m sure the questions will evolve, but really just going back to the roots that made me successful the first time, doing it again now as I go into this new venture. So, yeah, I love learning. And it’s the one way you can feel confident, even in uncharted territory is just go learn from the best people.
Justin Donald: Well, I think it’s worth noting that as you moved up in Vivint, you not only were strong as a salesperson, but you moved into management, you started leading people, you really created one of the greatest sales organizations that Vivint ever has seen. And I’d love for you to just share any thoughts on that before we pivot into why you left and why you’re pursuing this new business venture that clearly has more risk than the sure thing that you had with a high income because you were very successful at Vivint.
Tim Jooste: Yeah, my career at Vivint was really quite amazing. I worked in sales for three years for Verizon, and then I moved over to alarms. And it was technically a smaller company that eventually kind of moved into Vivint. But I saw a new opportunity to sell a service that I could work for four months at a time and make almost a year’s income. And so, my initial draw was just I love the idea of making a lot of money in a really short window. And there were guys making almost $200,000 a year in four months. So, I thought, well, that sounds amazing.
And so, I went into it, and I never ever worked only four months. So, that first year, I worked about 11 months, and every year after that, I worked 10 to really 11 months. But I really fell in love with selling so I became the top rep in the company my first year, and then that continued for multiple years. And I realized that I was also good at recruiting and training people, and so, I became passionate about becoming a great leader, influencing people, the whole– if you can add to your skill and that will add to your income or you can add to your influence and go more horizontal and that can exponentially add to your income.
And so, I started just teaching people to do what I did. So, I stayed as a salesman as long as I possibly could. Only really about four years before I retired from Vivint did I come off the door. So, I was maintaining my position as a top rep while running the top team, while running one of the top regions. And I think by staying in the trenches as long as I could, that really set my career up. I loved leading the army from the front, I really believed in the– I think it was Napoleon that did that, but that method where you lead your army as the general from the front of the army, not the back, yeah, and then just my competitive nature.
And I also realized that it’s not about teaching great salesmen. It’s about building great men and ladies, but it was majority men. And if I actually focused on mentoring men and leading, developing people, that the money took care of itself. And so, I started learning to instill vision in people and teach good financial principles, something that you never find in sales organizations, and teach them how to be better husbands and better dads and better just leaders in general. And that was really my core focus. So, we taught just great principles to people.
I obviously taught on sales as well, but there was a mix of that, and our culture, we called our region, the Jedi, but the idea was that we’re here to do good on the earth, to protect the innocent. And we were selling alarm, so it kind of connected, but the overall, the theme underneath was just we’re meant to be the best in society, we’re meant to be the people that lift our families up, that change our whole family story. And I really made that my mission, build great men, and then everything else will take care of itself. And it really did.
And so, we had great retention. We had, in the 80-percentile, retention year over year, which is unheard of in door-to-door sales, which is a very high turnover industry. And so, we went from being one of the smallest regions when we started. When I came over to Vivint after Platinum kind of fell apart, I actually came over with one manager and about 12 reps total. And when I was done, eight years later, we peaked at almost 700 people. We had done close to $300 million in revenue in a single year. I had 32 managers, I believe, 16 offices.
So, it was really incredible growth. And I learned a ton on how to run a company, how to recruit, how to build great culture, how to market. And I also got to watch Vivint go public during that time. I got to be on the floor the day they rang the bell and watch the inner workings practically too from the corporate side. So, I learned more than I ever thought I would when I set out just to be a door-to-door salesman. And yeah, it was an amazing journey, for sure.
Justin Donald: Well, earning the income that you earn as a top sales rep, I can only imagine what the income was as a top manager or the top manager. And you’ve got a region of people doing hundreds of millions in revenue and one of the largest teams, if not the largest team in the organization. So, why leave what is maybe more of like a cushy job where you have impact, you have influence, you have these things that are important to you, but you also have a nice income that you’ve become accustomed to? You’ve certainly become accustomed to a certain lifestyle that that type of income provides. So, why walk away? This new passion or desire, it had to be pretty darn strong and it had to be pretty convincing. You had to have confidence that this was going to work. Let’s hear about it.
