By CCN.com: French video game giant Ubisoft has announced an effort to develop blockchain gaming through Ethereum.
In a report published June 11 by French news outlet Les Échos, Ubisoft is already months into the development of blockchain products using Ethereum. The company is looking to monetize and improve upon their existing implementation of in-game items and other unlockables.
However, it’s becoming clear that Ubisoft views Ethereum and the potential of blockchain as leverage over its competitor Epic Games–creator of the global phenomenon that is Fortnite. Since launching in 2017, Fortnite has amassed 250 million active users and brings in over 2 billion in annual revenue.
Earlier in the week, the National Research Group reported that tweens were logging more hours in Fortnite than Facebook, Netflix or YouTube, giving an indication that social media is trending towards gaming with younger demographics.
Charles-Louis Planade, a financial analyst for Midcap Partners, attempted to argue that Ubisoft has not suffered “the most” from Fortnite’s success, considering the difference in user demographics. Ubisoft’s flagship games are aimed at a more mature audience, while Fornite has all but monopolized the young teen category.
However, even Planade admitted that Fortnite’s 250 million users are a “huge market” that is growing away from the reach of the French gaming company.
Ubisoft desperately needs to develop a game that can compete with Fortnite. While the company is the creator of Rainbox Six, Assassin’s Creed and some of gaming’s most beloved franchises, they are reaching a crossroads in development that requires innovation–or else they will continue to fall behind.
Blockchain, specifically Ethereum, could be the leverage Ubisoft needs to crack open crypto gaming.
While TRON, Enjin and other projects have attempted to develop blockchain gaming, no crypto has yet to capitalize on the market in a big way. The same can be said for gaming developers, such as Ubisoft, who are looking to crypto as the next potential big thing.
A source close to Ubisoft’s blockchain project claimed it was in ‘an advanced stage.’ Early reports have it the company is targeting in-game items for blockchain, with an emphasis on making digital products ‘physical.’
An industry specialist told Les Échos,
“When you buy a costume on Fortnite, your investment is lost, the accessory is locked in the game. If we use blockchain, we give a physical existence to a digital element.”
While in-game items are a less sexy use for blockchain, Ubisoft could turn to eth as a source of crypto payments. Ethereum is also capable of smart contracts, opening the door for wagers made in gaming that can be validated in real life.
In addition, content creators benefit from putting their work on blockchain. Just as articles and videos can be cemented in the public ledger, game designers can feature their work on blockchains which will carry across multiple platforms.