In May, Kinguin launched their NFT Marketplace, offering its customers an entirely new range of products and positioning Kinguin as a company building for an NFT and Web3 future. Krzysztof Pająk, Technical Leader at Kinguin, who was responsible for developing and implementing the Kinguin NFT Marketplace. In just three months, Kryzsztof and his team were able to work with Immutable X to take the Kinguin NFT Marketplace from an idea, to full-scale implementation.
Throughout the development process, Krzysztof placed great emphasis on the importance of awareness as a team leader. Being tuned in to both his teams, and the wider Kinguin companies’ activities, allowed him to effectively manage and upskill his colleagues, as they tackled the challenges that came with the implementation of the Kinguin NFT Marketplace. We sat down with Krzysztof to chat about the project, its challenges, and the long term advantages both his team and Kinguin will benefit from.
I was initially briefed on the Kinguin NFT Marketplace idea in March 2021. We had just begun our conversations with Immutable X and the reality of a fully implemented Kinguin NFT Marketplace was still a long way down the line. It wasn’t until February 2022 that we were asked to begin the process of building a fully functional NFT marketplace. Throughout the three month implementation process I was able to significantly grow my team, starting with a few in-house developers, and ending with a fully capable blockchain development department.
When we began the project, we entered into a series of calls with our partner Immutable X. Our team had very little experience developing on the blockchain and almost no experience of dealing with layer 2 protocols. Immutable X was able to provide us with ready-to-use API solutions, a full Software Development Kit (SDK) and a suite of fantastic documentation that allowed us to effectively and efficiently implement their system to our Marketplace. Parallel to the development benefits of our partnership, Immutable X also enabled us to list NFT’s from popular blockchain games such as Gods Unchained. The future of gaming is decentralization, and games such as Gods Unchained give the players the ability to genuinely own items and products from within a game that they can sell or trade, like any other asset. Kinguin has always been a future-focused company, looking forward to what is next, rather than catching up with what has already been, and the NFT marketplace is a great example of how we are preparing for the Web3 future and beyond.
Despite the excellent support we received from Immutable X, there were many challenges throughout the development process; most notably team capacity and baseline knowledge of both first and second layer blockchain solutions. In order to effectively tackle the problem and deliver the completed product on time, we onboarded additional team members quickly and collectively researched and upskilled each other when it came to handling the 2nd layer protocols we were less familiar with. I believe our collective awareness, of not only our strengths and weaknesses but also the gaps in our knowledge, allowed us to quickly and effectively source solutions to problems we had never encountered before. Throughout the development process, my team and I were able to learn a whole suite of new skills, effectively equipping us to manage any future blockchain related demands that Kinguin may face.
As I reflect on the completed project, I also reflect on how we adjusted our development goals to better focus our efforts. At the start of the project we had a single goal in mind – to finish the integration of the marketplace in time. However, as we began to problem solve and discuss implementation of the project, we also began to think about the marketplace in terms of ‘customer stories’ – i.e. the different ways in which our customers would be able to interact with the marketplace. In total we had 14 different ‘user stories’ to make a reality, and our goals were to ensure that the customer could follow any one of those 14 scenarios by the time we were ready to go live with the integration. By thinking about the implementation in terms of how our customers would experience the product, and how each of these scenarios would provide value to our customers, we were able to focus our efforts and solve problems more effectively to ensure we met the tight deadline. I think this reflects Kinguin’s wider attitude to customer service and showcases how we develop and implement ideas with the customer’s experience a priority.
I am extremely proud of my team and what we were able to accomplish in such a short time frame. By analyzing problems with a customer-first approach and having the awareness as a team to collectively support and upskill each other we were effectively able to future proof our development skills and support Kinguin on its journey into the NFT industry. As Kinguin begins to develop more products and initiatives in this area, I believe we will truly be able to build something special and unique for our customers, which is really exciting for everyone at Kinguin. The completion of the Kinguin NFT Marketplace firmly plants our stake as a key player in the future of Web3 ecommerce and as we continue to develop and grow, our position will only get stronger.