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Forte, a blockchain technology company with a strong focus on gaming, has recently partnered with a host of well-regarded game developers to try and implement blockchain and unlock new business models in the ever-evolving space.
Forte has announced that Hi-Rez Studios, Netmarble, Magmic, nWay, and DECA Games are all part of its next induction of gaming partners. They join previously announced developer partners, Disruptor Beam, Other Ocean, and Kongregate.
Part of the reason that Forte and its blockchain solution is becoming more and more popular and attractive to game developers is that the blockchain platform benefits both existing and future titles. It has the potential to unlock never-before-possible revenue streams in traditional game designs, while being versatile enough to serve as the economic and creative foundation for blockchain-native experiences.
What makes Forte and its partnerships even more interesting is that the company is backed by a $100 million War Chest from Ripple; the company behind the XRP cryptocurrency and the company that is focused primarily on integrating blockchain and cryptocurrency into traditional banking.
A growing relationship
The affinity for blockchain and the gaming space was identified early on as there are many different areas that blockchain technology, as well as the cryptocurrency side of things, can be applied in the industry. However, the partnership between these two different sides is still very much in development, with a lot of future potential.
I spoke with Kaiser Hwang, Vice President of Marketing at Forte, about the current state of blockchain penetration into the gaming market.
“We’re just at the beginning, but games are a perfect use case for blockchain technology. Games today already involve millions of players participating both in a community and an economy. Blockchain technology allows developers to safely and securely provide players a way to own in-game assets, trade with each other, and even earn income through playing with each other. The technology offers ways to address many economic issues found in the games industry today by unlocking more equitable and sustainable business models,” he said.
“While the sector is absolutely ripe for penetration, in order to take advantage of blockchain technology and the new creative designs it unlocks, game developers first need easy-to-use tools and comprehensive services to properly integrate blockchain technology into their games. They simply don’t exist today. But once they’re in place, we’ll see blockchain penetration in the games industry make large strides, and begin to see mass adoption. These necessary solutions are what we’re building at Forte, and are focused on ease of use, versatility, and accessibility.”
So, while there is a lot of potential out there for the integration of the technology, it is about finding the best way to implement this, and that is why Forte is partnering with traditional game studios who are always looking to push the boundaries.
“A great thing about blockchain technology is that it can be integrated in games in a nearly infinite number of ways. The technology itself is just a means to an end. At Forte, we’re working with highly respected game studios to explore and create new experiences for players inside traditional game designs—the first games of which will be going live later this year—as well as those that are being built from the ground up with blockchain technology as their foundation,” added Hwang.
When Ripple announced that Forte would be working with a $100 million fund for game development and blockchain it seemed a little out of the scope of the XRP-bearing company who had been mainly focused on banking relationships. However, while Forte cannot speak for Ripple, they do attest there is a future in this for gaming.
“Ripple is a close and valued partner of ours. While we operate separately and can’t speak directly for them, we both believe in a future for games that is open and interoperable. That’s why we’re leveraging open source protocols like Interledger, which seamlessly facilitates cross-chain transactions, in our platform. This directly benefits game developers by letting them focus on creating great experiences instead of worrying about a particular technology or the need to become an expert in blockchain,” said Hwang.
Many have even pegged gaming, with its need for in-app purchases and other pain points, as a sector ripe for blockchain disruption. The technology is still searching for its killer application that is solely removed from cryptocurrency; some see this in the supply chain, but in a more futuristic way, gaming could really be the key.
Gaming is constantly evolving and requires a foot up from new hardware and technology periodically. If blockchain can get a foot in the door with gaming and change its face, the uptake of the technology could be massive with both sides of the coin benefiting.