Can you give us a brief background on who Jack Li is and what brought you to this fascinating world of blockchain and now an ICO?
When founding Ares Tech in Berlin, we were just a four-person team.
Now, we have a very international team with 11 staff members and 15 consultants from all over Europe. Many of our team members are highly experienced in the internet and gaming sectors.
I moved to Berlin 4 years ago. Before that, I worked for more than 10 years in major Chinese internet companies, including Sina.com (SINA:NSQ) and Weibo.com (NASDAQ:WB), focusing on product design and management, marketing strategy, growth hacking, social media, sales, and branding cooperation. In Berlin, I have been the China Marketing Director for a large football app, Onefootball, and the largest e-commerce optimization platform for Amazon, Sellics.
Our CTO, Christian Gehl, has been working for multiple European companies and has co-founded an internet security company based on AI technology, Trifense GmbH.
Ares Tech has also built an exceptionally strong team of advisors, ranging from computer science and new media professors from German universities, Berlin’s blockchain star projects, social media experts, to high-level management from European large and medium-sized companies. Their working experience has covered Fraunhofer, Zynga, Playfish, Bigpoint, Tencent, Shanda Games, Onefootball, Zalando, N26, Deutsche Bahn, Microsoft, IBM, Nokia, Siemens, Daimler, KPMG, etc.
Why did you develop Ares Tech?
Before founding Ares Tech, we studied the gaming and blockchain industries, and we found out that gaming, especially social gaming, is the best way to apply blockchain technology.
The essence of games is socialization. As one of the most ancient and important communication tools, after traditional internet taking over the gaming industry, we witness games playing a tricky role in human communication: more isolation than connection, young people get addicted to screens and screens only, rather than face-to-face interaction.
We hope to change that and to break the boundary between real-life reality and virtual reality. We hope to develop and encourage social games to enrich offline communication, designing games based on different social scenarios. Strangers can use our games to quickly break the ice, family and friends bonding with more fun.
Are you a gamer yourself?
Yes, but not hardcore MMORPG or eSports fans. My most fascinating game experience is playing King of Fighter 97 and FIFA with my friend from childhood to college. So, basically, I prefer to play games with interesting friends than play interesting games with strangers. That’s the very important reason I like what we build here, a platform on which you will have fun with your close friends, like the good old days.
What is so broken with the platforms on which games are developed today?
We are not building the actual games, but engaging developers to create them. But before that, we will deliver a SDK for them and build demo games for developers as a guideline. The SDK helps developers focus more on creating the game rule itself than taking care of various, complex protocols and APIs.
The demo of SDK will be published on GitHub in 2018 Gamescom, around August. The demo game will be published later.
What makes Ares so different?
We do see the various problems and risks in the blockchains shared by existing blockchain games: unstable, unclear future, unclear tech solutions, bugs in their agreement or economic system, too centralized, etc.. The most common complaint about Ethereum is the slow process speed, and it is unfriendly to use for application development. That is what we are trying to solve, using Plasma in our solutions.
There is another usual challenge faced by all gaming platforms: chicken (games) first, or egg (users) first? Without good games, we won’t attract users, but game developers are usually attracted by platforms that already have many high-net-worth users. Our solution to this is the same as our positioning: starting with social games, casual games, and classic games that are not very costly to develop, so our platform will gain gravity relatively quickly.
Can you briefly outline your roadmap for 2018 and 2019?
We are also working on the application of Plasma to solve the scalability issue, integrating it into our all-in-one solution that includes decentralized data storage, randomly generated numbers with blockchain technologies, etc. In September, we will be able to provide a stable and friendly integrated development tool for the game developers.
The biggest milestone in 2019 is to launch our mainnet and our new Consensus, a revolutionary Proof-of-Game that combines gaming, socialization, and life-long unduplicable IP. Ares blockchain mainnet will run on a self-defined Consensus called PoG (Proof of Game), like a combination of PoS and PoA. The users will be able to get the power of verifier, which would motivate the users to keep on raising their status in the games. Putting playing time and game asset values into the ranking factors would create a lot of incentives.