Tim Jooste: Yeah, that’s a big question with a lot of factors as answers. So, I think that I’ll kind of just piece through them as I go. So, I think the first thing is in myself, I’m 38 years old, in myself, I’ve never been built to just be comfortable. I think comfortability is the enemy of your potential and your success. So, if you make decisions based on comfort, I don’t think you’re going to like where you end up. And I’ve just proven that in my life. It’s actually what led me to leave my first sales job which was for Verizon, which at the time I was making 100 grand a year. It was 2008. It was a bad economy.
And that’s actually when I left to go do a new type of sales job in Vivint. And I risked everything, and then that paid off big time where my income almost tripled that first year. And by the time it was all said and done, it was almost 30x. I mean, I was making, with stock and everything, over $3 million a year when I left Vivint. So, I’d proven that that’s the right principles. I’m a person that runs my life off of principles, I think it’s the only way you can do it. And when the principle shows you a way, then you figure out the practical steps from there.
And so, for me, I started getting comfortable. What I was doing at Vivint was incredibly hard. There’s a very small percentage of people, I think, on the planet that could do what we did. Even just what we did at Vivint, let alone what I did at Vivint, there were only less than 10 people that were even at that level. But that being said, I was starting to feel comfortable in life. And so, that was the first one.
The second thing is what I said earlier, I believe we all have an obligation to the world really to reach for our highest potential. And with everything Vivint had taught me, I knew that I had all these skills and these talents and all these things I’d learned in the process of watching them go public and everything else that I really owed it to myself and to the world around me to reach for that highest version of myself and to build something. And I knew that was in me that I will one day build something that I can steer the ship.
And it wasn’t for lack of– I mean, I loved Vivint, and I still do. I’m actually headed there after this interview tonight to go speak to the guys, and I get emotional every time I go because my heart, I love those people, like it’s the best experience work-wise I’ve ever had, and what I’m doing now is different and I love it. But Vivint was where my heart was, for sure. But despite that, I knew there were skills I needed to flex and to go do.
Yeah, and then the last part would be the opportunity in this new realm. For me, I knew something was coming for myself, I knew that there would be a new venture that I would head into before in my 40s that I would go and turn into that billion-dollar opportunity that I believe I had on the inside and put all the skills, the talents, everything I’ve learned, and my work ethic into a final run of something huge that would take the influence and the impact I was having and ratchet it up to 11. And so, being in a place where I was looking for that and anticipating that, I was on the lookout, and one day, just randomly, I read an article, you’ve heard me tell the story about the NFT sale that was $70 million. And it wasn’t about the money, the money was just a demonstration of that’s an absurd amount of money to spend on any single item, let alone something I didn’t know what it even was.
So, after reading the article and watching some videos and the YouTube rabbit hole, I came to this lightbulb moment where I realized this technology that it allowed for a $70 million digital sale of a digital item, just the tech underneath it, was really the most amazing thing and that that technology, I didn’t know about $70 million sales and that wasn’t what interests me, it was the tech that would underlie that and would basically give the ability to take digital items in a world where we’re valuing our digital life more than ever before. And our kids will value their digital life more than we did and their kids will value it more. In a world where this is picking up, that NFT technology, blockchain, giving it a level of physicality would change everything.
And so, we’re already seeing it now where concert tickets and NBA sporting events and I believe our passports, this technology is going to weave into every part of society. But for me, it was actually video games that I saw becoming the true peanut butter and jelly, match made in heaven moments where the tech would allow you to own the items in a video game. And if you think about it now and the statistic is that there’ll be almost $200 billion spent on in-game assets or currencies in video games just this year alone and the total that players have ownership over is $0. And that’s crazy when you think about it. And so, this technology will disrupt one of the most successful, fastest-growing industries in society. And for me, that was the moment that I said, I’ve got to be a part of that. And obviously, my passions in gaming and all that, it was all colliding into one. And so, yeah, that was the start of it.
Justin Donald: And so, this is kind of like that big distinguishing factor between the games that we have today that are Web 2 games, Web 2.0. And then we’re pivoting to– and it looks like there’s really only one group that has done anything yet with Web 3.0, where in Web 2, you don’t have any ownership of any of the skins, the weapons, the in-gaming costs, like the things that you buy. In Web 3, you can own them, you can actually take them from one game and plug them into another game because it kind of falls under that banner of an NFT, you’re buying an NFT, then you have the ability to move or port to another location, right?
