Major games-makers like Ubisoft, EA and even Sony are currently experimenting with blockchain technology, which could offer new ways to monetize and secure games.
A number of high-profile companies just joined forces to make the Blockchain Gaming Alliance, a new union made up of industry names like Ubisoft, Alto, Fig, and Ultra. While combing through the announcements I found something quite interesting: a mention of how blockchain could enable gamers to make money by selling or trading items and playing specific games.
"The Blockchain Game Alliance is advocating for a universal standard in the blockchain gaming space to create a more interoperable and transparent ecosystem which will benefit stakeholders, by furthering innovation and ensuring economic viability," Ultra CEO Nicolas Gilot said in an announcement post.
"Blockchain is redefining the gaming experience by providing transaction transparency and proof-of-ownership, while also bringing exciting innovations and financial incentives to players. While the Alliance is still in its early stages, we are ambitious in our future plans and look forward to welcoming new members and unlocking the power of blockchain technology for the gaming community."
The thought is to reward gamers by giving them a share of specific purchases traded in the digital economy via a virtual in-game currency that can then be traded for bitcoins or other cryptocurrency. This mechanism, the alliance says, would boost transparency, take a lot of the guesswork out of recurring revenue streams like microtransactions, and even offer cheaper charging solutions versus credit cards.
Ubisoft helped pioneer this path with its new HashCraft game, which is built entirely with--and around--blockchain. Sony may use blockchain to better secure the PlayStation Network, and we're betting that Microsoft is also experimenting with this tech as well (they're all about engagement, after all).
But ultimately I think this move is a business strategy centered around money. Sure blockchain can--and likely will--do innovative and impressive things to shake up the industry, but it should be propelled by what the games market does best: rake in cash.
I predicted that blockchain will be a new way for the biggest publishers to monetize games with consistent earnings outside of traditional piecemeal microtransactions and digital sales, all in an environment that's touted as more secure and user-friendly. Plus there's the monetary incentive, too, which should continually churn engagement.
After all, who doesn't want to make money for playing games?