EPIK — CRYPTOVERSE AMA Recap
Date: 14th May, Friday
Guest — Darren Smith : VP of Product at Epik.
Gary Ma : COO of Epik.
Q: Can you please introduce yourselves to the community?
Gary Ma : Hi I’m Gary, COO of Epik. I’m responsible for Epik’s daily workflow and operations. I have over 16+ years’ experience in technology sales and other operational roles across multiple industries.
Prior to Epik, I’ve worked with some of the biggest brands and celebrity artists, producing large scale Ultra Music style concerts across the world. And now at Epik, we work with the biggest brands and IP to create premium digital merch and collectibles.
Darren Smith : Hi, I’m Darren Smith, VP of Product at Epik. I’ve been with the team since 2018. My background is in the video game industry. I was with Nintendo for 20 years, building great products there.
Q: Can you please tell us about the @EPIKPRIME in detail?
A: Epik is an NFT platform working with AAA gaming platforms and giant entertainment IP brands to create in-game NFT goods and marketplace.
Epik is the leading NFT crypto company coming out from stealth since 2018.
We work with over 360 clients including half of the top 25 video game companies such as Tencent and Garena and global brands like Warner and Universal.
We specialize in unique NFT drops with many coming out this year from some of the biggest names.
Q: What innovations has the EPIKPrime project brought to the blockchain-based gaming industry compared to traditional game projects? Could you tell us about the unique and creative aspects of the solutions and products you offer?
A: Yes, our users are both mainstream gamers, and the crypto audience.
Not only do we work with the biggest mainstream games and AAA publishers like Tencent to Garena etc.. We also have partnerships with the leading crypto companies — Metaverse platforms, marketplaces, collectibles, etc. You’ll be seeing collaborations from these very soon.
As a B2B company, we work with everyone. Mainstream games. Crypto companies.
We help everyone.
They’re all our clients in one way or another.
Either we help them with getting brands and IP, creating new original content together, providing blockchain technology solutions, or simply tap into our global distribution network of 100’s of digital platforms and millions of users.
Q: Can you explain to me the reason why Epik targeted NFTs through music and games? What made you realize digital art was a means for getting NFTs to the next level? And as a Pioneer for bringing musicians into digital spaces?
A: That’s a great question. People love music. And music is such a huge part of games just like they are in movies.
Gary has worked with some of the biggest artists in the EDM world prior to Epik, so it was a natural fit to bring it into digital. So we started working with the top record labels in the world and producing in-game virtual concerts.
We’d have bands like KORN or Alice in Chains and EDM starts performing in-game, in a custom built stadium etc. We’d sell digital merch packs, and offer virtual backstage VIP passes. It’s awesome, fans love it.
As I’m describing that, I’m sure you can make the connection to how NFTs will play a role in our future events. NFT tickets. Collectible merchandise based on those events (digital concert t-shirt etc), things that are unique and priceless because of the memories and association with a limited event. Just like in real life.
Q: Epic announced that he was producing a virtual concert featuring Dutch DJ super duo Lucas & Steve. How will the actors profit with this product and will you continue to produce more virtual concerts?
What was the feedback from the players on this issue?
A: Not only is Epik a NFT technology company, we’re also the leading digital licensing agency. Working with top tier brands as their license partner. This is one of the key distinctions and advantages Epik has over other NFT companies.
We are actually IN the licensing industry, and some of our teammates are like Mark Caplan, who’s a second generation licensing veteran for over 20 years.
Licensing is complex business to navigate, and to your question, the profit negotiations vary with each deal.
For us, it’ easy to pick up the phone and reach these artists, even the top of the top. So one of the collabs we did was putting Lucas & Steve into Avakin Life (a very successful avatar based social game). It was a huge hit.
And yes, we’ll be doing many many more music and gaming crossovers, and creating unique original NFTs as part of the events.
Q: Epik is the leading NFT crypto company coming out from stealth since 2018. So how Epik cope with the evolution of NFT in the huge world of crypto industry?Since then and now, Can you differentiate your NFT? What Changes Did you do to make your NFTs attractive?
A: We’ve been doing NFT since before it was cool; and I’m certain we will be doing NFTs long after this initial hype is over.
