By close of 2018, the gaming industry was expected to generate a whopping $134.9 billion. That’s a 10 percent jump from 2017 and that amount is expected to increase to $200 billion by 2023 according to projections made by Digi-Capital projects. This revenue will be generated cumulatively through the sale of software and hardware materials.
The $100 Million Game Developer Fund
Here, we can see that the space is growing exponentially. Note that it may have taken more than 10 years before the total gaming industry grew to $100 billion but with a $5.7 billion investment to gaming companies in 2018 alone, the gaming industry appeared to be undervalued and the accelerant to double or even triple digit growth could be unlocked by the potential of blockchain just at its nascent stage.
“Ripple believes that consumer behavior and mass market adoption of blockchain and crypto is likely to first come from the gaming community. Forte are enabling is the ability for these game developers to access blockchain in their new or existing games. Through our platform we are having XRP as a settlement currency for when people trade or sell NFTs”
Coincidentally, Ripple has identified an opportunity confirming Epic Games’ CEO Tim Sweeney projections:
“I think that we’re just in the final days of a long transition away from the old retail-centric game release model. Good times ahead.’ With the long-term prospects for games still looking positive, the brave, bold and lucky could have a bright future.”
It is for this reason that Ripple, through its investment wing Xpring, are collaborating with Forte and setting aside $100 million in an ambitious project aimed at merging blockchain technology with video games. The fund is specifically meant for developers and stands to shape the industry allowing for innovation by making it “easy as possible for developers to focus on making great games and designing great game economies” for in-game digital goods. The aim of Forte “is to not just to enable the next blockchain game but to enable items in existing games to become an asset that consumers can trade between each other.”
Provenance and Portability via Blockchain and Side-chains
By leveraging blockchain and side-chain technology for provenance and asset portability, Forte is simultaneously creating a market place that cuts out third parties, assets can be tracked, verified across different owners and transactions done on-chain in a legal and transparent manner. All this is possible with blockchain smart contracts where a developer can “set rules for trading” and is at the liberty to decide premiums. The objective here is to “take the challenge and complexity away from customers and make blockchain seamless in the background.” It is no doubt that gaming represents the third major application for blockchain coming at a time when most companies are focused on remittance and supply chain management.
Here’s what Forte’s COO Kent Wakeford had to say:
“The blockchain ledger shows the provenance of every item, where it’s traded, who owns it, and tracks payments. Now developers can participate in the aftermarket and every trade in perpetuity. That opens up a whole new market for any game with items where consumers invest their time or money to collect them. New game dynamics and peer to peer economies will arise as consumers change their gameplay to earn more of the items.”
Gaming is Engaging and Drives Revenue
The shift towards gaming is what Wakeford says “is going to be the killer application for blockchain.” In a fruitful interview with Modern Consensus, the COO insists that history “is telling us the fastest growth comes from gaming” and “from platform to platform, gaming has been the leading application that drives both revenue and engagement.” He acknowledges that blockchain may be a new company but it can not only transform existing game play but “open up new ways of building games and creating game economies.”