Tim Jooste: Yeah, yeah. I mean, in simple terms, right now, when you buy something in a normal game, it’s in your accounts. You kind of feel like you own it, I guess. But what is ownership? Ownership is the ability to gift it, to sell it. True ownership means you can do what you want with it in a way they’re renting it permanently, but they pay for it once in these other games. And when you take blockchain and put it underneath that item, that item now is in the control of the player. It doesn’t hurt the game, but it’s now in control of the player. And a good example is Fortnite, they’ve got these limited-edition skins that were released in each season. And there’s even skins called Day 1 skins that were only available right at the very start of the game before it was even popular. And those are extremely sought after because they’re evidence of OG status in the world’s most popular game of all time.
And even right now, on the– we’ll call it the black market where you sell your entire account just to gain access to one of those skins and it’s a really sketchy process where the player has to hand over his login details to someone hoping Fortnite doesn’t realize they’re doing that, they could be in a different country signing in with– there are all these risks on both sides. And then he has to wire the money. And like who goes first? You wire the money and hope you give the login. You give the login and you don’t have the money yet. And all day long, they sell for $20,000, $30,000, $40,000 on the black market just to gain access to one of those skins.
So, if you were able to take that individual skin on the blockchain, and then sell it on a global marketplace, where anyone could buy it, the potential is amazing, and just giving the player that option. And so, just like so many industries have been disrupted where there was a product that was better for the end user, like Uber struggled, and it was the powers that be didn’t want them to succeed and tried everything they could, eventually, it wins out because it’s just a better experience. This is a better value for the player. I spend my time, my money invested in this game. I’m the reason the game is successful. And I should then get to own that and not just spend that money for entertainment.
And so, we’re starting to see the trends. PlayStation has now filed for patents to bring NFTs onto their platform. Apple who at one time made a clear stand saying no NFTs on our platform, they all of a sudden changed that two months ago. And there are no good games yet. So, they’re not changing it because there’s a game making millions a day that they’re missing out on. They’re actually changing it, I believe and many believe because they’re in talks with studios that have built prior games on there that have launched on Apple. And those games are saying, “We’re moving to blockchain. Will you support our future game?” And Apple’s officially come out to say they will.
One of the gaming giants, Square Enix, just said that all their games going forward will be blockchain. In fact, they fired their CEO last week or two weeks ago to replace him with someone that can accelerate blockchain adoption, and Square Enix is one of the largest giants in gaming. And then even people like Supercell that have officially said we don’t see the reason to do NFTs, they are secretly investing in NFT projects. I just looked at one the other day called Moonfrost. And Supercell is one of their lead investors.
So, everyone knows this is coming. It’s just a matter of who does it right and what platforms can support it because that’s actually one of the other big questions on– so, now there’s the game studios who want to come over, but then there’s the blockchain tech, and who’s going to make the premier blockchain tech? And that’s still wide open as well. And so, it’s an interesting time, but it’s the very beginning of a giant shift in an established industry, which doesn’t happen often. And that’s what, for me, was so compelling because when you have so much money already in the industry, it’s not like we’re moving into something brand new. It’s an established industry that’s being disrupted by a simple technology.
And those are the moments that you get out ahead and you get to the new frontier, first. And if you have a good team and a good idea and a good product, you’re going to be able to get more land than you ever would if you just went into a legacy market. So, yeah, it’s an exciting time, for sure.
Justin Donald: There’s no doubt. And when I think about this market, I mean, it makes all the sense in the world. And by the way, I’m not a gamer. So, I’m not your target market. I don’t know any of the details you know. I mean, in high school, I played Legend of Zelda and Mario Brothers and Mario Kart. I mean, I played Mario Brothers before high school. So, I played those. And in college, maybe I played a little bit of the new Mario Kart that came out, but I didn’t really play. I mean, I played sports more in college and kind of had a few other extracurricular activities that I really spent my time doing as opposed to gaming. So, I’m not the person that knows a lot.
