The company behind the digital currency XRP has announced plans to integrate blockchain technology into video games. To make the project easier to develop, Ripple will partner with Forte, a startup founded this year and backed by Coinbase Ventures, Battery Ventures, and other prominent Silicon Valley investors.
One of the aims of the project is to use blockchain technology to make in-game marketplaces more efficient. The current methods that gamers use to trade in-game assets are often legally questionable, and sales are made through third-party vendors such as eBay.
Ripple enters the gaming industry
To expand its horizons beyond pure finance, digital currency company Ripple has announced that it is entering the video game industry. The company behind the divisive XRP currency has announced that it will partner with San Francisco-based Forte to advance the development of marketplaces to enable the sale of rare digital items found in many games.
As part of an effort to get into gaming, Ripple has announced a $ 100 million fund. This is distributed to game developers of titles with more than 50,000 active users. According to a report in Fortune, an executive with Ripple’s Xpring development department, Ethan Beard, stated that these payments would be made in XRP and could amount to several million dollars each.
Beard went on to comment on the integration of blockchain technology into video games:
“Video games have long been rapidly adopting new technologies, from consoles to PCs to cell phones. Now, blockchain will help game designers who have struggled to create an economy that can serve all types of gamers. “
Games like World of Warcraft lack built-in marketplaces to trade rare items.
The premise of a marketplace for trading digital items within a game has been tried several times before, but with little lasting success. Perhaps the most famous example was CryptoKitties, a collecting game based on the Ethereum network in which players had to collect digital cats.
The game initially proved hugely popular, and some of the rarest cats retailed for thousands of dollars. However, it also served to point out the shortcomings of the Ethereum network itself. At the height of CryptoKitties’ popularity, the number of transactions associated with the game contributed greatly to a huge transaction backlog in late 2017.
Former Facebook manager and current Chief Platform Executive of Forte, Brett Seyer, said the following to further develop the idea demonstrated by CryptoKitties:
“CryptoKitties introduced what a blockchain can do. It showed the benefit of having a public record of transactions that people could trust and how well an in-game economy lends itself to blockchain. “
A similar effort has been made by Major League Baseball. The professional sports association launched MLB Crypto last year. However, like CryptoKitties, it has remained a niche because of technical barriers to entry related to running Ethereum dApps.
Examples like CryptoKitties and MLB-Krypto offer reasonable proof-of-concept, but because they are completely one-dimensional in gameplay, they lack the widespread appeal of more well-known existing titles. From the fact that Ripple mentioned that potential recipients of stakes in the $ 100 million developer fund must have an active user base, we can infer that these are well-established franchises for blockchain integration rather than trying to play games to develop from the ground up. This could represent another widespread use case for the much hyped technology.
Related reading: Can Ethereum’s ERC721 Standard Reshape the Blockchain Gaming Industry?
Selected images from Shutterstock.
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