Tuesday, 3 July 2018

War Field – Shipping containers and lies #MinerOne

It seems to be a year of scam-ICOs. The word ICO (Initial Coin Offering) has been so sexy among scammers that it's hard to avoid bumping into a scam using it. And you really don't have to dig your hands deep into the murky side of the internet to find them. Some of these scams have gone as far as boldly advertising themselves online.

War Field – Miner One's sideshow project

I had subscribed to Miner One's newsletter to find out latest happenings in the scheme. The newsletter released on June 28 was headlined: "What Is WAR FIELD? A VIP Offer for the Miner One Community". 

The newsletter continues:  
"Miner One is pleased to announce that co-founder Andrius Mironovskis is leading a new project called WAR FIELD. 
WAR FIELD is an ICO and a "first-person shooter" video game that offers an ERC20 token called GOLDER. Players can stake GOLDER on their gameplay, win GOLDER from their opponents, withdraw them and trade them freely on cryptocurrency exchanges (once the ICO ends).  
"WAR FIELD is an exciting new project that will offer the video gaming community something they've never had before: the possibility of winning real, tradeable, and valuable cryptocurrency for skilful video gameplay," notes Miner One CEO Pranas Slusnys."

Okay, so it's going to be a new cryptocurrency that has no usage outside the gameworld of War Field. In-game currency isn't exactly a new invention and this fact is also acknowledged by War Field in its white paper. 

But what is this GOLDER coin for then? The white paper introduces a problem and a solution that GOLDER is supposed to provide:

"In-game currencies in the form of coins, credits, virtual notes, and tokens are nothing new. But usually they only work one way: a player uses real money to buy ingame tokens and spends them in the game on digital items such as power-ups, additional lives, equipment or enhancements, to shorten wait times etc." 
"By leveraging revolutionary blockchain technology, we will offer the possibility of withdrawing earned or saved GOLDER and selling them on exchanges or directly using the Ethereum network."

Well, you can call me sceptic but I really don't see how that's going to work out. I'm not saying that an in-game currency couldn't evolve into a currency that has actual value for some. However, I think there's actually a reason why for example many modern mobile games use in-game currencies that can't be reversed into fiat currency. – That's because it's in-game currency! You are supposed to lose your money in an instance when you exchange your fiat money for in-game money or purchase products made out of pixels; a new armour, a better gun and a new haircut for your game character.

However, generally speaking all in-game items and even in-game currencies are practically worthless. You can have a level 91 Elf with a Mighty Sword of Dragon Dung worth thousands of elf-credits, but the general public couldn't care less about your worthless gear and the amount of time you have invested in your game character. Game developers earn money from in-game purchases so it's not exactly in their interest to start running a convertible currency to go along with the gameworld.

The Team

The team and advisors behind War Field ICO and the game is partly the same that is behind the ICO of Miner One. 

Andrius Mironovskis, Rimas Puriuskis, Darius Udrys and Jonas Udris appear also in the team of Miner One. Click to enlarge.

The game

Well, let's see what's this War Field about. As the website of the game describes it: 
"WAR FIELD is the online multiplayer first-person shooter game that lets you win cryptocurrency from your opponents."

There's also an alpha version online to test the game free of charge so I took a test drive to see the actual game. I don't think there's much to say about. It's a crappy first-person shooter happening on a cargo ship. The game area is rather small and there isn't much else to see but shipping containers.

A screenshot from War Field. There was only one opponent but a lot of shipping containers. Too bad none of them seemed to have Miner One's Antminers installed.

A short video clip of the game:

The website and the lies

Interestingly the website of War Field is promising that the game is going to be released soon on Xbox and PlayStation in addition to "AppStore" and "Play Store". 

Well, I believe Microsoft and Sony would be the first to know if such game would be released on their platforms. I mean this will certainly be groundbreaking for them if they actually were going to integrate this cryptocurrency GOLDER into their services. I'm surprised that this hasn't been on news already.

The road map of War Field goes as far as even setting a date for the release of Xbox and PlayStation versions of the game. It's going be available on May 15 2019. I had serious doubts whether this information was accurate and if the company behind the game, The Blockchain International FZE, has even permission to use the brands of Xbox and PlayStation for marketing this investment opportunity. So I decided to contact Microsoft and Sony about the issue. The conversation I had with a representative of Microsoft only strengthened my suspicions. I haven't received any response from Sony yet.   

Release on Xbox and PlayStation on May 15 2019. I wonder if Microsoft and Sony know about this deal yet?

I contacted also the team behind War Field ICO via Telegram and asked about the issue. I was actually surprised to get answers to my questions because I had previously been kicked out from Miner One's Telegram group for asking questions. I was even more astonished how the team member of War Field blurted out that the release date on the Road Map was just something they had made up, and thus a lie. You can read the whole conversation below:

Click to enlarge.

Here's a link to an archived version of warfield.com just in case.

The Conclusion

Based on the fact that the team is blatantly lying to promote this ICO I consider it as a scam and not to be trusted. Lying about the game being released soon on Xbox and PlayStation and going as far as giving an exact date of this bullshit is really just more than enough to anyone even with half a brain to draw the right conclusion, not to even mention that Microsoft and Sony would have to integrate this scammy cryptocurrency to their platforms.