But when I heard you kind of explain the dollars being spent in this game or in this industry, in gaming in general, that are kind of locked inside the game, and the ability to innovate and create a better way to do it, this is a no-brainer. And it’s also really funny when I talk to people, like you may be listening to this or watching this right now and you may say, I don’t know if I understand this completely or if I believe this is going to happen, like is this happening, you got to know this is already happening. And if you want to know how mainstream it is and how legit this is that this is the next thing, talk to your kids about it because your kids know way more than you and they’re likely already playing this and they’re likely already frustrated with the current framework and infrastructure that doesn’t allow them to sell skins that they have to sell a whole account versus just make a quick transfer via the blockchain that then is audited and confirmed via several other parties, and then there’s a ledger of this transaction being done that anyone can verify at any point in time.
Tim Jooste: It 100% is going mainstream. And what’s interesting is, even in this recent downturn in crypto, we’re actually seeing more adoption during this time where there are big studios announcing their next set of games are going to be all blockchain. So, it’s almost more telling of the trend where there doesn’t seem to be the apparent monetary because if crypto is booming and every game that says they’re making a token just suddenly is worth a bunch of money, that could attract a lot of people.
But in a down market, where it’s even optically a little challenging to say we’re going into crypto because a lot of people don’t understand, they’ve got cryptocurrency over here, they’ve got gaming and even NFTs, period NFTs are a different category from gaming NFTs. And so, just being involved in the market, people reach out to me, “Oh, the market’s down. How does that make you feel?” And I’m like, “Well, it doesn’t really have anything to do with us because we’re building a video game and our token we use by the players.” And so, it’s really just build a good game. That’s really the mission, which we have a great team to do that.
So, even with all the misunderstanding out there, you’re seeing the trend, and in fact, there’s a streamer that, again, anyone watching this with kids that play games, they’re going to know this name, DrDisRespect. He’s one of the most popular Twitch streamers in the world for gaming, and he is launching a game with NFTs. And he’s getting a lot of love because of the excitement and even some hate because there’s still a misunderstanding, but when you simplify it, every single gamer that I’ve explained the concept of ownership to, they just go, “Well, of course, I would rather own it than not own it.” And so, what we’re now waiting for is good games.
We’ve had the introduction of ownership with terrible games, which had a short-lived life. They blew up. Billions were made overnight as the crypto market dumped money into tokens associated with terrible games. And then now, we’ve seen a reset of that. And now, there are a lot of good games being developed. And I think my prediction is we’ll have the first wave towards the end of this year and into next year. And those will be your first just few 100 Triple A experiences that offer ownership and we’re going to see mass adoption both from the players but then also the cryptocurrency market because when you can buy Shiba Inu coin that doesn’t do anything or you– I’m sorry for anyone who has Shiba, but when you can buy a cryptocurrency that doesn’t do anything and you can buy one that’s connected within a gaming ecosystem that gets used every day by players, you’re going to buy that one because there are real users and none of these other coins have real daily users, and then also adoption by the players. I think that’s when we were going to really catch the attention of the entire gaming market.
Players will start to express their need to own their items because when you play the game where you own stuff and you go back to a game where you don’t, it feels hollow, like as a gamer, myself, I cannot spend more than a few, maybe days invested in any one game because eventually, I’m just like, none of this matters. I’m spending money, and I own nothing. And I’m going to leave one day with no value, all sunk costs. And if this was just a blockchain game, it would be no sunk cost, and that feels like what I want, I don’t want to settle for the other. And so, it’s one person at a time, but adoption feels as guaranteed as possible. And that’s one of the reasons I felt comfortable to leave what I was doing and move into this new realm. So, yeah.
Justin Donald: Yeah, I have no doubt, adoption is inevitable in this space. It’s interesting, it would almost be a fun exercise to break down the things that maybe a lot of our listeners, a lot of those viewing, don’t fully understand. So, when I look at the world, and by the way, you are going to look at the world differently than me and you’re going to have better answers and definitions, but I’ve looked at the world and I’ll just break it down. So, to me, there’s blockchain, which is the foundation of everything, all things and Web 3.0. And I believe there’s a use case on many levels for blockchain in today’s world, not even in a virtual world, in a real world where you can use this to– this could be replaced like title companies in the way that deeds are done. And there are so many levels, like attorneys, smart contracts where payments are automatically made, really cool things there.