To give you an idea about our expertise and commitment to t
he space; our CEO, who’s a computer programmer and following blockchain for many years, flew down to Dallas for the final ERC-721 code review; along with Darren.
That’s when the standard was passed. Also, Will Entriken, the lead author of 721 is on Epik team. So, we’ve been involved with NFTs pretty much since its origins.
About the future.. We’ll continue to push the boundaries of what’s possible with NFTs.
Expect more drops, more collaborations, more ultra-unique NFTs that give users value and utility beyond just the visual asset.
These could be in-game utility (i.e. Imagine buying a stormtrooper NFT that looks great, but also becomes a playable character in a game for the owner of the NFT. Or buying a Lady Gaga NFT and with it the owner gets VIP tickets to her concert tour).
Q: In how many ways or what are the ways your project generate revenue? What is the revenue model? How it can be beneficial for both investors and for project itself?
A: Our Company is already generating revenue and is profitable. In the past 12 months we’ve done in-game drops selling over $27M worth in merchandise sales.
Those are not NFTs, they are digital merch drops. They’re done to lead up to now this year we’ll be doing lots of NFT drops into these mainstream game companies.
There are too many companies and projects, not just in crypto, but regular startup world as well, that fail because they are unable to build a viable and sustainable business and revenue model. We’re fortunate and proud of the fact that we are one of the few in the industry that is an actual business.
Not just an idea and not just a project. So for token holders and investors, this means they are much more de-risked in their investment, and it’s viable for a long term ROI from the company’s ongoing success.
Q: Epik works with over 350+ business partners covering more than 1,000+ iconic brands. So how does this more partnership gives impact to your platform and in getting more users and investors of Epik? How can anyone become part of Epik?
A: Our users are both mainstream gamers, and crypto audience. We’re primarily a B2B company, which means we bridge our B2B client’s users onto blockchain, and these users become Epik users.
Secondarily, we also reach the crypto audience, well, because we’re a blockchain company. We also have partnerships with the leading crypto companies — metaverse platforms, marketplaces, collectibles, etc. Can’t say specifics right now, because many of these are being announced in the near future and I wouldn’t want to spoil the surprise. Rest assured, you will recognize the names.
As a B2B company, we work with everyone. Mainstream games. Crypto companies. We help everyone.
Q: Could you tell us a little more about the difference between Epik Prime and Prime +? What benefits does each one really provide? And what are the requirements to be able to belong to that membership?
A: They are different levels of membership. Epik Prime+ gets you more access to more rare drops/items/events .
Q: What’s your motivation in making EPIK, and what we will see in the future? How can token holders benefit with EPIK?
A: At Epik we started working with brands and games on a mission to produce premium digital items because we believed that digital items were the future of consumer products and would play a central role in ownership and the way we express ourselves individually. We see collections of digital items as representations of personal memories and achievements while conveying attributes like status, identity, membership, class, and performance.
Today, hundreds of brands and game companies trust Epik to produce premium digital items and experiences for over one billion gamers.
Token holders benefit from exclusive membership rewards and privileges. Access to premium NFT drops and much more.
Q: One of EPIK’s strengths is its incredible official team; can you tell us more about yourself and your experience in the gaming sector?
A: Thank you. Our team’s game credits come from Pokemon, Tetris, and Nintendo. Personally, I worked at Nintendo for 20 years. I was a director there.
In 1990, I started as an engineer working on an online game service for the original 8-bit NES. Throughout my career there I worked on the development and launch of game consoles from the Nintendo 64 through the Wii and 3DS, as well as all of Nintendo’s online game services (multiplayer game service, Nintendo’s eShop, Netflix for Wii, Facebook for DSi, etc.). I also developed a game with Mr. Miyamoto (PilotWings 64), produced some products for Pokemon, and all of the pre-installed apps for the Wii.
I was very fortunate to work alongside many of the greatest minds in the videogame industry, not just Mr. Miyamoto, but also Mr. Iwata Mr. Takeda, all of the teams at EAD, Rare, and so many others.
Q: I understand that they have helped many projects and brands to further enhance their value, but could you really tell us about a product that Epik has developed that has greatly benefited a brand, allowing it to obtain great results?
A: I’ll give you an example. One of our brand clients is ULTRAMAN. It’s the #1 Japanese anime on Netflix.
