Ripple has announced its plans to introduce the blockchain technology into video games. The plan was made public on Tuesday, and it features funding of $100 Million for developers, which if it succeeds could usher in a new era for the gaming industry whereby the creation of in-game marketplaces will become easier for digital goods.
Forte to Oversee the Fund
Forte, a new San Francisco company, backed by prominent gaming executives, will be overseeing the fund. In an interview, Ethan Beard, a Ripple senior executive with Xpring, the company’s development arm, had this to say:
“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 blockchain technology, known for its inerasable ledger, will be very useful in video games because of the ease it provides in the tracking of digital assets such as a character or a sword, across different participants in a game.
The Business of Secondary Markets
One of the significance of the announcement is the effect it will have on secondary markets for online games. These markets appears to be clumsy, even the popular ones, and can also be argued to be illegal.
Beard also stated the fact that people spend hundreds of dollars on purchasing other players’ accounts from eBay or they could patronize third party sites to buy in-game currency such as “gold.” Therefore, the introduction of blockchain technology into their platforms will help game makers to provide such transactions in the game.
Ripple Technology Makes the Difference
On the part of Forte, everything hinges on Ripple’s technology. The technology includes the Interledger Protocol, an open source protocol that will enable transactions to be conducted across different Blockchains, and Codius, a smart contract service.
As for Ripple, the company sees the $100 million development fund as an opportunity to venture into other fields, away from its primary focus, which is the business of financial messaging software. If also along the line more gaming platforms choose to integrate the interledger protocol, it could speed up the adoption of XRP, a cryptocurrency that Ripple possesses in large amounts.
Beard stated that game developers would receive the grant in the form of XRP and Ripple’s Xpring will handle its distribution. He, however, admitted that the majority of the recipients might decide to convert the XRP into US dollars since services like AWS only accept fiat currency.