Star Atlas: Week in Review Podcast

Podcast 22: Star Atlas Weekly Review

In this episode, we recap the latest news of Star Atlas from the past week.

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Podcast Transcript

Hi, this is Matt with Intergalactic Herald. Just going over my weekly Star Atlas News recap. This one will be a little different than the previous podcast, where I’m gonna actually go ahead and give you some analysis on some of the things that happened this past week. So first, I wanted to go ahead and let you know why started this podcast. So I’ve been sort of figuring things out and getting up to this one. One is, how much time on the weekends do I have to make a podcast? Two production, how to create one set, what up? Things like that. So, but ultimately, my goal is to have created a podcast that is sort of more of an analysis of the past week of Star Atlas News. I do like the audio only format. there’s a lot of great content creators in Starla right now doing videos.
So thought it would be a way to differentiate myself and also a little bit easier to subscribe to a podcast and just listen to it while you’re going about different things during the day. too, you have those videos, you don’t need another video. So , I don’t necessarily need to do another video show. So that’s again, another reason why I thought an audio format might be interesting. Again, I’ve been kind of going through a slow evolution. The first podcast were, again, just going over the weekly recap. I’ve gone ahead and decided to move into these kind of solo analysis, but my ultimate goal is actually to create sort of a round table of guests other star atlas, either content creators, community members, anyways, that would like to get together and chat about Star Atlas over the weekend so we can get this up and published by the end of the weekend.
So, if you’re interested in any of that or just interested in the news, please do go to the intergalactic There’ll be a prompt there for sign up for the weekly recap that’ll come by email. you can also go to the contact page, send me any messages there, or you can reach out to me on the Star Atlas Discord. I am Intergalactic Herald, so you can reach me there. So let’s go ahead and get into the content of the past week, which of course was a big, big week. I think it was Monday. I, I saw the post and Discord about the company restructuring. I do have to admit, when I first saw it, I thought they were closing. I don’t know, just you, you don’t write things like that. So but I guess good and bad, it was just layoffs.
Of course, it would stink if you’re one of the people got laid off. But does sound like the company has decided to really work on restructuring and, and, you know, starting a bare feet anyways. But let’s get into some of the details first. So one thing that was mentioned, oh, so again, the announcement went out on Monday, I think, and then on Wednesday they had a I don’t know, some people were calling it M A A m M M A A asked me anything. I guess he did have a discord where he could post your questions, but it was pretty much the founders talking. And so I wrote down some notes that we can go over about what it was, and I’ll just kind of give you my thoughts on it. So, one, and I do have to mi mention I am a small business owner.
So there are some of the things I’m more interested in the, you know, business, the structure of the marketing plan, the revenue plans, things like that. And one thing that was mentioned was that layoffs are part of business, and that is very true. it’s kind of hard, I think, separating it especially when you are an employee. ’cause you never wanna be the person laid off. But if you step back and look at a business whether private or public people are resources to be managed no different than software costs or rent on buildings or whatever. So there are times where layoffs are necessary. we are in kind of a weird economic period right now where a lot of the big tech companies are laying off. did they grow too fast during kind of the the strangely boom of the pandemic, perhaps?
is this easy way to cut some top overhead? I think so in the case of Star Atlas, so the layoff seems both necessary for the cashflow reasons, but also kind of strategic. And by that I mean lots of things have been close to being released, so some of the people probably weren’t needed to, you know, push things over that last hurdle. But again, I guess my key point is that layoffs are part of business. It stinks if you’re the employee getting laid off, but from a corporate business owner standpoint it is part of the business cycle. The other interesting thing that was mentioned during the again, whatever you wanna call it, the town hall thing, was that AAA games are capital intensive. And I think, I think we kind of have a community of kind of lost sight of that, that if we were comparing Star Atlas to other major game, so I know the big one right now, and I already forgot the name of whatever the new sci-fi one coming out, but let’s just stick with the game names instead of the development studio.
