To the Splinterlands Community
Today we have had to make the extremely difficult decision to reduce the size of the Splinterlands team by roughly 45%. Before anyone asks - no, we did not have any funds in FTX or any other at-risk exchanges or services, nor do we have any debt or use leverage in any way.
The company had built up a long runway of funds in a combination of cash and crypto, and we used those funds throughout the year to build out our roadmap. Unfortunately, the continually weakening cryptocurrency market - in addition to the broader markets - was a double-whammy for our business. Not only did the value of our cryptocurrency holdings decrease, shortening our available runway, but also the amount of revenue that the business could bring in dropped as our community also felt the effects of the falling markets.
With the recent, incredibly disheartening events occurring in the crypto industry, it is clear that this market weakness may be far worse and last for far longer than all of us had hoped, and that Splinterlands needed to take action to ensure that we can make it through a prolonged downturn and still be in a position to lead the industry on the other end.
Focus on Delivering
Going forward, the Splinterlands team will be 100% focused on one thing - delivering on our promises to the community. There will be no new games or presales for the foreseeable future. Despite having a smaller team, we believe we can be much more efficient through being laser focused on delivering value to the community - our most important asset.
We will be working on an updated roadmap for the organization for 2023 that we plan to release before the end of the year, and we expect that it will (at least) contain the following items:
- Tower Defense
- SPS Validator Nodes
- New Player Experience (new)
- Gameplay & Reward Updates (new - to help address advantages gained by bots at both high and low leagues, among other things)
- DEC & Voucher Sinks
- Genesis League: Goals
Through this restructuring of the company, accompanied by a planned capital raise, we can put ourselves in a position where we don't need to worry about running out of runway and we can instead focus on executing on the above roadmap, which we believe will bring immense value into this ecosystem and to the community over the long term.
To Our Community
We recognize that in the crypto/blockchain/web3 space, community is not just important - it is the heart and soul of these projects, and Splinterlands is no exception. We know that what got us here, and what will eventually propel the project to new heights in the future, is everyone reading this message. What makes the community so much more important in web3 projects than in traditional projects is asset ownership. Asset ownership creates a much closer connection between company and customers, and even customers to other customers. We are all in this together and we're going to work together to get through it.
Some people may see this as a reason to sell their assets and move on. As much as we hate to see anyone go, we also celebrate the fact that they owned assets which they are free to sell when they wish. For everyone else, we believe this marks a new beginning for Splinterlands. With these changes we have positioned the organizion to ride out a long and protracted bear market and/or global recession while at the same time continuing to build out our products and delivering value for our community.
Finally, we are planning to have a Town Hall call with the community at 6:00 PM ET / 23:00 UTC today, Thursday, November 17th, in the Splinterlands Discord server, where we can talk through the changes and the vision for the future in more detail and answer questions. We hope to see you there.
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While its never good to have to go through this, my response to these tough decisions is that I have more confidence in you rather than less. You can count of me sticking around and I'm appreciative of what you do for us always.
I also want to say that I know some of the people that were downsized, and my heart goes out to them as well. You have built an incredible company and the quality of the people in the whole organization was top-notch, so I know it was a very very tough decision.
Thank you to all the team members that have to depart for the great work you did to help us in build this game. You will certainly be missed!
Thank you to Splinterlands as a whole for all the value you've created. Keep your heads up, we have higher mountains to climb in the future!!!
Ooof, my thoughts are with the Splinterlands team making this tough decision and with the people who are in the unfortunate position of being let go. This bear marking is proving challenging for many to survive, so I applaud the team's forethought and transparency at this time.
I like the changes
This wasn't unexpected to those of us paying attention. You put a lot of irons in the fire and grew the team REALLY FAST. That was really dependent upon continued massive liquidity in the crypto markets which has been drying up recently. Better to rip off the bandaid now than to be in a state of denial and become insolvent. If people decide to leave because you are making sound business decisions, I hope the door doesn't hit them on the way out. My thesis hasn't changed, I will continue to participate and accumulate assets where I can, so long as you keep executing on the bullets above. My hope is that you can work with the community to prioritize that list.
