The company behind the XRP digital currency has announced strategies to integrate blockchain innovation with video gaming. To facilitate development on the project Ripple will be dealing with Specialty, a start-up established this year and backed by Coinbase Ventures, Battery Ventures, and other popular Silicon Valley financiers.
Among other things the goal of the project will be to bring greater effectiveness to in-game markets using blockchain innovation. The current methods used by players to trade in-game assets are often lawfully doubtful and sales happen using third-party services such as eBay.
Ripple to Move into the Gaming Industry
Opening up their horizons beyond strictly the financial sphere, digital currency enterprise Ripple has released intentions to move into the video gaming industry. The firm behind the divisive XRP currency has declared that it will be partnering with San Francisco-based Forte to work toward the progression of marketplaces to permit the sale of rare digital items found in many games.
As part of the effort to move into gaming, Ripple has announced a $100 million fund. This will be circulated to game developers of titles with in excess of 50,000 active users. According to an article in Fortune, a senior executive at Ripple's Xpring development department, Ethan Beard, stated that these payments would be made in XRP and might be millions of dollars each.
Beard continued to talk about the integration of blockchain technology with video games:
“Video games have long been quick to adopt new technology, from console to the PC to mobile. Now, blockchain will help game designers who’ve had a hard time facilitating an economy that can serve all types of players.”
The premise of a targeted marketplace for buying and selling digital units within a game has witout a doubt been tried a couple of times in the past but with minimal lasting success. Quite possibly most famous was the model of CryptoKitties, a collectable game founded on the Ethereum network wherein players had to amass digital cats.
The game proved exceptionally popular to begin with and a number of the rarest felines traded for thousands of dollars. However, it also served to emphasize the shortcomings of the Ethereum network itself. At the heyday of CryptoKitties's level of popularity, the multitude of transactions linked to the game contributed heavily to a significant transaction backlog at the end of 2017.
Ex- Facebook executive and current Chief Platform Executive of Forte, Brett Seyer, had the following to mention about utilizing the concept exhibited by CryptoKitties steps further:
“CryptoKitties introduced what a blockchain could do. It showed the benefit of having a public record of transactions people could trust, and how an in-game economy is well suited to blockchain.”
A similar attempt was made by Major League Baseball. The experienced sporting association created MLB Crypto last year. That being said, like CryptoKitties, it has continued to be niche owing to complex roadblocks to entry related to running Ethereum dApps.
Good examples such as CryptoKitties and MLB crypto provide practical proof-of-concept but being completely one dimensional in gameplay, they lack the type of widespread appeal of more popular existing titles. We can deduce from the simple fact that Ripple has mentioned would-be recipients of shares of the $100 million developer fund really need to have engaged user bases that it will be targeting recognized franchises for blockchain integration, as opposed to attempting to build games from scratch. This could possibly see another widespread use case for the much-hyped technology.
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