A $100m fund has been established to support game developers who are interested in using blockchain technology to improve designs, generate more revenue and enhance experiences for their players.
Forte, a startup which provides the gaming industry with blockchain-driven platform technology, is launching the investment drive in collaboration with Xpring, the development division of Ripple.
The companies said they were motivated to take action because many developers currently find it difficult to integrate blockchain technology into their games – and as a result, many are missing out on the chance to improve player engagement and make their titles more profitable.
Initially, developers already operating live game economies that boast more than 50,000 daily active users will be eligible to receive some of the funding.
Brett Seyler, the chief platform officer of Forte, said:
“Gaming is a $140bn global industry driven predominantly by digital micro-transaction economies, which we believe will benefit immensely from the integrity and resilience of blockchain technology.”
A changing industry
Through the $100m fund, it seems that Forte and Xpring want to be on the ground floor for what they believe will be the next seismic shift in the gaming industry.
The way we play video games has changed dramatically over the past few decades. Once only available in pay-to-play arcades, PCs, games consoles and downloadable online games have all increased choice for consumers. In recent years, smartphones have upended the industry’s business model altogether, with a shift away from traditional game purchases to advertising and buying in-app items instead. Some analysts believe that demand is going to continue heading in this direction, and one day, smartphone gaming may even overtake consoles entirely.
Ethan Beard, senior vice president at Xpring, added:
“We are thrilled to partner with such a world class team of game industry veterans. Both Forte and Ripple have a shared belief that blockchain technology will have a massive impact on games, and that providing tools that are easy-to-use, chain agnostic and interoperable is a necessary step in driving scale consumer adoption.”
It is likely that there is going to be stiff competition in the marketplace for blockchain-based gaming services, with Samsung’s Galaxy S10 recently including Enjin as part of its crypto wallet. The coin is designed to replace in-app currencies altogether, and aims to give players greater levels of control over the purchases they make.
Kevin Chou, the founder of Forte, wrote in a recent blog post that the free-to-play gaming sector has a dark side which has left developers so focused on monetization that good gameplay experiences have gone out of the window.
“[I envision] a future where developers don’t need to figure out the maximum value they can extract from their player base, but instead are creatively and economically motivated to foster new types of peer-to-peer gameplay. I believe this vision is possible all while keeping games free and easy to access for billions of users.”