I am sure you'll have these valuable folks on speed dial should things turn around in the not so distant future.
My heart goes out to all the team members effected by this. Hoping you find work you love.
This is a High risk industry. I still have the fullest respect for the team having to make these tough decisions. Hoping crypto rebounds fast for everyone involved. Best of luck
Look I know I am critical but I still believe in yall. I know these times might be tough and Im sorry to anyone who might be losing a job but SPL will come out of this stronger and better than ever. I hope anyone let go will be put back on the payroll once the bullrun comes back around. I really hope this can be more of a back burner than a closing down of departments.
Sorry to hear this but definitely seems like the right call to make under the circumstances. Better to scale down than burn down! I'm confident this gets you through this and you'll be able to rebuild coming out on the other end.
The people we lost today were talented, kind, dedicated, and good humans to be around. This wasn't something that we wanted to do, but something these market conditions forced us to do. I'm hopeful in better times we can bring back our friends, family, and coworkers. We're grateful for their service and proud of their work. Many blessings of peace as we all go through this crunch and here's to better days on the other side of it.
Hugs to you too my East coast sister!
A fellow fan of Joshua Fluke I see :)
No, I've not heard of him. Who's that?
A youtube content creator focusing on Corporate Cringe and related topics
Oh interesting! Sounds like we'd have a similar viewpoint :)
Lol don't we all love some good old corporate cringe
at the end the best stay. Makes all better. Like the same happens in tech the last months too.
This is kind of a shitty attitude towards people who just got fired. In listening to the town hall, it was more around who was bringing in dollars to the company. E.g. support largely were so good at their job they cleared all the queue and so weren't needed anymore. They were some of the best, but they no longer made financial sense to keep on the payroll. Doesn't mean they weren't the best at what they did.
Sounds shitty, because it's a shitty topic.
At the end all companies in tech fire people. So workforce becomes cheaper = good for the business.
Sure it sounds like an asshole attitude, but it is the truth and got for asset holders.
I understand the need to fire people in tough times, but saying it's because they weren't the best is what I'm taking umbrage with. They were very good at those jobs. It was just decided those jobs weren't worth the cost to the company at this time. But saying it's because they weren't the best is a bit of a slap in the face to all the great work they put in, even if it was for the best from the company's perspective.
It's not a moral point. The logic is, you don't fire the people you really need. That's it.
Maybe splinterlands fire random people. But normally you fire the people that are not the best.
It really sucks, it's ok to be bummed for a while, even as we know the future is bright. While tech moguls destroy value, we stand ready to replace it!
Are you getting pumped hard? I'm glad you are so fucking pumped that the "bear" is dead.
Look at all these "kind, dedicated and good humans" that you are around. Are you proud of all of them, you fat fucking pig filthy mother fucker. I bet you are so fucking proud of the way you all colluded to harass, block, intimidate, silence and bully someone into their grave. And then you all repeated the exact same filthy tactics with me, to make sure your crimes are kept under wraps. Does that news make you proud you fucking dog. That is the only dead thing you should all be proud of. Im sure you will all be celebrating like the filthy pigs that you all are.
Go and fucking choke your fraudster mother fucker. You and all the filthy dogs who were all part of this disgusting behaviour that you have no fucking shame about, and never will.
The only thing you are proud of, is protecting all the thieves, cheating fraudsters in your insider circles that you collude with to make sure that your crimes are covered up.
You are a fucking criminal and an animal with no fucking remorse for anything you all did to destroy my brothers life.
thanks for letting us now of the choice you had to make going forward.
Overhiring is a real thing. This is not surprising and it might just turn out for the better. Remember that his game was brought to you by a very small group of people in the first place. Going back to the roots and delivering on promises instead of creating new promos for whales is the best thing players could've hoped for. Of course it's sad for team members, but with Splinterlands experience on your CV, I doubt they'll stay unemployed for long.
Ya i remember those days i just invested in the game after playing for 6 months. Still been the best equity invrestment i made in a long time
Very hard decision was made, but I believed its the good for the company for long run. I hope and pray that some miracle will happen and I will stay because I still believe and enjoy the game. There's a rainbow after the rain. WE ALL GONNA MAKE IT!!!
