Throughout their early lives, Juanjo and his three co-founders have been working on building technological innovations in the gaming world and in 2018 they started working on Arker, a blockchain play-to-earn (P2E) game that allows players to earn as they play. Juanjo Chust, CEO and co-founder of ArkerLabs joins us today to discuss his journey in the blockchain gaming space, metaverses, non-fungible tokens (NFTs), and everything around the crypto and blockchain ecosystem.

Hello Juanjo, welcome to Finance Magnates. Could you start off by telling us who is Juanjo Chust and what is Arker: The Legend of Ohm?

Hi, nice to be here. I'm Juanjo Chust, CEO of Arker Labs, a company founded in 2018, which has been developing all kinds of applications, although since a couple of years ago we are dedicated only to giving consultancy and Blockchain developments of all kinds for companies around the world.

Within the company, we have a department where we develop our own products, such as Arker: The Legend of Ohm, which is one of our flagship products, which we have been working on it for years, specifically since we opened the company.

It is a P2E game, in which you have to fight to maintain control of the city of Ohm, you will have to improve your weapons, skills and equipment to fight against all kinds of adversities and be able to get as many rewards as possible.

I heard that Arker: Legend of Ohm was born out of a hackathon for the best-decentralized applications (DApps) that the three co-founders competed in back in 2018. Could you tell us the story of how the game came to be? And is it true it was conceptualized in 72 hours?

Indeed, it all started in a hackathon within the university of our hometown (Castellón, Spain).

There were several topics to develop, and one of them was a decentralized app.

I had long had an idea of a game in my head, with its mechanics and possibilities, and I thought this was a good opportunity to carry it out with friends from the old company where we work, and also apply blockchain to meet the challenge.

It was 3 very hard days, where we could hardly sleep, we had all the fronts covered... the API, the interface, sounds... even the presentation for the judges, everything non-stop, it was very intense, but we were too excited.

And finally, the day came, it wasn't very pretty, but it worked, and we registered all the info in the blockchain. The judges loved it and also understood the concept of the blockchain, seeing the great potential that it could have in this sector of the videogame (P2E did not exist yet). We won the prize, in the first position, and with that little money, we founded Arker Labs, a company where now hundreds of Blockchain applications are created for companies, and where we continue developing our game Arker.

The game is set in a metaverse. Could you simply explain to our readers what is a metaverse and how it differs from a virtual gaming experience?

From my point of view, the metaverse is focused on the interaction between users, something much more personal, where within it you can work, have your salary, buy things for your avatar, and be able to perform all kinds of activities within the virtual world. So that the currency is used for the same things that we use our local currencies in our lives.

Virtual reality from my point of view is more focused on experiences, punctual games with an objective, or simply enjoying visual experiences from the sofa of your home.

As you can see, both complement each other, since for me the metaverse has to be within virtual reality, but leaving this as a parallel world without a specific mission, like life, that everyone can live as they wish.

There has been widespread adoption and cynicism around play-to-earn (P2E) games. Gamers in Thailand widely started playing Axie Infinity, a P2E gaming title, during the Covid lockdown period to earn an income. Do you think P2E games can be used as a major source of income across developing nations in the near future?

I don't think so, in the end, a game is to have fun, and if playing it you can win some reward that has real value, so much the better.

But I would not like P2E games to end up as a simple way to earn money and live from it, because games have a life cycle, so they can't last forever, and neither can the price of their assets.

In the end, it's a fun game where you can earn stuff. Not an app to earn stuff for doing tasks.

Recently, Arker: The Legend of Ohm’s game developers announced a strategic partnership with Habbo to integrate its NFTs. Please tell us more about the partnership and how gamers benefit from it.

It has been one of our best milestones, since we as players believe that having a partner of this calibre will bring us much value and credibility in the crypto community, not only as a project but also as a company.

Currently, Habbo has released an NFT collection, which gives exclusive access to content from its famous game. Basically what we have done with them, is to give one more utility to their NFT, making all their holders also have access to exclusive content within Arker.