So, you know, the next Call of Duty or whatever. I mean, those games are developed three years, takes three years to develop ’em. I, I mean, I think are a hundred, 200 mil. They’re, I’ve been told they’re, you know, read articles the same price as big blockbuster movies. So they cost a lot of money. And we’ve been touting Star Atlas as AAA video game since I got involved. So again 200 people, whatever the max was, doesn’t seem crazy. yeah, they’re capital intensive and other than the the poster offerings and some of the ship sails does seem like there hasn’t been a lot of ways that the company’s been able to bring in revenue in the last year or so. So I do think we have to keep that in mind that, again, AAA video games are capital intensive. One of the other interesting things I found that came out of it was, again, the acknowledgement that the initial kind of capital that came into start out was, was about $200 million.
Maybe that’s been mentioned before. Maybe I just didn’t hear it in Discord. but that was the first time I had really heard that. And it was interesting when Michael Wagner, the c e o, broke it down on where some of that money went. And I, I think it was 15 million for F T X. I have to admit, when that one came out, I thought that was a big deal, and I’m, I’m kind of feeling like this was the meeting where there’s that term radical candor. maybe it’s not exactly in this principle, but again, they were very, very open through this entire meeting with so many different things. And it’s not that they haven’t been transparent before, nor do they have to be transparent. They’re a public, I mean, sorry, they’re a private company. They can tell us what they want to, we’re we’re community.
I know a lot of people could say we’re the investors. Yeah. But again, I don’t know, we, we ask for a lot sometimes as, as customers, community members, whatever. But anyways, putting in context, that 15 million for F T X in a $200 million initial capital seems almost like a drop of the bucket, which makes maybe even more sense why they sold off their stake because it, it wasn’t there. the other interesting thing was I think it was a three $30 million tax bill, which again, seems like a lot of money, but when you look at $200 million or whatever, again, I’m not a tax expert. I don’t, I don’t, you know, I hire a bookkeeper for my stuff. yeah, you’re gonna pay some taxes. There’s just no way around that. and then the third thing that was also very interesting, again, I wasn’t around when the initial coins were offered, when the posters were offered.
I got involved more in, I think it was December of 2001. I’ll have to remember time, time goes by too much anyways, so most of that capital was, was already there before I got involved. But anyways, they mentioned how they had bought how much Atlas tokens, and again, like predates me, but I thought it was like something like 60 million. So anyways, you add all those up and it was like half of it went to just three things. I think that’s really, really interesting because of course, then the other half, or the other question is where did the other half go? But again, we can think of it, I think in, in scope of the layoffs employee salaries, , you know maybe they didn’t buy an office building or anything like that. I assume most the employees are remote remote team from the beginning.
but obviously paying all the outsourced development studios cost money. So you know, half went to things, half was probably used. So kind of makes sense. And again, I’m not saying they’re broke today, in fact, sounds like they still have some runway. So anyways, I just found all that kind of financial information really interesting, and I’m really glad they shared it with, with the community. another thing that was really interesting that came up was that all three founders are the, I should say the remaining three founders were on the live stream. again, if you were in the Discord a few months back with one of the founders leaving other than the C E O, Michael Wagner being very, very outreach, I mean, he’s in Discord all the time. did lots, lots of the external media stuff.
you don’t really hear a lot from the other two and definitely not the previous one. So I think that was really cool. And I also think it was necessary if you really think about it, if they’re gonna talk about restructuring and all that, and these are the founders, they better be talking to the community. And so I want to compliment all three of them for being very open, being on the call, talking contributing. obviously they, they all do a lot behind the scenes, but it was really great that they came and, and talked there. moving on, one of the questions I found really interesting was they mentioned the employee types and numbers that were retained. And again, if you’re curious you can go back to one of the couple different live streams that did replays of that.
I think star House TV and the Hologram News Network both had replays. but we kind of asked over for who was that go , and I guess I may, maybe I should have asked the question earlier. but it was like, well, we’re, we’re the 170 or 150, whatever the total was. anyways, again, it doesn’t really matter. they, they made the decisions they talked more about the future than looking in the past. But nevertheless, it kinda made me think about it. another interesting thing that came up through the thing, and I think this again goes back to both myself as a business owner and my desire to have some side businesses that are much more in the creator economy space was the topic that kept coming up about building an audience. and I think that is so important that we continually focus on that.
And again, what they call it, growing an audience or getting more users or building a community there, there needs to be new people coming in because the new people are the ones that bring more money. I mean, business runs on money, you gotta buy stuff. That’s how businesses work. They’re not hobbies. So again, I was really happy to hear them constantly talking about different ways to grow an audience, providing different parts of the star Atlas ecosystem that could be of interest to people. but going back to something I’ve been thinking about since I kind of came in and was trying to figure out, ’cause again, I came in during kind of the, just before the drop off in the web three space, I guess the bear market was one thing that really intrigued me about Star Atlas that wasn’t a traditional video game, but yet also wasn’t a traditional or traditional is probably Ron Red a new crypto thing.