Sad news, but I think this move will pay off in the long run and help Splinterlands become even stronger.
good move on your part
no bot ban - no future
and since i know the standard answer too well: there is absolute no connection between decentralization and bot allowance. zero. nada. its just an excuse. a pretty cheap one to be honest.
Who would you blame if they did ban the bots and it didn't magically solve everything you think it would?
how did the bot ban work for wow?
how did the bot ban work for diablo?
how did the bot ban work for any other game?
bot bans dont work. period. get over it.
The game wouldn't run without bots. It's an easy target of attack for people and I hated them at one time but they are crucial for the game.
This really sucks for all the people involved but this doesn't really come as a surprise. I feel like this could have been prevented had you actually listened to the things the community as a whole (not just mavs) have been saying for months. Your constant push and focus on sales of unfinished products aside.. a lot of ground could've been made with improving the new player experience, quality of life updates, and sorting out the massive bot/smurf problem. On top of that we have the constant shift of rewards to higher leagues, team members botting sales, decentralized governance that's becoming more and more centralized every day, and numerous changes to sales after the fact pertaining to what many people considered deciding factors they used to inform their purchases in the first place. All of that only increases angst and division amongst players and the team. This is an unfortunate outcome but hopefully the team actually learns from it and comes back exponentially stronger.
Lost my web3 job recently for similar reasons. (Well not lost, but company could no longer afford to pay me as funds near 0, so I simply am a volunteer now)
Company could have done better, I believe. Expanding too fast, pushing sales on unfinished projects, not taking time to properly tune up previous releases, not listening enough to the average user/investor and too much to the whales users and outside partners.
Been similar across many projects, but it's good in the long run I believe. Shakes out the weak ones, helps the strong ones refocus and create a better system.
I think too many projects tried to follow in the footsteps of others, creating psuedo DAOs, centralized governance, bad tokenomics, useless utilities or sinks, and lack of focus on fundamentals. Not calling out any in particular, but I think there have been harmful trends that some accidentally follow.
Agreed. The best example in the forefront of my mind is the sheer number of unrelated projects that were popping up and immediately dropping land like it was the best thing in the world. Over half of them didn't even make sense to have land in the first place! Wen land? More like why land? lol
It is sad to see talented people go but it was expected as the team had grown to 150 people in a short period which in the current market conditions is not financially sustainable. Also glad to see focus remains on key growth components such as land. Lastly, very happy to hear that new player experience will be added as a key focus. Upward and onward!
You have to do what you have to do. 2023 is not going to be fun.
I'm sorry it has come to this, but it what it is.
I plan to continue to support Splinterlands, the best is yet to come.
Your transparency is awesome. After FTX, I would have been surprised (and worried) if something like this didn't happen. Keep up the great work!
Honestly, while downsizing is never an easy decision, I see it as a positive decision at the moment. Sights were set very high and I feel the company was spreading a little too thin... not a criticism at all as I have done this myself with my company!! It's ambition, something to commend not criticize.
And now, the decision to downsize is also a very commendable action. It's a hard decision to make but imo a very wise one when necessary. The ability to recognize the best course of action to move forward, especially when it's a difficult decision like this only shows strength and foresight. This also gives the company the chance to really focus on the current projects and see them through without the added distraction of trying to develop more and more. This is a good shift of focus and necessary to get back to the core I think.
Now we can focus on what we have, make SPL the game the best it can be, and be prepared to move forward when the timing is right. Solid projects take advantage of bear markets by looking inward and making foundations stronger.
Come back stronger.
Sure we are all addicted to the game by now anyway so we can't leave even if we wanted to.
Sorry to hear of this. But the community will be here for the long-run. We hope to provide you all a home at the company once again someday.
hello, how many employees left? how many dev are working on Splinterlands and GLS?