And then you’ve got this world of crypto, but I kind of put crypto over here, and then I put Bitcoin over here and then I got Ethereum in the middle. So, to me, it’s like Bitcoin is one specific thing with kind of the most proven track record, the best use case, the most, I think, utility of anything out there. And then you’ve got Ethereum which is quickly gaining steam because this is kind of like the token of– this is your transactional token for a lot of things, for art, for gaming, for a lot of different stuff. And then all the other cryptocurrency, to me, is very speculative until it can prove itself.
Tim Jooste: That’s right.
Justin Donald: From there, we’ve got NFTs, that’d be non-fungible tokens, which are still going to be rooted in blockchain, just like cryptocurrency is rooted in blockchain. And then you’ve got Web 3, which is kind of like the all-encompassing today’s web category, stacking all the different things, the applications and utility, the tokens. But I’d love to hear any corrections or additions to that just so people can understand kind of what it looks like because once you understand Web 3 and the different categories of Web 3, then you understand the tokens inside of gaming a little better because there’s so much utility. When you buy a token inside of an ecosystem that is widely used, then there’s intrinsic value in those tokens. So, it’s not like this money is spent and gone like it is in a lot of the Web 2 games. You spend dollars, you use tokens, whatever it’s used up.
In Web 3, it is very possible you could spend money, earn skins, tokens, different things, different utilities, and then you can sell them later. You can sell them for more. I mean, you can end up making money in these games, not even based on how competent of a gamer you are, but basically just on some of the OG categories of highly desirable items.
Tim Jooste: Collectibles, like a Pokemon card that was released early, it’s worth tens of thousands, and then ones released a week ago are just new collectibles that future speculators or just collectors are hoping will be worth something. So, yeah, I mean, you actually hit the lay of the land really well. I think Web 3 is the category that all Web 3 stuff is built on. Bitcoin, of course, is really almost like a store of value, it’s almost like our version of gold in this realm. There are a lot of people that only ever will touch Bitcoin from an investment standpoint and will never touch another protocol out there.
Ethereum has established themselves as the main layer to build on. So, they took what Bitcoin did and really solved a lot of the problems Bitcoin had from a scalability standpoint. Bitcoin is really hard to build on. And that’s why it’s almost just seen as a financial tool or a store of value, like gold, whereas Ethereum is really a protocol that you’re building on. So, NFTs really were– the first NFT is just a different category of token on Ethereum, but most tokens out there, most of these speculative ones are really an Ethereum-based token. So, even when someone wants to make their XYZ token, they will go to Ethereum and it’s called an ERC-20 protocol, and they’ll just spin up a token, and you can just make a billion of them or a trillion of them. And then, they are given value if people are willing to trade ETH for them. So, you’ve got, I mean, literally, millions of those tokens, some of which have real value, some of which don’t.
There are a few other ones, Polygon, Solana, different ones that are also– they tout themselves as layers to come build on layer ones or layer twos, and they offer innovations that Ethereum doesn’t offer. So, they say we’re faster, we’re cheaper, we’re this, we’re that. And that’s what’s still yet to be seen. Who’s going to become the preferred protocol to build the games on? And that’s an opportunity. And whoever does that right as a token or a protocol is going to make a lot of money as well because eventually, if you want to take millions of games and bring them over to blockchain, you’ve got to have the right chain for that. And so, there’s still a war happening between a bunch of chains trying to vie for top spot, but that’s the protocol layer.
Now, each individual game might still release a token for inside their video game that has nothing to do with the layer it’s built on. It’s just their token. And like you said, it’s replacing the gold or the gems that you have inside of your video games. So, right now, in Fortnite, you’ve got something called V-Bucks and that’s what you use to buy skins with. So, you come in with dollars, you trade it in for V-Bucks, and then you buy your skin.
In a blockchain world, if Fortnite was a blockchain-based game, V-Bucks would either be its own cryptocurrency or would be tied next to one where you’ve got kind of what they would call the hard currency that’s trapped inside the video game. And then there’s a– maybe it’s named the same thing, one that trades, and they would interact. And then the skins would be an NFT. So, you actually own that physical item.