We placed them into multiple crossover appearances into video games, including Arena of Valor (the #1 MOBA game in the world, owned by Tencent).
These types of brand activations are hugely desirable and beneficial to the brand. They reach new audiences; bring new interactive and fun engagement, while also potentially generating new monetization. It’s a win-win-win. That’s what EPIK Prime does for all our clients. Add unparalleled value.
Q: According to your website that you see collections of digital items as representations and achievement, so how can we acquire digital items in your platform? Can you share some examples of digital items that Epik been producing and been available in the market already?
A: You can buy digital items in our marketplace, as well as in the games where we integrate our technology.
Q: It benefits both games and various brands through premium content, but how does Epik really benefit mainstream users? Will it simply be the chance to get NFT from each brand’s games only?
A: Consumers will get access to premium digital collectibles created through our relationships with game publishers, brands, celebrities, musicians, artists, and influencers. Some of these will be offered in games, others will be dropped in our marketplace and elsewhere.
Q: What are the ways for your project to generate revenue in the long run? What is the progress of business development and what are some of your commercial partnerships?
A: We’re signing new partnerships and clients every week.
We collaborate with big brands and big game companies to launch their NFT strategies.
Our clients come to us, because they trust us. We have been working with them for many years.
And now, they want us to help them launch their NFT strategies.
And this is what Epik as built to do.
We are an enterprise blockchain company, and I believe we are the largest enterprise blockchain ecosystem in the world, with over 360 enterprise clients.
Q: As a NFT marketplace, what does Epik Prime offer to the owners of NFTs that cannot be found in the countless competitors in the field? How will you attract them?
A: Excellent question! Epik works WITH other crypto NFT platforms/marketplaces and works WITH mainstream games. We are not competition. We collaborate. If they need brands and IP, they can come to Epik.
Because Epik is also a digital licensing agent. We help companies big and small get brands. For example, Tencent is our client. The bottom line is that we have unique content. Epik creates crossover collaborations between brands and games. These special events offer the opportunity to create unique NFT merchandise around the event.
Q: Regarding the “limited editions of NFT”, will it be with the NFT of all brands? Or will it be unique and exclusively NFT characteristic of special events? If so, what do we have to do to be able to participate and opt for those NFTs?
A: Through our unique crossovers and collaborations EPIK Prime produces original content.
Resulting from these events, we are able to produce unique NFTs as well. While all of them will be unique, some will be very limited in nature. Create opportunity for the collectors in here.
Q: I read from your site, EPIK is the most creator-friendly NFT marketplace built for mainstream digital artists. Actually there are already so much NFT market out there for example opensea, rarible, atomichub and other. But what innovation do you bring to your NFT market? What is the meaning of “creator-friendly” In your NFT market?
A: EPIK Prime produces only premium name-brand NFTs.
There are many great platforms for user-generated-content. We love them, and think they are extremely valuable (and necessary).
EPIK works with the leading brands and digital platforms.
Q: How, or through which big partnerships do you plan on utilizing to pass your product onto the normal especially non-crypto people?
A: Our goal is to become mass market. That’s why we’ve partnered with game companies with hundreds of millions of cumulative users. Our team’s background in the game industry has proven success with making products accessible to the mass market.
Q: We know that Epik NFTs can only work with the ERC-721 or are they compatible with the ERC-1155? Are you a multi-chain platform?
A: Yes, we work with both 721 and 1155. Will Entriken, one of the authors of 721, is part of our team. We are on Ethereum, but always exploring other chains that will provide the best consumer experience.
Q: What role does the community play at EPIK? What have you done and will do to attract people to join EPIK and build a thriving community?
A: we do it for the fans and for the community.
Every business, brand, celebrity, etc. is only as good as the customers, fan base, or community behind them.
EPIK Prime thinks about our users, and our client’s fans/customers as the most important thing and it’s our highest priority to deliver products and services people value and love.
Q: In order to participate in Epik Prime, will it be required to complete a KYC registration? If so, will it really be available to users in any location? Or are there countries that will suffer from restrictions on their services?
A: You do not need to KYC to join Epik Prime and become a member.
(For those interested to purchase $EPIK on www.daomaker.com SHO, you will need to KYC)
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