Well, if it's any condolence, we've got LAYERS upon LAYERS of chaos coming down the pike - on NUMEROUS fronts - and so this is just one "casualty of war" (blip). Agreed that community is the ONLY thing that gets people through "the dark stuff". Problem is, many have been SHELTERED from the dark stuff, primarily by the ILLUSION which the debt-based, (fiat toilet-paper), monetary system creates. Many people believe the MYTH that when things fall apart everything descends into complete ANARCHY, when the reality is that Homo Sapiens Sapiens ultimately thrive in "small groups". Let's just pray that the "crypto gods" intervene, and soon...
This does come as a surprise considering that you always said in the town halls how well ylthe company is prepared for the bear... but might be a good decision
Thank you for your honesty and decisive action.
Glad you promised to fulfill promises. :)
Hard, but necessary choice for the long-term. Best wishes.
I was so sad about not being a team member anymore as I have always loved Splinterlands and I still do! I love the game and the community. I have been here since May of 2018 and will always be here. I would never think of selling all my assets as to me, Splinterlands is just getting started! #splinterlands4life
You do an awesome job promoting Splinterlands @clove71 . I love your live streams.
Anyone that is not subscribed to Clove on Twitch should be. You can find her here : https://twitch.tv/cloveandty
Thank you so much! You are an
Awesome streamer yourself over on Theta!
Sorry to hear about the need for the staff reduction. Never a fun time being let go or having to let people go due to no fault of their own.
trim the fat and make it more efficient. Best for the longterm - adds best $/value.
But sure it sucks.
It shows a lot of responsibility and it is a decision that earns a lot of respect!
That sucks for all the people who were laid off. And only a month before Christmas.
Seems like the $1.5 million in lost revenue from un-sold Runis could have come in handy. If only someone had thought to make them look desirable...
It sucks but it's business and it's something I learned long ago.
Leaner and meaner is good
It is just the normal transition of the company as it goes through good and bad times but Splinterlands will never go down, it is beyond these occasional situations like this one!
This might be the ultimate market bottom signal. Not the Splinterlands bottom though. What an absolute dumpster fire that just doesn't stop burning.
Sorry to everyone who just lost their job. This core team needs to hire someone who understands the basics of supply and demand before they hurt more people.
The funny thing is I was writing a post about how I thought the team was in trouble and needed to push dec higher to make use of their huge dec holdings. Then DEC shot up and they came out and said it was them buying so I thought wow, either I'm dead wrong or they are making an enormous mistake. So I scrapped the post thinking I must be wrong. I mean, they can't be that dumb, right?
Nope, wasn't wrong. What were they thinking buying up all that DEC when clearly they were on edge? Oh right, they thought Lux Vega would push it all the way to peg (just like they though Tower defense packs would) and they could unload it a few bucks richer. Oh and Matt's flywheel (free energy machine but for money) would kick in.
I don't believe for a second this FTX thing is anymore than the excuse they were looking for after everyone of Matt's brilliant schemes didn't work to create the summer of Splinterlands they believed woudl save them. It's a good game and an interesting economy but Matt is not some super genius and selling whales lots of stuff so they can drain the economy of everything smaller players bring in is not going to bring peace, prosperity, or freedom to anyone.
Splinterlands has given us, the players more than any other and more good has been done than anyone has ever imagined in their wildest dreams. Many like me from the not so fortunate countries have had their lives changed. Literally. We, the players would never leave or forsake. This too shall pass. So, be strong, team.
Maybe is time to think of - and market - Splinterlands not like a crypto investment but as a fun game for everyone (and not just for the crypto/blockchain/web3 community). Attracting a larger player base could contribute for the financial sustainability of the business. In this sense, there should be proposals and measures that do not benefit whales - as everything that passed recently - but sardines, and that create a much better new player experience.
Always tough to be affected by downturns as a company and as individuals but the role of management in a company is to make sure that the company can survive prolonged tough times, which it seems to me you guys are doing. So well done of you to take the decision to react now before it is too late.
Hi im sorry to hear that splinterlands has to fire people. My thoughts are with those people and wish then luck finding a new job, also with aggroed because making those decisions aren't the most easy ones.
My thoughts are with the people who had to be let go during these troubled times. Stay strong, things will change, eventually! Splinterlands will survive this. I was hoping to see this happening without VC money, but funds have to come from somewhere if the runway is getting short.