This offers the players extra value, since people from our community interested in this exclusive content, will go to learn about their NFTs. For us, we are able to bring on their community, which is much larger and loyal to the Habbo brand, interested in the world of Arker and may want to expand borders and come to learn more about our game.

Some critics believe the gaming industry is still not quite prepared to integrate NFTs yet. Games that have added NFTs to their gameplay in the past have seen players dump the NFTs on the secondary market as soon as they acquire them. Could this pose a challenge for the growth of blockchain gaming?

Right, this is one of the hardest challenges for developers, as we have reached the point where people just want the tokens to sell them as soon as they can and make a profit, they don't care about the game, the future of the game, or the repercussion of the massive sale, they just want profit.

That's why the challenge is to make a game so good and with such an immersive token economy, that the user himself does not want to get rid of his assets, but to keep them to be better in the game and be able to prosper in it.

And obviously, at some point, to be able to make a profit. But this moment should be when the user is tired of the game and wants to pivot to another one, not at the first minute of receiving it.

What is in store for the Arker gaming community in 2022? Please explain what gamers should expect from the gaming platform in the coming months.

We are currently creating a lot of visual content, as we are one of the few projects where all the assets are made in-house. Also, we are making a revamped version of the current 2D game that is already available in the stores.

In the near future, we will launch a 3D metaverse with AAA graphics, which looks spectacular, it will be much more extensive, and users will be able to see themselves while walking through the big city that we are creating. Arker also aims to create terrains for users to acquire ownership of these and perform activities with their friends, which makes the possibilities grow.

Additionally, we want to start building on console platforms to reach more users and allow them to get scholarships that help new users who want to unlock their full potential but don't want to invest money at the start.

All this is just a small part of what we are preparing, as we have many things in mind, and we will not stop until we reach our goal: A triple AAA game where users play for fun and on top of that they have extra features that the blockchain brings to the game, like ownership of items, monetizing your time and much more.

Throughout their early lives, Juanjo and his three co-founders have been working on building technological innovations in the gaming world and in 2018 they started working on Arker, a blockchain play-to-earn (P2E) game that allows players to earn as they play. Juanjo Chust, CEO and co-founder of ArkerLabs joins us today to discuss his journey in the blockchain gaming space, metaverses, non-fungible tokens (NFTs), and everything around the crypto and blockchain ecosystem.

Hello Juanjo, welcome to Finance Magnates. Could you start off by telling us who is Juanjo Chust and what is Arker: The Legend of Ohm?

Hi, nice to be here. I'm Juanjo Chust, CEO of Arker Labs, a company founded in 2018, which has been developing all kinds of applications, although since a couple of years ago we are dedicated only to giving consultancy and Blockchain developments of all kinds for companies around the world.

Within the company, we have a department where we develop our own products, such as Arker: The Legend of Ohm, which is one of our flagship products, which we have been working on it for years, specifically since we opened the company.

It is a P2E game, in which you have to fight to maintain control of the city of Ohm, you will have to improve your weapons, skills and equipment to fight against all kinds of adversities and be able to get as many rewards as possible.

I heard that Arker: Legend of Ohm was born out of a hackathon for the best-decentralized applications (DApps) that the three co-founders competed in back in 2018. Could you tell us the story of how the game came to be? And is it true it was conceptualized in 72 hours?

Indeed, it all started in a hackathon within the university of our hometown (Castellón, Spain).

There were several topics to develop, and one of them was a decentralized app.

I had long had an idea of a game in my head, with its mechanics and possibilities, and I thought this was a good opportunity to carry it out with friends from the old company where we work, and also apply blockchain to meet the challenge.

It was 3 very hard days, where we could hardly sleep, we had all the fronts covered... the API, the interface, sounds... even the presentation for the judges, everything non-stop, it was very intense, but we were too excited.

