'Notcoin' Launches Accelerator to Boost Next Wave of Telegram Crypto Games

Telegram-based game Notcoin announced that it has partnered with a prominent analytics firm to establish an incubator for the next wave of Telegram games, in the project’s biggest move yet to expand from a viral sensation into a pillar of the exploding ecosystem of crypto-backed mini apps. 

With the support of Helika, an AI-powered analytics firm, Notcoin will soon launch a Telegram Gaming Accelerator, both companies said on Wednesday. 

“This is a major milestone for Helika to support our current and future customers building on Telegram,” Helika co-founder and CEO Anton Umnov said in a statement shared with Decrypt. “Helika sees a massive opportunity for game studios of all sizes to capitalize on global user acquisition and engage with their users at a deeper level.”

The program will focus on developing mini apps that exist within Telegram, the popular messaging app, and live on The Open Network, Telegram’s blockchain network of choice.

The Telegram Gaming Accelerator will aid the developers of such games, which have thus far tended to operate on a simple but seductive road map: Entice Telegram’s 900 million-plus users with basic gameplay, then reward said players with real crypto token airdrops. 

Notcoin was the first Telegram mini app to employ that strategy, to great success. Within weeks of launching during an airdrop for Notcoin players in May, the NOT token blew past a $2 billion market capitalization. NOT has since ebbed to a market cap of $1.3 billion at writing.

Other projects soon seized on the novel approach. Hamster Kombat, a similar Telegram-based game—which primarily involves incessantly clicking a button—has aggressively exploded in popularity in the last month. Catizen, a feline-themed button tapping extravaganza, is another recent Telegram mini app to go viral.

For months—even before the NOT token launch—Notcoin’s team always planned to move beyond developing a single viral game, to architecting an infrastructure that would allow countless similar apps to proliferate across Telegram. 

“We want it to become the Netflix of social, viral games,” Notcoin co-creator Sasha Plotvinov previously told Decrypt’s GG of Notcoin’s future plans.

Plotvinov elaborated that he wanted to make Notcoin into a sort of home base for the future development of “viral, funny, entertaining, competitive social crypto games” that live on Telegram.

Today’s announcement brings the project one step closer to that goal. Helika, the firm that Notcoin has partnered with to establish its gaming incubator, has previously worked with gaming giant Ubisoft and Bored Ape Yacht Club creator Yuga Labs to both effectively incorporate crypto elements into game play, and help market those experiences. 

In March, Helika launched a $50 million, venture capital-backed crypto gaming accelerator to streamline the integration of crypto tools into the games of both early stage and more established studios. 

A Helika representative told Decrypt that while that previous program and the Telegram-specific incubator announced today may overlap and share some resources, the two initiatives are separate—indicating they will not pull from the same funding.

Edited by Andrew Hayward

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