For sorry for everyone who lost their jobs.
The difference between long term success and failure is the ability to take the tough decisions and be prepared for future economic circumstances.
Firing good people to batten the hatches for recession is a really shitty job, but the differences between companies that survive and those that don't.
Instead of a random changing buff/nerf everyday which seems to have caught your attention I would implore you to instead use another partial solution.
Situation/issue/problem 1: Currently the Splinterlands game does not celebrate the holidays like many other large online games do.
Situation/issue/problem 2: Many players feel that using a bot is cheating, exploiting and anti-competitive.
The current problem of bots in the game is seen by many players as exploitation and anti-competitive and not something we signed up for. The team has expressed 2 things in response to this when this issue has been brought up recently at a town hall meeting;
note: It could also take up a significant amount of time and resources playing "account whack-a-mole.
Bots operate off of a number of calculations and this proposal seeks to throw a monkey wrench into all of that.
Battle history: How do we create randomity in the battle history and make it extremely difficult for a bot to analyze it in order to create winning teams to use for botting but at the same time not confuse new and recent players or create a sense of game instability or put buffs or nerfs on cards that don't make sense that will be out of character for those cards, i.e., make fast cards slow or swimming cards fly, etc.?
Card randomity: How do we make it a regular thing to constantly change "active cards and summoners" so as to constantly mess up bot program calculations but do it in such a way as to not create any confusion or instability in the game for new users or make it unpleasant to play.
In the spirit of adhering to the decentralized approach to confronting bots I propose a partial solution that is meant to be 1 tool in a list of tools that the team can use to make botting the Splinterlands game more difficult.
I propose a new type of summoner called a holiday summoner. This summoner is a ghost card (everyone can use it) It comes from one of the older set of monsters or newer rewards cards so as to create the least amount of randomity to the new players. It is temporary and can only be used on that day of the holiday.
As an example lets take Halloween. The ghost card summoner for that holiday could have been Boogeyman. In this case it is no longer playable as a monster card and is now a summoner ghost card that everyone can use but on that day only and it is BCX penalty exempt. But a holiday summoner does not operate the same way as a regular summoner.
The buffs/nerfs on a holiday summoner activate based on what league you are playing in. In this case for boogeyman in bronze/silver it applies slow. In gold it adds rust and in Diamond+ it adds demoralize.
This creates a whole new class of randomity that the creative team can use to throw a constant monkey wrench in both the battle history analytics and card inventory calculation for bots and does it in such a way as to be acceptable to players.
Holidays are an accepted form of randomity for all players new and old alike and this gives the creative team an unlimited amount of possibilities as there are hundreds of holidays and even fictional holidays can be used. All sorts of fake outs, misleads and everything under the sun can be used to make bot programmers lives difficult.
I still haven’t tried the game yet but it’s top of my list to do when time allows . I wish you guys the best!!
Times are hard presently, still Never give up, never surrender :-)
Firing 45% of your staff a month before Christmas is just a great PR move! A great one indeed. Unbelievable. I promptly liquidated my assets and left Splinterlands this morning. Won't be looking back either. You guys are in for a rough 2023 and that's assuming you even survive after this. You were warned by so many of us that you were growing too fast and needed to focus on the core items, including land and new player experience. You ignored this at your own peril. I have no sympathy except for the poor people who are out of a job and likely no chance to find a new one until January at the latest.
Whilst I don't agree with every choice and update Splinterlands has made. It is not hard to see that they have made those decisions with the games best interests in mind.
The result is the most successful blockchain game that has a working game economy that can still deliver returns for the players. Most blockchain games don't have this.
It's great to see Splinterlands is proactive and reacting to current events.
I look forward to playing and earning on Splinterlands for many years to come.
Keep up the awesome work guys. You have a great community behind you.
It's a dark time for crypto projects. Good to see that you guys at splinterland are doing all that's necessary to contain the situation. Kudos
Has the Splinterlands team considered another crowdfunding campaign to raise additional capital? You've got a great product, but in times of need these types of things fall down quite low on the priority list for people trying to survive.