Wilson Hunter is a self-proclaimed “huge nerd.” He enjoys playing and streaming live card games, but has always been disappointed by the streaming services available online. Wilson and his co-founder, James Hsu, created CardBoard Live to enhance the online viewing experience in a market that exceeds 30 million users.
“It can be difficult to view people playing non-traditional card games in a stream,” Wilson explains. “So, we set out to solve that.” CardBoard Live is a streaming platform that uses tech image recognition to reveal hidden game information and provide e-commerce opportunities. Their technology allows viewers to know everything the players know, unlike any other streaming platform.
In their go-to-market game, Magic: the Gathering, the cards in each player’s deck are vital to their success in the game. The rules stated on each card take precedence over any existing rule in the game, even if the rules conflict. With around 20,000 unique cards, knowing the contents of a player’s deck allows the audience to understand the intricacies of the game they are viewing.
CardBoard Live utilizes image recognition so players can interact with decklists, hover-over and expand cards in play and purchase cards directly from the screen. Seeing the cards in play incentivizes the watchers to purchase them, and CardBoard Live makes it easier than ever to do so.
Wilson compares the game to sports trading cards, “People purchase individual trading cards and the value of a trading card is total perception. It’s based on how it’s played in the game and the potential of the collectability of the card. So, it’s sort of like a sports trading card, but if there were a game you could play those with.”
CardBoard Live has had 2 million unique users of its own, but there still is a massive market for them to capture. They were able to partner with Twitch, a platform owned by Amazon that is very popular for streaming card games, which has allowed them to leverage the existing streaming community.
Currently, the team is working on generating revenue on the sale of products through their tools as well as building tools for other streamed games. In the next month of the i.Lab, Wilson wants to expand into at least one other game.
I think that Wilson and his team are revolutionizing the way people play and view card games. The novelty of the company's approach to this market and user adoption set them apart and will lead to their ultimate success.