Was that it did seem like that star atlas, the ecosystem has at least three parts that I think are very crystal clear to divide it. One of course is the game. And we of course talk about the AAA u e five game, but it was always talked about other games. Now again, we could debate whether or not score, stream, scream, Sage, whatever was, was ever part of the plan. Again, I wasn’t at the beginning, so I, I don’t know. But it, it never, and now we have the companion app slash mobile app slash fitness app. this almost seems to make sense to me. Games and again, also knowing that to develop a triple A game is gonna be multiple years, especially from a game studio that never existed. Seems perfectly fine, but there’s always been this thing that was really intriguing to me.
oh, and I guess before I get to that, there was always the idea of a crypto economy with coins buying and selling, trading and all that. and then by extension, the lockers and I, I guess we can say the Dao, but I think the Dow kind of has multi roles there. But anyways, there was definitely an economy of, of, of tokens and then that gets into blockchain and crypto and all the things there. So I, I think again, that was intriguing and definitely distinct part of Star ao. And then there’s the third one that I call the Metaverse, which of course we’ve talked about it. But what is a metaverse? again, a year ago we might have had the more debate. Now it’s, it’s just a word, especially after Facebook tried to take over the term, but I attribute it more to people who want to be in a virtual space.
So to me, a metaverse has a spatial component, and that’s maybe where the Dow comes in. ’cause I don’t know where you put the politics of a Dow. Is it a game? Sure. Is it an economy kind of metaverse? Sure, we own it. It can function like a constitution. Again, I’m not really sure, I’m still struggling where to put the dow on this. But anyways, the point of all this is I think we have to think of Star Atlas not just as a game. and I think that’s what’s really interesting. Some people might want to be involved in everything. Others may only wanna be in one aspect of it. That’s awesome. That’s, that’s what’s new and unique about it. If you’re in Call of Duty, you’re in a game period. If you’re buying Bitcoin, you’re in a economy. again, metaverse is new, so we don’t have a really good thing to say, oh yeah, this is what a metaverse is ’cause we’re designing it.
But anyways, my point of all of this is to say that I don’t, I think we have to never lose sight that we were never told that this is just a game. Yes, we saw the initial video, and that’s a game. But constantly, and, and again, I’ll give Michael Wagner a lot of credit for this. Every time I’ve heard him talk on everything, he’s always emphasizing all these different aspects. I don’t know if a billion people ever get into the economy of star laws, hey, but dream big. Why not more, more power to them? you know, you gotta aim, aim for the stars, pun intended. But again, I think we need to about those. So when we look at different things that come out, I think we have to think of it as it was never just a game. There was always more parts to it.
So, and, and this leads directly into the one thing that during the meeting that kind of, I think went a little bit off the rails, but again, was this idea of a poll and what do you want next? The mobile Game Companion app, fitness app or some uni uni UI, user interface improvements for Rec Sage, I, I don’t know the names changed so much. , I’ll, I’ll give St. Atlas credit for that. Somebody on that team loves to come up with brand names. cool. I’m no, no fault to them. I mean, it’s, it’s great. I just can’t keep track of everything in the acronym sometimes. But anyways, but this is what I think is really interesting is if you step back and think about, again, not just as a game, but actually as trying to develop these three parts, an ecosystem, a platform, whatever which of these actually bringss more people in?
And you could say both. if it doesn’t look pretty, you’re not gonna get, people wanna play the game. But I do have to admit the idea of this mobile game that you could actually run on your phone has nothing to do with crypto, has sort of a, a fitness component which is very similar to, you know, all the biometric things, or not biometric, but I dunno, quantified self, all the fitness apps, walking, get your steps that then still has some gamified components if you’re in the main game. Anyways, I think these are all some very, very interesting developments that really do show that they have been thinking about this whole thing in so many parallel paths. Now, gluc aside, you could say, Hey, they never stayed focused. They being the star Atlas decision makers by picking one thing and running till the end.