And the only difference between a cryptocurrency and an NFT is that an NFT has an individual line of code that makes that one individual token unique, whereas, again, Ethereum, all you see is balances trading places. So, when you look on the ledger, you’re seeing balances, you’re seeing 20 Ethereum over here, a million Ethereum over there, 10 Ethereum over there, and balances just move around.
Actual NFTs, though it’s also built on Ethereum, they’re a special type of token that has its own line of code. So, I can follow that one back to its origin. And I can actually see its story. Like I sold an NFT myself that I bought to Gary Vee, and the way I knew that is because Gary Vee’s wallet popped up as the guy who bought it from me and I happened to buy it for, I think, around $100. And I knew it was an artist that was about to launch a collection. And then Gary bought it from me for about $11,000 about 10 days later, which was a great little trade, to go from 100 bucks to $11,000. And then now, I could see that Gary then subsequently did something else with it. And you can follow that.
Yeah, and then most cryptocurrencies are just gambling, really, I mean, you’re just betting on a token hoping they do something. And that’s why, though I’m not a fan of that, I’m a big believer in gaming tokens in general if the game is fun. So, if you have a token associated with a good game or set of games or even an open protocol, like we’re using our token in our video games and we’ll have multiple games that will work with the same token, we’re also making it an open protocol with some features that we haven’t announced yet that other games will be able to come build on our protocol. And so, that really allows it to have a lot of use cases, both from our players and from other games that don’t want to make their own token, but they want to build on blockchain and offer some unique features that we tweak that cater just to gaming. So, yeah, there’s a lot out there, but it’s a…
Justin Donald: That was so well said. And I’m glad that you elaborated because it’s helpful, I think, for everyone to kind of wrap their mind around what each of these different layers is, what the different protocols are. So, very well done.
One thing I want to make sure that we do talk about before we wrap up here is the game that you’re building. Tell us more about that and about this incredible team that you’ve assembled. I have kind of more of the insider scoop, knowing you and having the opportunity to kind of take a deep dive in what you’re doing and this desire to be part of your projects because I just think it’s fun and cool and brilliant and totally diversified from the way that I normally invest and allocate my portfolio. So, we’d love to learn more about the actual game itself because this, I can’t wait to play– I’m not even a gamer and I can’t wait to play it.
Tim Jooste: Yeah, thank you. So, yeah, we set out first to assemble a great team because when I saw the initial excitement of the crypto market and players to have games that have either a token or NFTs or both and have ownership and we saw this massive spark of desire with games that were really terrible, that was evidence that there’s something special here. And this was a year and a half ago when PlayStation hadn’t filed for patents and Apple was still saying no games, but we saw these signs and we knew adoption, like we’re seeing now, was going to happen. But we also knew that you had to have a good video game. You can’t just release a game with a token and say, “Here it is, it’s got a token so that makes up for the fact that the game is bad.”
So, after launching our NFT that gave early access to players to kind of watch the game be built from behind the curtain, we sold out in five minutes. We brought in $1.5 million in five minutes. And at that point, I then pivoted to go recruit the best team possible. And I was really fortunate to meet one of my co-founders, Kevin Lambert, who was the lead designer on Solitaire right on the App Store that everyone knows that’s in the Hall of Fame right next to World of Warcraft and Fortnite. His game almost has a billion lifetime downloads. He helped run the mobile game studio inside of Microsoft. So, brilliant, brilliant, brilliant game designer.
And he was in my community. He had minted my NFT, and I loved the messaging and the way I was approaching the industry. And I was one of the only founders with an actual business background with success in the past, massive success, knew how to build a company. And so, he reached out and said, “Are you recruiting a team?” And I said, “I am,” and we started talking. And that led to him leaving Microsoft, coming on board. Through him, we connected with my CTO and my COO, Brian and Mike, who have run a studio called Hidden Pixel, and they’ve been a part of multiple projects before, Brian being in the industry almost 30 years, Mike 25 years. Mike was executive producer on Deer Hunter, another game that had made almost half a billion dollars and five million daily players at the peak.
So, guys with a ton of success in the past had been a part of successful exits, really OGs in the space, and they love the vision and the idea of putting together an all-star team to go into this new industry where there was no competition yet for good games, there were no good games out, and there were only a few decent teams starting to build. And so, we really felt by moving quickly, we could be one of the premier projects in the space before any of the really, really big boys got into the space.