And finally, the day came, it wasn't very pretty, but it worked, and we registered all the info in the blockchain. The judges loved it and also understood the concept of the blockchain, seeing the great potential that it could have in this sector of the videogame (P2E did not exist yet). We won the prize, in the first position, and with that little money, we founded Arker Labs, a company where now hundreds of Blockchain applications are created for companies, and where we continue developing our game Arker.

The game is set in a metaverse. Could you simply explain to our readers what is a metaverse and how it differs from a virtual gaming experience?

From my point of view, the metaverse is focused on the interaction between users, something much more personal, where within it you can work, have your salary, buy things for your avatar, and be able to perform all kinds of activities within the virtual world. So that the currency is used for the same things that we use our local currencies in our lives.

Virtual reality from my point of view is more focused on experiences, punctual games with an objective, or simply enjoying visual experiences from the sofa of your home.

As you can see, both complement each other, since for me the metaverse has to be within virtual reality, but leaving this as a parallel world without a specific mission, like life, that everyone can live as they wish.

There has been widespread adoption and cynicism around play-to-earn (P2E) games. Gamers in Thailand widely started playing Axie Infinity, a P2E gaming title, during the Covid lockdown period to earn an income. Do you think P2E games can be used as a major source of income across developing nations in the near future?

I don't think so, in the end, a game is to have fun, and if playing it you can win some reward that has real value, so much the better.

But I would not like P2E games to end up as a simple way to earn money and live from it, because games have a life cycle, so they can't last forever, and neither can the price of their assets.

In the end, it's a fun game where you can earn stuff. Not an app to earn stuff for doing tasks.

Recently, Arker: The Legend of Ohm’s game developers announced a strategic partnership with Habbo to integrate its NFTs. Please tell us more about the partnership and how gamers benefit from it.

It has been one of our best milestones, since we as players believe that having a partner of this calibre will bring us much value and credibility in the crypto community, not only as a project but also as a company.

Currently, Habbo has released an NFT collection, which gives exclusive access to content from its famous game. Basically what we have done with them, is to give one more utility to their NFT, making all their holders also have access to exclusive content within Arker.

This offers the players extra value, since people from our community interested in this exclusive content, will go to learn about their NFTs. For us, we are able to bring on their community, which is much larger and loyal to the Habbo brand, interested in the world of Arker and may want to expand borders and come to learn more about our game.

Some critics believe the gaming industry is still not quite prepared to integrate NFTs yet. Games that have added NFTs to their gameplay in the past have seen players dump the NFTs on the secondary market as soon as they acquire them. Could this pose a challenge for the growth of blockchain gaming?

Right, this is one of the hardest challenges for developers, as we have reached the point where people just want the tokens to sell them as soon as they can and make a profit, they don't care about the game, the future of the game, or the repercussion of the massive sale, they just want profit.

That's why the challenge is to make a game so good and with such an immersive token economy, that the user himself does not want to get rid of his assets, but to keep them to be better in the game and be able to prosper in it.

And obviously, at some point, to be able to make a profit. But this moment should be when the user is tired of the game and wants to pivot to another one, not at the first minute of receiving it.

What is in store for the Arker gaming community in 2022? Please explain what gamers should expect from the gaming platform in the coming months.

We are currently creating a lot of visual content, as we are one of the few projects where all the assets are made in-house. Also, we are making a revamped version of the current 2D game that is already available in the stores.

In the near future, we will launch a 3D metaverse with AAA graphics, which looks spectacular, it will be much more extensive, and users will be able to see themselves while walking through the big city that we are creating. Arker also aims to create terrains for users to acquire ownership of these and perform activities with their friends, which makes the possibilities grow.

Additionally, we want to start building on console platforms to reach more users and allow them to get scholarships that help new users who want to unlock their full potential but don't want to invest money at the start.

All this is just a small part of what we are preparing, as we have many things in mind, and we will not stop until we reach our goal: A triple AAA game where users play for fun and on top of that they have extra features that the blockchain brings to the game, like ownership of items, monetizing your time and much more.