PMU: "NFTs will enable us to attract new players"‍

PMU: "NFTs will enable us to attract new players"‍

After months of hesitation and reversals, the horseracing giant is set to launch Web3 with a collection of NFTs and a game in development. The Big Whale spoke exclusively to Constantin Garreau, PMU's director of innovation, who is in charge of the project.

The Big Whale. Why get into NFTs? What's at stake?

Constantin Garreau. The challenge is clear: we need to recruit new, younger, more digital customers who like games, but not necessarily in the form we've been offering them up to now. And that's where NFTs come in. They will enable us to attract these new players.

What interests you about NFTs?

Clarely the fact that we're talking about digital ownership. With an NFT, players own a digital horse whose name and performance are associated with a real horse. This NFT belongs to them and they will also be able to make it evolve.

What will this digital double be used for?

To begin with, acquiring this digital double will allow you to be part of the "early adopters" of the Stables community, which is the name of the game and the brand we are creating. With these NFTs you'll be able to participate fully in the gaming experience we're developing. And more generally, the owner of this digital horse will be able to look after it and develop it. Our aim is for it to become more than just an NFT.

Is it natural for the PMU to enter this world?

The PMU's aim with this project is to complement its gambling world with that of gaming, always for the benefit of the equestrian industry because that is our economic mission. The PMU is not 'yet' a gaming player, but we are building the best experiences in the gaming world: our place is therefore totally legitimate. The PMU has a wealth of expertise and data on horse racing, which will be useful in developing an unrivalled gaming experience on Web3.

Entering this world is also a source of future developments: it will enable us to develop projects that the PMU as such cannot usually do.

Why Stables and why not sell NFTs under the PMU brand?

Stables is a brand backed by the PMU. You will find certain common codes, but we have chosen a different brand universe for our NFTs.

PMU is a gambling brand based on horse betting. Here, the development of its own identity corresponds to a game taking place in the Web3 universe, based on the acquisition and exchange of NFTs. This unique identity will also make it possible to develop partnerships in affinity with this fantasy game, which would not necessarily be possible with the PMU brand, whose main activity is horse betting (a gambling activity).

What is the budget for this project?

We designed and developed this project in a very agile way. Although NFTs and the Web3 universe will gradually become part of our daily lives, their adoption by the general public and therefore their growth is still in development. We have therefore built this project on a logic of frugality, going quickly and to the essentials, in order to be among the first brands to invest in these universes.

The current business plan is built over five years, with a relatively small investment budget for the first year intended for the acquisition and marketing of an accessible range of NFTs, the creation of a game as well as the costs associated with the operation, marketing and development of the project. With Stables, PMU's aim is to make an ever-greater contribution to funding the industry in the future.

Is it easy to launch a project like this when you're called PMU?

It's a real challenge that allows us to introduce a culture of innovation and Web3 into a company that's going on its... 100th birthday! We're a big company, with a strong reputation. So we have to deliver, both in terms of reputation and project quality. We're talking about a totally new subject, and there's a lot of education to be done both internally and externally.

What does this game represent in terms of business?

It has to be seen as the first stage of the rocket. Our aim is really to create a galaxy of hybrid equestrian games, in other words combining real life and virtual life, in equestrian sports. Our aim is not to virtualise horse racing, but to expand our audience. We fundamentally want to maintain a strong link with the spectacle of real racing and at the same time offer the richest possible gaming experience.

How many people are working on the project?

Stables is a team of around thirty people both in-house and externally. PMU is a tech company and we have in-house talent. In addition, the 321founded network of entrepreneurs gave us access to a pool of talent suited to a Web3 project with independent experts. The various stages of the project were also shared with representatives of the equestrian institution, who played an important role in the co-construction of the project, with involvement at every level and at every stage.

Which blockchain did you select and why?

We selected Tezos after studying essential criteria such as security, sustainability, energy cost, and community, elements on which Tezos is positioned very well in our opinion. Tezos is a blockchain that has remained stable and secure since its creation and its 2017 ICO, one of the largest in history. It has won over a large community of partners - companies - that have designed services and games using its smart-contracts. One particular reason convinced us: the Tezos protocol is constantly being improved through On-Chain governance, which has ensured its scalability, gas fee control, etc. since its creation. This is a rare competitive advantage in Web3 that gives Tezos resilience and significant potential.

How did you negotiate the rights to digital doubles?

We planned to remunerate the companies organising racing in France, who will then be responsible for redistributing the value created to the professionals who bring horse racing to life on a daily basis.

What will the NFTs look like?

We wanted the NFTs to be realistic without, however, being a carbon copy of the real racehorse. So we decided to use a horse's body but completely rethink the texture and posture, in a very artistic way with graphic codes inspired by video games. What's more, our NFTs aren't cards, as users will soon see, they're figurines ready to come to life in the different worlds we're creating. In a way, the horse is the main character in our game and we wanted to show that.

How will players be able to purchase the NFTs?

Details on how to purchase, the price of the NFTs and the mint will be given in the coming weeks.

Are you going to have a marketplace?

There will be one, but that will come at a later date.

What about royalties?

It's important to bear in mind that, on the sale of NFTs, a substantial portion will be used to run the community and reward our players. For the rest, as I said earlier, we obviously donate part to the companies that organise horse races. It's a virtuous project!

How many horses will there be?

During our first drop, we will have the opportunity to offer several thousand NFTs to this new community of players. Each of the NFTs will represent a real-life horse and its performance in the game will be linked to its performance in real life.

What's available in the game today?

The NFTs drop will arrive in several weeks' time, so the Stables game is not yet accessible. It will be shortly after the first drop, so please be patient!

Why several drops?

We aim to do 2 drops a year, with only young horses that have just joined the circuit in the last year. For information, there are around 25,000 different horses competing each year. We've opted for this system of young horses so that all the players start on an equal footing and can follow their horse's adventures. Everyone will start from the same starting line, to avoid cannibalising the market and creating too much speculation.

However, aren't you concerned that there could be speculation?

We have no interest in speculation. Our aim is to create a long-term, sustainable project. Our aim is for the community to be engaged in the game, to enjoy playing and developing their horses.

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