And so, we put together a small team. We’ve since then recruited. We’ve got some amazing guys from the team from King who built Candy Crush, and Apex Legends Mobile and we’ve continued to add so the team has actually gotten even better and bigger since I last talked to you. But we put together a great team, and then we sat back and thought, well, what do we want to build, and really, it wasn’t about building one game because ownership, you mentioned being able to take your assets and move them out to another game. And that is the future of it, there will be IPs and games that talk to each other that, hey, you can take your characters and put it in ours and vice versa. And we’re in talks with some of the biggest IPs in the NFT space. So, almost similar to how Fortnite is partnered with all these different movie IPs and they brought those characters in, we’ll be doing stuff like that in our world and our characters and others.
But to really control the quality of the product and deliver the best experience to the player, you can’t rely on other IPs to give ownership value, you need to do that yourself. And so, what we’ve designed is one world, one IP, we call it Bloodlines, and I won’t go into a ton of detail and give away some of the secret sauce yet. But we’re building one world, one IP, and it’ll have multiple experiences. So, you’ll come in and you can play our first game, which were about nine months from private beta, and probably 18 months from release, again, all those dates are subject to change. We’re focusing on quality, and so, when it’s ready and we feel happy about it, we’ll release it. But that first game will allow players to come in, start to invest their time, if they want to, some money, buying things, skins, whatever. And as they build up their items and their experience, that will eventually transfer to the second game and to the third game with a social hub eventually in the middle as well.
And so, there’ll be multiple experiences. And it’s kind of building an entire ecosystem, one game at a time, designed primarily for the iPhone but will work on computer as well, or iPhone and Android. So, you’ll have quick short play sessions, but you’re building upon a much bigger world. And what we’re excited about for that is if you’re a player and you want to be able to spend a small amount of time or a lot of time in a world, you can know that over the next 10, 15 years, there are multiple new, fresh, exciting experiences coming to you in this world, where the time you’ve spent in that first game is not sunk time. You can transfer it over, transfer it over, transfer it over. So, you get to kind of partner with a great world and continue to have fresh experiences, and the time you’ve invested continues to still have value and grow. And we really believe players are excited about that and will come by the millions to our world, and then obviously, to many others that are out there. So, yeah, it’s really exciting.
Justin Donald: That’s incredible, Tim. I’m so excited for you and for this opportunity and to see really everything from the ground floor and where it’s going to end up. So, Tim, tell us where we can find out more about you and more about Bloodlines.
Tim Jooste: So, I think for me, my socials, I’m on Instagram and Twitter, Timothy Jooste, so it’s J-O-O-S-T-E. And you’ll find me there, so Timothy Jooste on both Twitter and Instagram. And then, our current website where you can find out more about Bloodlines is actually our studio website, which is Koin Games with a K, so K-O-I-N, KoinGames.io. And we will have a Bloodlines website debuting in about nine months closer to the release of that launch of the IP and the actual game world, so KoinGames.io. If you want to see behind the curtain, we have an NFT that the Koin Games dev squad as you see here that you can actually– or even if your kids would love to watch a game be made behind the curtain. Our community is even helping write lore for characters. They’re helping name characters. We’re actually involving the community in the build process where we can.
And so, if you or anyone in your family would enjoy that, you can even grab an NFT on OpenSea, the Koin Games Dev Squad, you can find the link on our website. And that’ll give you access to the behind-the-scenes experience of building the game. And yeah, I think that would be the best place to start. I’m happy always to connect. And so, if anyone wants to reach out to me and chat, I love talking about this stuff.
Justin Donald: That’s so much fun. And I appreciate you making yourself available, Tim. I love ending every podcast episode with a question that I asked my listeners. And I ask the same question every week. And I hope that every week, everyone is taking some form of action on it. But here’s my question once again, just to kind of wrap things up here for the day, what is one step you can take today to move towards financial freedom and move towards living a life that you truly desire, one that’s on your terms, one that is by design, not by default? I’m excited about all the cool things that we have in store on this podcast, moving forward this year, 2023, and beyond, and we’ve got a few surprises in the work. So, thanks for always tuning in, and we’ll catch you next week.