In another sign of just how cold the crypto winter has become for some of the highest flying of blockchain projects, Star Atlas' CEO took to Discord on Wednesday in an effort to gin up revenue amid a desperate search for investors.
Speaking to only a few hundred of the more than 190,000 members of Star Atlas’ Discord server, CEO Michael Wagner outlined the company's new vision which includes focusing on cheaper-to-produce gaming projects.
Wagner said he hopes to start by rolling out a new iteration of an online browser game called Sage in about three weeks.
“This is going to be a more simplified user interface," Wagner said. "It is a 2D environment … but again all of the real mechanics on mainnet with real economic outcomes to you guys.”
Unveiling a 2D browser game is a far cry from the high-profile 3D sci-fi game in development since 2020, which had been considered one of, if not the most ambitious crypto gaming project. Star Atlas was billed as the brand of big-budget, massively multiplayer online role-playing game capable of drawing mainstream gamers into the blockchain space.
The project has also been perhaps the most significant web3 game being developed on the Solana blockchain.
More runway and 'golden tickets'
Now it appears, however, Wagner is hoping that with Sage, and the launch of a mobile companion game, he can reverse Star Atlas' fortunes.
"The mobile app is, to me, an amazing opportunity to grow the user base,” he said. “From a company perspective it actually gives an opportunity to generate revenue off a new asset class, which is obviously beneficial for things like runway.”
Earlier this week, the gaming project once celebrated for selling nearly $200 million in NFTs — for items like virtual spaceships — announced it had reduced staff to a core group of 45 employees. That represents about an 80% cut when compared to last year's peak of 235 employees.
The company also posted this week a bullet-pointed summary stating that reducing staff and focusing on cheaper gaming could help the project raise fresh capital.
Before answering community questions and after addressing the company's headcount reduction, Wagner opened the town-hall style discussion pitching the existing community on a “$1.5 million promo event.”
“Anybody that wants to come into this promotion will need to buy and own ships to participate,” he said before going on to describe an upcoming raffle. “We’re calling these golden tickets … and on a weekly basis you can enter into these drawings.”