But again, I kind of think they did pick all of these things and again, fault them for being too just trying to do too many things or shooting for the moon or whatever phrase you want to use. but again, I think we have to look at what we have and where’s the best thing. Having said that, polls are just polls, surveys are surveys. you know, I got my opinions, it’s irrelevant. but going forward, so next topic after we kind of got through all of the questions they started again, I know it’s called dropping Alpha. Again, I came from a generation where we called a beta, whatever. Anyways, they did drop a lot, a lot of new information. And again, I felt that was both good, but also very, very necessary at this point. If you’re gonna lay off so many people, not close a company to say, well, we’ll, we’ll strain this on, or as of course the inside joke in, you know, four to six weeks that’s just not gonna fly this week.
So I was again, very happy that they basically just shared everything. So from all the details of the mobile app to this new Sage lab, which again, not sure I completely understand, but again, that’s for other content creators to figure the stuff out and educate. So I can catch up on all this stuff. But again, yeah, release something early without perfect interface. again, I think somebody was mentioning later about how was it y online is basically for spreadsheet warriors or something. I’m like, oh, okay, cool, yeah, let’s do that. Fine. but again, I think again, a lot of things were coming out and I think that was really good. a lot of information was given about the u showroom what’s going on with the u e five development. Again, this was all great. so again, positives, I mean positives for sharing everything.
So a couple other things they shared that caught my attention. One was something about a race schedule, which again, I think goes back to the showroom, which goes back to the racing component. And I have to admit for once that finally feels like, oh, I get it. Yeah, a race. ’cause I was thinking, yeah, you just go in there to run around the track. I mean, people have been comparing to Mario Kart, which again, back in the day, that was fun. I enjoyed it. We were all, so four of us sitting there. I’m sure it works, you know, online too. But this idea, and I don’t know if they’re intending this, but I immediately thought, well, yeah, that’s eSports. Now we have a reason, you know you schedule a race and people know, and then there’s a spectator mode. So again, I didn’t really see the race component, maybe ’cause those came style just wasn’t appealing to me.
But I’m like, okay, this feels really well thought out. And again, again, as an aside, I wanna be shocked that if they, wherever they sit, maybe they get their whiteboards, who knows? maybe they’re all virtual. I think they probably have developed three to five years worth of content of what they’re gonna produce and have just been dripping it out slowly. So anyways, just a race schedule just kind of made me think, Hmm, I get it. Okay. Some eSports, yeah, in game watching, you know. Great. the other thing they mentioned, again, this kind of goes back to the theme I’m really interested is growing audiences, was they did mention some changes to the referral system, but there was names mentioned, and I didn’t know what this other software was. I know the past one just didn’t seem to have you set it up, but it, there were, you know, the referral affiliate promotion part wasn’t really that, it didn’t give you a lot back anyways.
but the fact that they’re thinking about that too, because again, I think that really goes again, back to how you can raise or build an audience. So I think that was really great. So those are the highlights. I came away from the thing after going listening to it on replay and then reading a few and watching a few videos of other people, other content creators. So and then the only Asher note to add again, I’ll get better and put dates and times when I see these things. But anyways somewhere in Discord, which then was exposed via Twitter, I think the one I saw was from Signal, but I’m maybe other people posted, but that was just the first one that popped up on my Twitter, or excuse me, X feed, whatever Twitter feed was that they Michael Wagner posted that they looked at all their financials or whatever, and noted they have an 18 months of runway, assuming very conservative projections.
So that, I have to say, was probably the best summary of the entire meeting if it took a day to come out, because after the X F T X issue, the talk of runway was always pervasive in Discord, came up in town halls. And again, I think, I think again, we just have this feeling, especially people who have in quote unquote invested, bought ships, spent money, spent money, you know, whether right or wrong, we, we wanna return on our investment because it’s an investment. If this was just a game and we paid 60 bucks for it and we gotta play it, I think we’d all have different things. And may, maybe that’s right or wrong, I don’t know. But again, the, if they’re not gonna be around in six months, then yeah, maybe I should sell now. again, this is a whole part of the economy thing where, you know things get confused anyways, point being 18 months, that’s a long time.
