Kris Penseyres and the other three co-founders of the blockchain game, DOGAMÍ keep one question top of mind at all times. How do we meet the needs of a mass, non-crypto native audience? Or as Penseyres himself frames it,
“Our biggest challenge is that I want my mom to be able to purchase a DOGAMÍ. And that she doesn’t need to be walked through it. That it’s that easy for anybody to onboard onto the platform.”
It’s a question that every team working on play-to-earn blockchain games is laboring to answer. Yet with their adorable digital dogs, mobile-based experience, and impressive group of backers, DOGAMÍ may be one of the teams best-suited to solve the puzzle.
“I think there’s a large audience that would love to be able to experience what play-to-earn and true ownership of your digital assets can offer. They just don’t have the opportunity or time or knowledge to be able to onboard. And we want to be able to facilitate that process.”
DOGAMÍ Doesn’t Limit Itself to Just Being A Blockchain Game
To be sure, the thrill around the new technologies that the blockchain powers is warranted. Nevertheless, it often leads to other important elements being overlooked in many blockchain games. But that’s not something that the co-founders of DOGAMÍ are in danger of doing.
With a background in building brand narratives, and in the film industry before that, Penseyres understands the power of a great story. And so, with that knowledge comes an expansive mode of thinking.
“The ambition of the entire team is to develop something that has depth and an underlying story. It’s just that the platform on which we express this is play-to-earn and blockchain. But it shouldn’t be that because we’re play-to-earn or blockchain that we should dumb down.”
While the medium is fresh and revolutionary, the DOGAMÍ co-founders are building on a history steeped in nostalgia. That is to say, DOGAMÍ draws inspiration from several sources that have proven to be popular for decades.
Pet ownership, gaming, and collectibles are things people all over the world have been passionate about for a long time. And DOGAMÍ building towards that is no accident. After all, the co-founders are working on mass adoption.
In this way, the DOGAMÍ team is building not just a blockchain game, but a brand that will appeal to all kinds of people.
As Penseyres notes, “The idea is to create a popular culture, mainstream-driven IP. One that’s born in play-to-earn and blockchain but can live in other spaces as well in the future.”
The Story of The DOGAMÍ Team
As noted above, Penseyres brings his professional experiences to the table as DOGAMÍ’s Chief Business Officer. Similarly, the other three co-founders bring their skills together in roles that complement each other.
There’s CEO Max Stöckl, who comes from the world of finance. Chief Technology Officer, Bilal El Alamy, an entrepreneur with vast blockchain experience. And Chief Operating Officer, Adrien Magdelaine.
Four Co-Founders with Four Distinct Areas of Expertise
To hear Penseyres tell it, the story of DOGAMÍ begins with Magdelaine. Though DOGAMÍ didn’t begin as a blockchain game.
To explain, Magdelaine was the CEO and co-founder of Wamiz. “Kind of like a Wikipedia or Google for pets,” as Penseyres describes it. Indeed, Wamiz was a wild success. So much so that Nestle – the owner of the Purina pet food brand – acquired it in 2018.
After that, Magdelaine met Alamy. The two then bounced around ideas on how the blockchain could come into play with pet ownership.
Next came Stöckl, with both his finance background and passion for gaming. That combination led him to the emerging field of blockchain games. Thus, the idea of making a game around pet ownership came to be, and DOGAMÍ was born. The three then brought in Penseyres to help shape the overall narrative and the origins of its characters.
It’s fitting that Transformers and other mechas were some of Penseyres’ early loves in collectibles. It’s that kind of image – of many parts coming together to make a mighty machine – that forms in one’s mind when hearing about the team of co-founders.
For his part, Penseyres speaks about the DOGAMÍ team with great humility. He downplays their formation, calling it, “an accumulation of fortunate events”. So fortunate, that the blockchain game has since raised $6 million in funding. Along with the support of Ubisoft, Animoca Brands, and The Sandbox.
DOGAMÍ Co-founders Are Building Their Blockchain Game To Last
In contrast to many of the teams in the NFT space today, DOGAMÍ doesn’t let the goings-on of the industry shift their goals. It speaks to their conviction in what they’re creating.
“I think one of the problems that some people in the sector might be facing is that everybody’s scared of what the market’s gonna be two or three months from now. They see that they’re in a bull market so they launch faster than what they would want to.”
Above all, one thing is clear from the way Penseyres talks about the team’s goals. That is, that DOGAMÍ is crafting its blockchain game for the long haul.
“To be honest, we don’t really care about the market. If we get into a bear market, it shouldn’t change anything for us because what we’re trying to do is foster mass adoption and retention through time. Not sales on the secondary marketplace.”
Environmental Concerns Played Into Tezos Choice
While Ethereum is the largest ecosystem for NFTs at present, more new projects and their founders are looking to other options. Certainly speed and transaction fees play a part, especially for blockchain games.
But without a doubt, the environmental impact of Ethereum is an important factor. And it’s the one that Penseyres noted when explaining how DOGAMÍ chose the blockchain for their game.
“Some of us [co-founders] are parents and we want to send out the right message to our children. We want to make sure that we’re picking a blockchain that’s as sustainable as possible.”
It’s that shared ideal that ultimately had a hand in DOGAMÍ choosing to build its blockchain game on Tezos. A decision made easier by Alamy’s experience in building on the platform.
With that said, Penseyres and the rest of the team are no Tezos maxis. To that end, he mentions not only that the team had other great options they considered at certain points, but also that they hope for a cross-chain future.
“What we want is to be able to be as cross-chain as possible. And that’s not easy at the moment. But it’s something that we want to see.”