by R.A. Rowell
Will the digital collectibles game Quidd eventually migrate to the blockchain?
In August 2019, the Australian mobile gaming company Animoca and blockchain firm Harmony acquired Quidd, known as the “eBay for digital collectibles.” TheBlockCrypto.com featured the Quidd acquisition. The feature details how Quidd was successful in launching their mobile marketplace platform, targeted at selling serial-numbered digital collectibles - including digital stickers, trading cards, and 3D toys - to comic and film super-fans. But, the associated costs in acquiring the proper rights and building the platform were extremely high.
Since its founding in 2017, Quidd has earned $10 million in revenues selling out of its collection of 2.1 billion (yes, BILLION) uniquely numbered digital collectibles across 325 popular brands. Understandably the costs of acquiring those rights were high, but so was building up its initial user base of 800,000 monthly active users. In 2019, that number had fallen to around 200,000 monthly active users. Obviously, that’s still a great number, but it put a great strain on the company’s finances, which prompted the necessity for a buyout.
The reason why Quidd lost 75 percent of its initial active user base is actually pretty simply. While owning digital collectibles is pretty cool, the hype and novelty of owning something that pretty much just sits there in the digital world does wear off for most people. What Animoca and Harmony are planning to do is what many others are looking to do, and some are already doing with success: put those digital collectibles into a game that keeps people engaged and always wanting more.
The one thing that’s going against Quidd at the moment is that their massive library of digital collectibles is just that, a library stored on their own servers. They are, of course, able to be sold on the Quidd marketplace, but only for in-game coins. But, the real attraction is that you can start collecting for free and keep collecting for free as long as you want. Obviously, buying in-game coins and complete sets with cash is enticing. But, what can you do outside of Quidd with them?
That’s why blockchain digital collectibles are picking up. What are blockchain digital collectibles? Let’s talk about them for a moment.
Why Are Blockchain Digital Collectibles Gaining Steam?
Every day, more and more digital collectibles are popping up on the crypto blockchains - Ethereum being the current front-runner. These collectibles exist as unique tokens on their respective crypto blockchains and are stored in a crypto wallet just like cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin or Ethereum. The major advantages of these digital blockchain collectibles is that the owner has true ownership of the item outside of its original source and can be transferred at will to other crypto collectors. Not only can many of these blockchain digital collectibles be used in games, they can also have their own stats and gain experience. Some can even be used across multiple games.
For example, DapperLabs has enjoyed massive success with their CryptoKitties, a brand which Animoca actually took mainstream in Asia back in January 2018. But, it’s not just all about kitties. There’s MyCryptoHeroes, which is branching beyond cats and introducing other playable species. Then, you have more traditional entertainment companies getting involved, too. For example, the NBA (yes, the National Basketball Association) is teaming up with the aforementioned DapperLabs to create blockchain collectibles for basketball stars. Major League Baseball is doing this with their digital crypto bobbleheads in MLB Champions, as well, figures that can grow with the real-life performance of their counterparts.
Animoca and Harmony are far from alone in making massive investments in digital collectibles, especially blockchain collectibles. The bet they are making, as TheBlockCrypto noted in its report, is that digital collectibles will become just as valuable - if not more so - than traditional, sentimental, physical collectibles. Of course, the crypto collectible craze has been driven primarily by hype so far, attracting millions of dollars in one fell swoop, then quickly waning. But, the novelty has not worn off for a good number of collectors who see the value in digital collectibles.
Of course, it’s quite enticing to collect items that can gain value by virtue of simply being a part of a growing crypto blockchain. But, these items can also be used and level up by being used in games, making them even more valuable. While there’s still a bit of a learning curve in using cryptocurrency wallets, understanding the nature of tokens, and how various cryptocurrencies are valued, more people than ever are willing to take the dive. After all, the digital collectibles industry has been around for awhile, but by bringing the blockchain into it, there’s some real money to be made. When the buy-in is as low as buying some unique collectible tokens for even just a few US dollars, what serious collector can turn down that sort of opportunity?
Then again, Quidd digital collectibles aren’t on the blockchain. So, then, what’s the appeal of spending multiples of millions on the platform? What does the shift towards the blockchain mean for collectibles tied to a single platform?
So far, Quidd isn't living up to what it promises.
Can Quidd Succeed in a Blockchain World?
Because there is a blockchain firm, Harmony, involved in the acquisition of Quidd, there is the possibility that Quidd may end up offering collectibles on the blockchain. After all, the rights to create these digital collectibles have already been acquired. Will they go the direction of adding crypto collectibles to their library for those that want them?
If Animoca and Harmony are able to create a way to use Quidd’s massive catalog of digital collectibles in a more exciting way, this marketplace has the potential to not only beat its original user base, but become a truly successful enterprise. You can start collecting for free. So, I decided there was no downside to trying it out and selling duplicates for in-game coins.
I tried Quidd for a little over a week. The opening of packs was addictive to be sure. They give you free coins throughout the day and you can watch short videos for coins. So, for about a week, I picked up packs from brands I was interested in. Then, I would try to complete sets. That's where I got very frustrated.
As I learned, you CAN sell your unwanted digital collectibles, but only through a clinky marketplace system. It's not truly peer-to-peer. You just have to wait around and hope your items sell. Also, you can buy items as well, but because there is a minimum of 500 coins to list, even common stuff gets pricey to collect if you're hoping to only use free coins.
Quidd is NOT an eBay for Digital Collectibles - It's Just a Game!
The marketing for Quidd is extremely misleading. It's nothing like an eBay for digital collectibles. Perhaps at one time there was an auction feature, but I don't know. What I do know is that there was peer-to-peer trading before, but that is no longer the case. You only have a clunky marketplace interface to buy and sell items. It's hard to keep track of items you have listed and the listing management is awful - your profile fills up with expired listings very quickly and I had to delete them one at a time.
Quidd basically banks on your love of certain brands to keep you addicted in hopes that you'll purchase coins to chase the rarer pieces of various sets. It's really just a set-building game, which in itself isn't a bad thing. It's a fun concept, but it's really just a time-sink with no hope of any return beyond simply entertainment value. There's actually nothing wrong with what it is - but what annoys me is that Quidd is NOT AS ADVERTISED. Personally, I wouldn't spend a real penny on it. I removed the app from my phone after getting extremely frustrated with the outrageous cost of certain items on the marketplace.
Still, if you want to check it out, Quidd has an app available for both Android and Apple devices. New users even get a free pack and bonus coins! (I got a Guardians of the Galaxy Kawaii Defenders in my pack). If you just want a free app for cracking virtual packs and don't care about ROI, there's nothing wrong with Quidd. It's just not for me or any collector who ever hopes to cash out any sort of profit.
One day Animoca Brands and Harmony may allow you to cash coins out for crypto or something. Then, I'd actually recommend this app, even if you don't truly own the items. It was a good acquisition just for the ability to gain the licensing agreements. There have been mentions of migrating Quidd collectibles to the blockchain, so it's definitely a possibility. But, it's just another digital collectible game for now, and a clunky one at that. Still, there's potential here and I hope Quidd becomes a true peer-to-peer marketplace for its vast database of cool digital collectibles.
If you are looking for true blockchain collectibles, check out our features on Enjin Marketplace and Auctionity, as well as OpenSea.io.
** I was in no way compensated for writing this article. All opinions in this article are my own.
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R.A. Rowell is a collectibles enthusiast who comes from a long history of collecting trading cards in both sports and in Trading Card Games. He is passionate about educating the world about the future promise and benefits of digital collectibles, both on the blockchain and off.
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