I think the runway question now will disappear. we’ll be more focused on the game. What comes out? Is it fun? Is it not fun? those are all natural things for gamers, I think about. I do think we need to keep focused on how to bring more people in. how do we lower the barriers to entry? How do we teach crypto to the people that aren’t crypto savvy? you know, if, if, if there’s nothing wrong with being crypto bros or GR gals, whatever and that’s your focus and that’s what you find cool, but I’m in it for a gaming. I wanna play a game. I like to have the, the different aspects of the Metaverse Crypto and things like that. But that I, I wanna, I want, I like space. I like sci-fi. that’s what intrigued me to do this.
And then I can learn crypto and some other things. So this was all a positive, but nothing can be sustainable, no business could sustain without customers. So I think, again, we need to always be focused as a community. Hopefully start out with, I think Star Atlas is definitely focused on this. It’s how to bring more people into there. ’cause without that there’s no revenue and no way in the world this can be self-sustainable. Forget price of tokens and all that. So anyways that’s it. That’s my thoughts of the week. again in summary, again this week, pretty much as I was going through all the things, anything before Monday just doesn’t even seem to register anymore. oh yeah, we’re doing another never alone mission campaign. Yeah, okay. Until I put out new things that, that just not gonna move anybody to think about it.
So anyways, so those are my thoughts for the just wanna do my sort of places you can find me, things I’m working on. Hopefully you’d be interested in some of these as you can. So again first is, again, if you’d like to join me on one of these we can review podcasts. I’d love to have guests so we can all chat about topics. the topic list is the weekly recap. So if you want to go to intergalactic you should see a popup in a few seconds, but just click the weekly recap or the newsletter and sign up for that. And then I’ll, that’ll come to your mailbox each Sunday night. I’m also working on two other star Atlas projects. ironically, I was supposed to announce, or I was gonna announce him at the Alice Brew on that Wednesday when the meeting took over.
So I’d been pushing really hard to get everything ready, but, oh well, life happens. So the, the two things, and again, I wanna thank STAR os for their builder program. I think this is, again, a really awesome opportunity that anyone who wants to try something has some ideas could start different efforts slash businesses. So one, I am very interested in the merch store use of the ip. So I have launched a intro intro to my merch store. So it’s called Intergalactic Gear. You can go to intergalactic there’s nothing to buy yet because I wanna hear from you guys. What do you guys wanna buy? so I can put shirts and t-shirts and mugs and whatever. but I’m really interested in community and driving. I see what the community wants to buy selfishly.
’cause if you don’t want it, why should I build it? So anyways, you can go to intergalactic and click on the button for merch survey. I’d really appreciate any feedback. if you drop your email address in there, it’s not required, but I’d appreciate it. you’ll go into kind of the initial community group, and I will make sure that group gets opportunities for more feedback, discount promo codes, all that good stuff as being part of helping me figure out what we should should sell to the community. And then the third thing I have is I’m calling it a non Guild Guild. I have no problems with guilds. I think they’re a great organizing mechanism. as humans, we’re all into social interaction. online is awesome. I don’t have time to be part of a traditional guild. I work, I run my business during the day.
I got family commitments at night. But I too would like to hang out with people who maybe fit those mo or fit those things or just want to, you know, be part of something. So the first phase of this is really just a community. nothing wrong with the star os Discord. There’s just too many, too much there. , I can’t follow it when I check at the end of the day. So I’m looking to actually create a different community called the Intergalactic Coalition. Yes, I have a thing with the intergalactic, but that’s called branding. I’m a marketing guy. So intergalactic, there’s an interest survey there. Please if you’re interested read that and if it fits you, please sign up. ’cause I’m looking to get critical mass. But the real key I’m trying to do is do all different community on a different platform than Discord.
Again, nothing wrong with Discord, it just doesn’t suit how I like to communicate. So I’m looking at a platform that allows for threaded discussions and email alerts so you can go away for a couple days and actually not lose track of what you’re interested in. However, it’s a paid platform. So I basically need people to commit to wanting this kind of environment and kind of the people that want to be in there and, and basically help, help pay for that. Unfortunately, I can’t sponsor that unless the merch store takes off. So one way or another, everything’s here. But anyways, so to wrap this up and thanks again for listening. if you’re interested in getting my weekly recap, please go to inter intergalactic If you’re interested in helping design a merch store, please go to intergalactic And if you’re interested in community we, again, we’re calling it a non Guild Guild, please go to intergalactic Thanks. This is Matt with Intergalactic Care. Talk to you again next week.

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